We are wonderfully made!
by Revd Sophie Jelley (revised, originally published in 2009)
Suitable for Whole School (Sec)
To understand that God values people as they are, rather than for their appearance (SEAL theme: Learning to Be Together).
Preparation and materials
You will need a selection of magazines that are suitable for the age group and social context in your assembly. (Magazines can be expensive – see if you can borrow some or use cast-offs!)
Optional: you may wish to show images of celebrities who are famous for their looks, but this is not essential.
You may wish to ask a student to read from the Bible passage, Psalm 139.13–16.
You may also wish to have quiet, reflective music available to play during the assembly, in which case, you will need the means to play it.
Who buys magazines to read?
Hold some up and flick through them.
Have you ever thought about the pictures of people you see in them?
There might be people your age in them – think about what those people look like.
Can you think of some words to describe those people? It’s quite likely that they may be thin, look trendy and have perfect, straight teeth and clear skin.
You don’t need to look around the room to know that no one is identical and most people don’t look like the people we see in magazines. It would not be good if we all looked the same! Everyone is unique - Christians believe that every single person is special and every single person matters to God.
Ask a student to read Psalm 139.13–16.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
This means that whatever we look like, whatever we may think of ourselves at the moment and whatever people say about us, the Bible says that all people are wonderfully made, created in God’s image and loved by him.
Time for reflection
Think about yourself – how do you feel about yourself at the moment? How do you feel about your body, your mind, your feelings and your relationships?
Remember that you are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’.
Thank you for those words: ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’.
Please help us to believe them about ourselves today.
Help me to see that whatever I have been thinking, and whatever other people may say about me, you value me and I am precious to you.
‘Will you come and follow me?’ (Hymns Old and New (Kevin Mayhew), 560, 2008 edition)