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Gateways - Paths to Moving On

An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)


To consider the importance of moving through the gateways that we face in life.

Preparation and materials


Leader: Today, we are going to look at changes in our lives and new opportunities. Each opportunity that we are given is a gateway that, when we pass through it, opens up a different way of seeing things and can enrich our lives.

Reader 1: Gateways can look very different.

There are gates that may be seen at the entrance to large houses . . .

Show the image of metal gates.

. . . and gateways that lead to country cottages.

Show the image of garden gates.

Reader 2: There are all sorts of unusual gateways if we take the time to look.

Show the images of unusual gateways.

Leader: Gates are sometimes there to stop us from moving forward or to keep us safe. However, more often, gates invite us to open them, move forward and find what is waiting on the other side.

Reader 1: There are moments in all our lives when we pass through metaphorical gateways. It may be moving house, moving school, making new friends or losing touch with old ones. There are times when we have to make decisions for ourselves and not rely on our parents or teachers to tell us what to do. We move on.

Reader 2: With the excitement of moving forward and passing through a gate comes responsibility. We have a choice about our behaviour. We have a choice about the values we are going to follow. We have a choice about how we will treat other people.

Leader: When we leave school, we pass through a gateway that continues our journey towards adult life. A new world beckons! We begin a new phase in life.

Reader 1: In Mark 1.9-11, we read about the baptism of Jesus. This was the start of a new phase in Jesus life. Up to this point, people knew little about Jesus, but his baptism was the moment when he passed through the gateway into the ministry that God had given him.

Reader 2: Mark 1.9-11 says, ‘At that time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”’

Leader: This was THE moment for Jesus, the start of his ministry. He had left his home and had been baptized by his cousin, John. He had to move on. His gateway was the baptism, the beginning of a new life that would end in a tragic death and, Christians believe, a glorious rising from the dead - another gateway waiting for him in the future.

Time for reflection

Reader 1: Let’s sit quietly for a moment, stilling ourselves, and reflect on our lives and the gateways’ that we have passed through. Let’s think about those who have helped us. And let’s consider the new gateways that lie ahead.

Reader 2: Let us pray.

Dear God,
Thank you for our lives and the excitement that lies ahead of us.
Please give us the courage to move through the gates that we face.
Help us to grasp new opportunities.
Help us not to be afraid.
Help us to consider the impact that each of our actions will have on those around us.

Publication date: June 2021   (Vol.23 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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