God Is There
Remembering God in our busy lives
by K. J. Lacey
Suitable for Whole School (Sec)
To consider that God is present even when our lives seem busy.
Preparation and materials
You will need a large, clear vase or container; some large stones (to fit in the vase); some leaves; some sticks; some petals and a jug of water.
Optional: you may wish to play the song ‘I smile’ by Kirk Franklin during the ‘Time for reflection’ part of the assembly, in which case you will also need the means to do this. A video of the song is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8SPwT3nQZ8. It is 4.59 minutes long.
If possible, rush into assembly looking flustered. Explain that life can be busy and tell the students some of the things that you have already had to cope with today – exaggerate! If you are delivering the assembly to a younger audience, you may wish to ask students for a typical description of their week and the things that make them busy – clubs, after-school activities, looking after relatives, homework and so on. Point out that for all of us, life can get very busy!
Show the empty vase or container.
Explain to the students that the vase or container represents their lives. At the moment, it is empty, but we are going to fill it up with everything that we have just been talking about.
Put the stones in the bottom of the vase.
Explain that the stones represent school and learning. They are like the building blocks that lay the foundations for our whole lives.
Put the leaves in the vase.
Explain that the leaves represent all of those areas that give us life and enjoyment. The clubs we attend, the sports we play, the hobbies we enjoy - the things that make life exciting and fun.
Put the sticks in the vase.
Explain that the sticks represent the moments in our lives when we feel sad. The times when we fall out with our friends, when we argue with our families and when we are in trouble or feeling down.
Put the petals in the jar (it should now be full).
Explain that the petals represent all of the good times we spend with family and friends – the times that make us feel secure and safe.
Point out that our lives are pretty full. By the time we have filled our lives with school, work, hobbies, friends and so on, it appears that there is no room for anything else, never mind room for God!
Time for reflection
Slowly pour the water into the vase.
Explain that although there appeared to be no more room in the vase, the water spreads out to fill every gap. Likewise, Christians believe that God is there in everything we do, in every situation. He is present in the good times and in the bad, in the loud moments and in the silence. Sometimes, we forget to acknowledge God, but he is still there. He knows what we are doing - when we are sitting, standing, talking, laughing, crying or sleeping - and he knows who we are.
One of the writers of the psalms that are found in the Bible says, ‘You know when I sit down and when I stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.’ (Psalm 139.2)
Thank you for being there for us even when we do not recognize you.
Thank you for caring for us and loving us when we do right and when we do wrong.
Help us to feel your presence each day.
May we smile because we know that you are there.
‘I smile’ by Kirk Franklin, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8SPwT3nQZ8