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Heaven on Earth

An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive

Suitable for Whole School (Sec) - Church Schools

Aims

To consider the idea of heaven on earth.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a leader and three readers, who will need time to rehearse prior to the assembly.

Assembly

Leader: As they were watching, Jesus was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly, two men in white robes stood by them. They said . . .

Reader 1: People of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven?

Reader 2: This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you saw him go into heaven.’

Reader 3: A place of rest . . .

Leader: . . . like a garden.

Reader 3: A place of peace . . .

Reader 1: . . . like a church or temple.

Reader 3: A place of security . . .

Reader 2: . . . like a cosy room in a house.

Leader: In a poem that he wrote in 1817, John Keats talked about the blue fields of heaven.

Reader 1: If heaven was a colour, what would it be?

Reader 2: If heaven was a piece of music, what would it be?

Reader 3: If heaven was a perfume, what would it be?

Leader: If heaven was a flavour, what would it be?

Reader 1: What do we wish heaven could be?

Reader 2: But where is heaven? Is it in space? Is it in the sky?

Reader 3: For many religious believers, heaven is outside space and time . . .

Leader: . . . a place of light and happiness . . .

Reader 1: . . . a place in Gods presence.

Reader 2: Today, however, we are going to think about another idea: heaven on earth.

Reader 3: We may or may not believe in the physical place of heaven, but we can still understand the meaning of ‘heaven on earth’.

Leader: In Shakespeares play, All’s Well That Ends Well, one of the characters, Bertram, says about his love, ‘A heaven on earth have I won by wooing thee.’

Reader 1: This might sound like a line in a love story, but each of us can make a bit of ‘heaven on earth’ for other people.

Reader 2: If heaven is a place of love, security, happiness and beauty, we bring a bit of heaven to other people when we display these characteristics.

Reader 3: We can give people a ‘taste of heaven’ just by the way we treat them.

Time for reflection

Ask the following questions.

Do our lives bring happiness to others?

Pause to allow time for thought.

What can we do today to add happiness to someone’s day?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Prayer
Dear God,
There are many things that we do not understand about heaven.
However, we realize that we can bring people happiness and joy on earth today.
Help us to look for ways to encourage others.
Help us to care and make people’s lives better by our actions and words.
Amen.

Song/music

‘Bridge over troubled water’ by Simon & Garfunkel

Alternatively, you could use one of the quiet movements from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

Publication date: August 2017   (Vol.19 No.8)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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