Parables: The Good Samaritan and the Sower
An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Whole School (Sec) - Church Schools
To consider two of Jesus’ parables: the Good Samaritan and the Sower.
Preparation and materials
- You will need four readers and two students. The two students will need to hold up large pieces of card with the words ‘Boo’ and ‘Cheer’ printed on them. They will need time to rehearse prior to the assembly so that they know the script.
- You will also need four balloons, which should be inflated prior to the assembly, but one should be clipped rather than tied.
- Note: this assembly could be split to use over two sessions.
Reader 1: We are told that Jesus taught in parables. These parables are like picture stories. They were told in this way to make them memorable because they all had a message about God, and people’s relationships with God. We have decided to tell you two short parables so that you can get the idea and to help you remember them.
Reader 2: First, we are going to tell you a parable about a Samaritan and you will be asked to join in. When the ‘Cheer’ card is held up, we would like to hear you cheer, and when the ‘Boo’ card is held up, we would like to hear you boo. Let’s have a practice.
Student 1 should hold up the ‘Cheer’ card and the students should cheer. Repeat if necessary. Then, Student 2 should hold up the ‘Boo’ card and the students should boo.
Reader 3: Well, that wasn’t too impressive, was it? But let’s carry on anyway. A man went down the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. On his way, he was attacked (Boo), robbed (Boo) and stripped of his clothes (Boo). He was left half-dead (Boo). Soon, a holy man came past (Cheer), but he ignored the man (Boo). Next, a lawyer came along (Cheer), but he too passed by (Boo). Then, a Samaritan came down the road. Now, Samaritan people didn’t usually have time for Jewish people. In fact, they would usually go out of their way to avoid one another (Boo)! But the man from Samaria stopped (Cheer), helped the man and bound his wounds (Cheer), put him on his donkey (Cheer) and took him to an inn (Cheer). He gave the innkeeper money to look after the injured man and promised to pay any extra money when he came that way again (Cheer).
Reader 4: Who is the most important person in this story? When I say the name of each person, I want you either to boo or to cheer. Then, I will decide who has won.
Reader 4 should list the beaten man, the holy man, the lawyer, the Samaritan and the innkeeper one by one, noting the level of boos and cheers for each.
Reader 4: Right, so you think that (list the option that attracted the most cheers) was the most important person: he had the loudest cheers and fewest boos. But I think it was the innkeeper, because he took in a wounded man, cared for him and trusted that the Samaritan would come back and pay him any extra money. He was a pretty good sort of person. This parable contains lessons of trust, compassion and honesty, among others.
Reader 1: Jesus told this story when someone asked him, ‘Who is my neighbour?’ We need to think how neighbourly we are and how we can improve our actions to help others.
Reader 2: Now, let’s move on and hear the next parable. Get ready with your boos and cheers: it’s another dynamic action story!
A man went out to sow grain on his land. As he sowed, so the grain fell. Some fell onto the path and was eaten by the birds (Boo). Some fell on stony ground and withered away (Boo). Some was scorched by the sun (Boo). And some fell among thorns and was choked (Boo). However, some fell on good ground (Cheer) and increased 30 times (Cheer), some 60 times (Cheer) and some 100 times (Cheer).
Reader 3: In this country, we don’t sow grain in that way any more, so we thought you might want a bit of help to understand. We’ve made up a modern version of the Sower. As you can see, I’ve brought along some balloons. In lessons, the teacher teaches and sometimes, we don’t remember a thing. It all goes POP! (Burst the balloon.)
Reader 4: At other times, we do remember what we’ve been taught for a short while, but then we race off after the lesson to talk to our friends and all we have learned is lost. (Let one of the balloons go so that it shoots around the room.)
Reader 1: Sometimes, we do really well and remember until we start our homework or an exam, but then it all goes BANG! (Burst the balloon with a pin.)
Reader 2: Still, there are times when we do remember what we have been taught and keep what we have learned in our hearts and minds. (Tie a knot in the balloon to save the air.)
Reader 3: What Jesus was saying was that we have to make an effort to be in the good earth, to grow and learn and understand to make the best of ourselves, to listen and have faith in ourselves. The story is about becoming involved, remembering, understanding and thinking. It is about living in the good soil, the good ground, with those who love us.
Reader 4: We hope that you’ve enjoyed our assembly.
Students 1 and 2 should hold up their ‘Cheer’ and ‘Boo’ cards for a noisy vote!
We have tried to show how reading the Bible can be fun as well as helping us to learn more about God and ourselves.
Time for reflection
Reader 1: We have learned a lot, we hope, and made a lot of noise. Let’s now finish by reflecting quietly on what we have heard.
Lead me from death to life,
from falsehood to truth;
lead me from despair to hope,
from fear to trust;
lead me from hate to love,
from war to peace.
Let peace fill our heart,
Our world, our universe.
Written by Satish Kumar, a member of the Jain community, and adopted by the Prayer for Peace Movement in 1981.