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‘April Showers Bring Forth May Flowers’

After the rain, there is hope

by Claire Law

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)

Aims

To consider the meaning of the saying, ‘April showers bring forth May flowers’.

Preparation and materials

Assembly

  1. Show Slide 1 as the students arrive.

  2. When the students are seated, show the YouTube video ‘Singing in the Rain’, starting from 0.50 minutes.

    Welcome to our assembly.

  3. Show Slide 2.

    We all know that it is a British pastime to discuss the weather, so you may be familiar with these symbols after seeing them on weather forecasts. How many can you identify?

    The symbols will change quickly, so ask a few students to name a symbol each, such as thunder, sunshine, snow and rain.

  4. Show Slide 3.

    The month of April is famous in this country for sunshine and rain. This type of weather is even known as ‘April showers’. We find that it can be sunny one minute, and then raining the next. There can be heavy downpours and strong wind. Summer still seems a long way off! Perhaps – like the news reporter we are about to see in the next video – you get fed up with the rain, and wish for sunnier, warmer days.

  5. Show the YouTube video ‘Reporter vs Puddle’, finishing at 0.30 minutes. Please note that there is swearing in this video, but it has been bleeped out, so it is still suitable for students.

    Oh, dear! Despite her umbrella, that presenter was left wishing for the summer. I’m sure she felt like giving up and going home! So, what is it that causes the unsettled weather during April?

  6. Show Slide 4.

    At this time of year in the UK, we are in a transition period between the long, cold winter months and the warmer seasons of spring and summer. The jet stream starts to move northwards, which can bring the first signs of warmth, but also tends to make our weather more unsettled due to low pressure systems being driven towards the UK. This is why we get rain, showers and strong wind.

  7. There is an old saying dating back to the sixteenth century: ‘April showers bring forth May flowers.’

    Show Slide 5.

    Let’s think for a moment about what that saying means.

    Pause to allow time for thought, and then listen to a range of responses.

  8. The phrase ‘April showers bring forth May flowers’ is saying that the rain and wet weather of April are useful because they help the flowers to grow and bloom. Patience is required, but by the time May arrives, we begin to see these flowers.

  9. Let’s think about situations that we face that might be unpleasant at the time, but bring positive results eventually. In some situations - just like the rain we experience in April - we have to find ways to manage and to make sure that we are prepared. We can see glimpses of progress, but we also need to be patient.

    For those in Years 11 and 13, who are working hard to finish off their GCSE and A Level studies and revising and revisiting learning, it might feel like a never-ending rain cloud! However, that hard work is helping towards a brighter future – success in exams and gaining qualifications.

    Anyone here who represents our school in sports teams will know that the training and practice take dedication and commitment. Turning up for training sessions after school can even involve getting caught in the rain - I’ve seen the Year 9 girls’ football team coming in with very muddy kit after a match! But the bright future of sporting success and increased stamina and fitness is the reward that follows. Patience and trust are required: trusting that summer will arrive and that the hard work will pay off. In this way, trusting that the rain will lead to a brighter future means that we can be ‘singing in the rain’.

  10. The Bible makes a similar point where it talks about positive reward after a time of struggle. In 1 Peter 5.10, the Bible says:

    Show Slide 6.

    ‘And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace . . . will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.’

Time for reflection

Let’s take a moment to think about a situation where we face a challenge. It could be something that is difficult or requires patience, but where - with dedication and endurance - there is reward.

Let’s take a moment to be quiet and still.

Let’s think for a moment about the things that we find difficult about this situation. Where is the challenge for you? What is it that you struggle with?

Pause to allow time for thought.

What will success feel like, when it comes eventually? How do you think you will feel when the rain subsides and you can enjoy the summer? How will you feel when the hard work of studying, practising, waiting and striving pays off?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Let’s also think about the people or things that make it easier for us to trust that a brighter future is coming. Just as when we see a rainbow in a downpour, it reminds us that there is sun as well as rain, who are the people in our life who bring us hope that we can succeed? What helps us to believe that the hard work and patience will be worth it? We take a moment to be grateful for these people and things.

Pause to allow time for thought.

Prayer
Dear God,
In this month of April, when we face unsettled weather, rain and showers,
We remember that life is not always easy and straightforward.
We face challenges and difficulties. We may feel unsettled inside.
It can be hard to see that there is a brighter future coming.
In these times, God, grant us patience and a sense of hope.
Give us people who encourage us to believe.
Help us to see the positives and look for the rainbows around us.
Help us to trust that the hard work and any difficulties that we face will be worth it.
We ask you to strengthen us and establish hope and a sense of your love in us.
Help us to be people who find it possible to ‘sing in the rain’.
Amen.

Publication date: April 2018   (Vol.20 No.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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