All Around Us
A protective fence
by Janice Ross
Suitable for Key Stage 3
To consider God as our protector.
Preparation and materials
- You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (All Around Us) and the means to display them.
- Explain that you are going to show the students a series of pictures. Ask the students to discuss what the pictures have in common and what their purpose is.
Show Slides 1 to 7.
- The simple answer is that the pictures show different types of fence. However, encourage the students to discuss the purpose of the fences. Lead them towards the word ‘protection’.
- Point out that most fences are there to provide protection of some sort. It might be to keep intruders out, protect newly seeded grass, stop snow drifts and so on.
- Read, or ask a student to read, the Bible passage in Matthew 6.25-34.
‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
‘And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’
- Remind the students that Jesus often taught his followers by telling stories or using pictorial language. In this passage, he uses the imagery of birds and flowers to help his listeners to understand his teaching.
- Show Slide 8.
Jesus asks the people to look at the birds of the air. There are so many birds all over the world. They don’t worry about storing up food for tomorrow, or next month. They don’t worry about next year. Jesus explains that God sees to it that they have food to eat and that he can take care of people too.
- Show Slide 9.
Jesus also asks the people to look at the lilies in the field. He points out that they are beautiful, even though they don’t work hard all day trying to look that way. Jesus points out that his father gives the flowers beauty and that the people are beautiful too.
- Point out that we often worry about many things. In this passage, Jesus is encouraging people to remember that God really does care for them.
Time for reflection
Show Slide 10.
Explain that the picture shows a sheepfold. In Jesus’ time, sheep would take shelter in a sheepfold like this, huddled together from the cold and protected from animals that might attack them. The wall surrounded them and protected them. Jesus told the disciples that they were to think of him like a good shepherd who would sit at the gate of the sheepfold, watching over his flock.
Show Slide 11.
Christians believe that God wants to be like a hedge of protection around us, or like that stone wall. They believe that people are important to God and, just like the birds and the lilies, he wants to care for us.
‘The Lord’s my shepherd’ by Stuart Townend, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pN4tPkX0MG0 (4.03 minutes long)