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Back to Our Senses 4: Touch

To reflect on the importance of touch

by Helen Redfern

Suitable for Key Stage 3

Aims

To reflect on the importance of touch.

Preparation and materials

This is the fourth in a series of five assemblies looking at Jesus’ response to our senses.

You will need:

  • to prepare a ‘feely bag’ with ten everyday items in it (e.g. toothbrush, nail brush, wooden spoon, pencil sharpener, book of stamps, bar of chocolate, cuddly toy, credit card, stone, tie).

  • You could also prepare ten cut-out hand shapes which should be taped under ten random chairs before the assembly.

Bible reading

Mark 3.1-6.

Assembly

             Introduction

  1. Isn’t it great to be able to touch? The familiar fur of your favourite teddy bear, the soft skin of a baby, the bubbles on your skin in the bath, the sand under your feet … the list goes on and on.
  2. Imagine not being able to touch – the world would become a completely different place without the sense of touch.
  3. Most of us take being able to touch for granted, but just how often do we even think about experiencing things through touch?

    Interactive exercise

  4. Have a ‘feely bag’ at the front with your ten very different everyday items in. Get the children to look under their chairs where ten will find a hand shape (which you have taped there earlier), or else you could just pick ten volunteers.
  5. Get these children to come up and feel something in the bag and guess what it is, before revealing it to the volunteers and the audience. (To increase the entertainment value you could substitute some items which feel rather more unsettling, e.g. some cooked spaghetti to feel like worms, some peeled grapes to feel like eyeballs, etc. – be creative, the more disgusting the better!)
  6. When you have finished, thank them and send them back to their seats.
  7. Our sense of touch is very important to us. Jesus thought so too. On one occasion, while he was on the earth, he thought it was so important that he was prepared to do something on the Sabbath that would upset the religious leaders.
  8. Let’s read about that together.

    Bible story

  9. Read Mark 3.1–6.
  10. Jesus knew how important it would be for this man to have his sense of touch restored. He wanted to help and was angry at those who were out to criticise him when he was doing something fantastic for this man in need.
  11. Touching with our hands is important, but the Bible also says we can touch one another even more deeply at a spiritual level.

Time for reflection

Reflection:

 

Spiritual touch

Sometimes we use our hands to drop litter, spoil someone else’s work, break someone else’s things.

Other times, we draw a beautiful picture, tidy our room or garden, do our best in a piece of work.

May our hands be amazing hands.

May our touch be a special touch of creating, not destroying.

Sometimes we use our hands to cling tightly to our possessions, grab the best of everything, keep all that we have for ourselves.

Other times, we share what we have, give generously, let our friends borrow our things.

May our hands be open hands.

May our touch be a special touch of giving, not grabbing.

Sometimes we use our hands to push and shove in a queue, punch our brother, throw a book at our sister.

Other times, we put a hand on the shoulder of a friend who is crying, shake hands with the opposition after a match, help someone up when they have fallen down.

May our hands be caring hands.

May our touch be a special touch of friendship, not anger.

 

May our hands be amazing hands.

May our hands be open hands.

May our hands be caring hands.

May our touch be a special touch.

(Based on 1 Timothy 6.17–19, Hebrews 13.1–5)

 

Prayer:

Thank you, Father God, for the gift of touch.

Help us not to take it for granted but to enjoy all that feels so wonderful in the world around us.

Show us how we can bring your loving touch to the world in which we live. In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

Hymn

‘He's got the whole world' (Come and Praise, 19)

Publication date: June 2005   (Vol.7 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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