To rejoice after Easter
To examine mixed, unexpected emotions
A P.E. bench, a manger, a wooden boat. a cross
Just after Easter
The three children acting as the trees can stand
on a low P.E. bench to raise them up as they grow.
1. Good morning. In the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Today's assembly is about rejoicing.
2. The word rejoice means to feel great
joy - or to celebrate.
3. We are very good at celebrating. We
celebrate on many occasions: like: birthdays, weddings and
christenings, like when a baby is born, like when we make our first
Holy Communion, like when we pass exams, like when we get a job.
4. These occasions make us happy. We
celebrate to show people that we are happy - and to share some of our
joy with them.
5. An occasion we have just celebrated is
Easter. We celebrate at Easter because Jesus died for us on the cross -
and then rose again, showing that he was God.
He then encouraged the Apostles to set up the Church - to teach people
the good news about God's love for them.
6. At Easter, Christians rejoice about
this. The Church tells us that it is good to celebrate, but we should
keep in mind what we are celebrating.
7. In fact, it is still Easter. Easter
lasts for a few weeks, so we are still celebrating.
8. About 2000 years ago, the friends of
Jesus were also celebrating. They were rejoicing. Their friend Jesus
had died, but had come back to life.
9. Of course, the friends of Jesus were
also a bit scared and confused. No one had ever died on a cross and
then come back to life.
10. We sometimes have mixed emotions too.
We can feel joyful, while at the same time being a bit anxious or
confused about the future for example.
11. We have a play for you now, about
three trees. In this play some trees have mixed emotions. Of course,
trees cannot really speak, nor feel happy or sad, but in this play we
are going to pretend that they can.
NARRATOR1: Once upon a time, in a forest,
three young trees were growing side by side. As they grew, they became
close friends. They used to talk to each other. They often spoke about
what they would like to be when they grew up and became big, strong
NARRATOR 2: The first tree said,
FIRST TREE: When I grow up, I would like
to be part of a big, expensive hotel. I would like rich and famous
people to stay at the hotel. I would like them to admire the colour and
grain of my wood. Then I would be really happy.
NARRATOR 2: The second tree said,
SECOND TREE: When I grow up, I would like
to be made into the tall mast of an elegant sailing ship. I would like
to sail all over the world. Then I would be really happy.
NARRATOR 2: The third tree said,
THIRD TREE: When I grow up, I would like
to be part of a great tower. I would like the tower to be so high that
people all over the world would see it and marvel at it. Then I would
be really happy.
NARRATOR 3: So the three young trees
dreamed. Eventually, after many years, the trees grew up. They were
very excited. Now they would be cut down and made into something
splendid. However, things did not go the way that the trees had
NARRATOR 4: The first tree did not become
part of a big hotel. Instead, some of its wood was made into a simple
manger. Hay was put into the manger for animals to eat. Then, one day,
a baby was born - and was laid in the manger by his mother Mary. The
tree had not expected this. It felt proud and full of joy. It had
become part of the first Christmas.
NARRATOR 5: The second tree did not become
the tall mast of an elegant ship. Instead, it was made into a humble
fishing boat, like many others on the Sea of Galilee. One day, it
carried Jesus and some of his friends. The tree had not expected this.
It felt proud and full of joy.
NARRATOR 6: The third tree did not become
part of a tall tower. Instead, it was made into a cross. It was used to
crucify Jesus of Nazareth. The tree had not expected this. It felt sad
However, on the third day, Jesus came back to life. The tree felt
honoured - and was full of joy at having been part of this great event
- an event so great that, 2000 years later, people are still talking
12. So each tree ended up doing something
different but important.
We can all do important things, in our own different ways.
One important thing we could all try to do, at this time of year, is to
show people how Christians should live, especially as the Church was
set up just after Easter.
13. In a way, the Church itself is like a
tree. It began very small and has grown bigger and bigger over 2000
years - and is still growing.
14. Dear Jesus, a tiny seed can grow into
a mighty tree. You started out with just a few friends and now you have
millions of people who love you and follow you all over the world.
The tree of your friends is still growing and we are part of that tree
Thank you, Jesus.
15. We will now say the prayer that Jesus
taught us. Our Father...
16. Now we will sing 'The Tree of Life'.