To learn about suffering and self-sacfrifice
To hear about the cure of the centurion's servant
A display of newspaper cuttings about recent
tragic or sad events. The children could be asked to look for these.
Some posters painted by the children, or from organisations such as
Oxfam, showing hardship.
These can be displayed at the front or around the hall.
Any, or just after Easter
1. Good morning. Please join us in the first verse of "Take
My Hands" by Sebastian Temple (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number
If you have looked around the hall you have probably guessed what our
assembly is about. Most of the pictures and newspaper cuttings are sad
ones - sad because they show people suffering.
probably know by now that everyone suffers, at least in some small way,
nearly every day. For example, have you ever felt like the person in
this picture? (Show a picture and explain it.)
have you ever walked to school with a blister?
have you ever forgotten your homework, or your lunch, or P.E. kit?
have you ever wanted some clothes or a game which was too expensive for
your parents to buy?
examples can be added here. The children can supply these beforehand.)
have you ever been punished for something you didn't do?
How did you feel? Did you accept it as a punishment for something you
had done in the past, which had gone unnoticed? Did you try to protect
the real culprit?
course, suffering may be the result of several different causes. It can
be caused by accidents, like the disasters we see on the News, such as
the tsunami in 2004. (Replace this with a recent disaster.) People die
or are injured. They suffer, and so do their families and friends.
suffering is caused by greed or selfishness. This is actually one of
the most common causes of suffering. The fact that it is deliberate can
make it harder to bear.
This sort of suffering is most obvious when it is widespread - like the
hunger of people who live in developing countries.
But it is also a reason for unhappiness in our own community. When we
are greedy or selfish, then someone else has to go without. They
suffer. For example, when we use more than our fair share of school
there is a third sort of suffering we should look at. This is
different, because the suffering is voluntary. It is a sacrifice made
by one person for someone else or for a group of people. Jesus of
course is the supreme example of this. He gave his life for us, so that
we would suffer less in the future. He showed us how to make sacrifices.
we are not suggesting that everyone should give their life like Jesus
did, but everyone can follow his example in a small way.
Just think for a moment of someone you know who is suffering. What can
you do to help them?
Jesus was on earth, he helped lots of suffering people. People who were
unhappy sinners, like Zacchaeus and Matthew. And people who were ill
like: the ten lepers, blind and deaf people, and even someone who had
The cure of the centurion's servant is an interesting Bible story,
because Jesus wasn't actually with the sick person when he cured him.
Listen to what happened.
or mime Matthew 8. 5-13)
story shows us that Jesus helps all those who need him, even if they
think he is not present. Of course we know that Jesus is everywhere.
Much of the time now he works through us. There is a prayer that
reminds us of this:
Christ has no body on earth but ours, no hands but ours, no feet but
ours. Ours are the eyes through which Christ's compassion looks out on
the world. Ours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good.
Ours are the hands with which he is to bless men now.
our body and all our senses really belong to God. We can use them to do
God's work. We can make sacrifices. We can be generous with our time
and the lives and abilities which God gave us.
Recently, we have collected money for (name) charity. We do not know
the people who we are helping, but we do know we are helping to ease
Take our hands. We give them to you, Lord. Prepare them for the service
of your name. Open them to human need and by their love they'll sow
your seed, so all may know the love and hope you give. Amen.
will now sing the whole of "Take My Hands" by Sebastian Temple
(Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 676).