A simple response story that can be ‘acted out’ by the whole school simultaneously.
You’ll need a big roll of paper, like wallpaper lining paper, and a marker pen.
Say that you want to write down what today’s assembly is all about. Try to spread out the roll of paper so that you can write on it. Indulge in a little slapstick as the paper pings back into a roll and you get more and more annoyed, trying to spread it out and keep it in place.
In the end, realise the solution: ‘Aha! I need someone to HELP me’. Ask two of the children to come and hold the paper in place while you write on it: ‘We help others’. Ask them to hold it up and ask the school what it says. Say it out loud together, as you point at the words on by one.
Say that Jesus told a story about helping each other.
Here is a very simple retelling of the story with actions or sounds that the children can join in with as you tell the story.
Once upon a time there was a man who was walking along the road from Jerusalem to Jericho.
Walking action with arms.
Suddenly, he was attacked by a band of robbers.
They beat him up, stripped him of his clothes, stole all his money and left him half-dead by the side of the road.
In a weak voice, call ‘Help! Help!‘
A priest from the Temple in Jerusalem happened to be walking along the same road.
Same walking action with arms as before, but make the priest seem fatter with a bigger, fatter action.
He saw the man.
And what did he do? He walked by on the other side of the road.
Fatter walking action again.
Then along came a man who helped in the Temple in Jerusalem.
Same walking action but thinner.
He saw the man too.
And what did he do? He too walked by on the other side of the road.
Thinner walking action again.
Then along came a Samaritan:
Hold nose in disgust as if the Samaritan is a disgusting person to be near.
The people Jesus was telling this story to, they didn’t like Samaritans.
He came along on his donkey.
Make donkey ears and say ‘Hee-haw!‘
He saw the man.
And what did the Samaritan do?
Hold nose in disgust.
He had pity on the man, went over to him, poured soothing oil and wine on his wounds…
Pouring on arm and smoothing with hand .
And bandaged them up.
Then he lifted him on to his donkey.
Lift – it‘s a real effort so say ‘urrgg‘ – then ‘hee-haw‘ as the donkey takes the weight.
And took him to a hotel and took care of him.
The next day he took out some money…
Hold out hand.
And gave it to the hotel manager, saying, ‘Look after this man, and next time I come I’ll pay you for any extra costs.’
Then Jesus asked: Which of the three men was the best at helping others?
Was it the priest?
Was it the helper in the Temple?
Or was it the Samaritan that people didn’t like?
Yes, it was the Samaritan…
the one that people didn’t like… who helped the man.
To say truthfully ‘We help each other’ we need to be like the Samaritan ready to help anyone in need, not just the people we like, the people like us, but anyone who needs help.
Jesus ended the story by saying: ‘Now you go and do the same’.
Let’s say that together: ‘Now you go and do the same’.
Give yourselves a clap.
Now think about who you could help today for a moment in silence:
- Is there someone in your class or in the playground who might really need some kind help?
Try to keep your eyes ‘open’ for a chance to help that person today. You could be a Good Samaritan.
Dear God, there are times when we need help from others, and times when others need help from us. Help us always to be ready to help each other, even people we don’t like, as Jesus taught us. Amen.