Saturday, February 13, 2016

One direction. The problem when we want to go our own way.

An assembly based on Philippians 2.3
(you do not need anything, although it might be helpful to have a power point/image of Philippians 2.3)

Invite about 7 of the older children to come to the front. Ask them to hold hands and form a line. Tell them that they must not let go of the next persons hand. 

Tell the school that you are going to do an experiment. You are going to ask 4 of the children at the front to walk in one direction and three to walk in the other direction. Ask them what will happen. Will the 4 drag the 3, or will the chain break? Where do you think the chain will break?

Usually, when this happens, the chain does break. 

In the bible there is a letter written by Paul. He mentions two women: Euodia and Syntyche. They want to go in opposite directions, and that other people had to decide whether they were with Euodia or Syntyche.

And when that happens:
1. There is a split. And splits multiply. Everybody ends up doing their own thing. There is a telling line in the book of Judges: 'In those days there was no king in Israel and everybody did what they wanted'
2. Splits are painful. Ask the child where the split occurred whether that was true. Did it hurt a bit?
3. It gets lonely
4. You are not as strong on your own
Invite the children to join hands again, but this time tell them to all go in one direction apart from one at the end. They are dragged along by the others 

It is so much better if you pull in one direction. That is true if you are a boy band, a business, a team, class, house, school, family or group of friends. 
Paul in the same letter gives some great advice: 'Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to your own interests, but to the interests of others'.

There is an old story told by the monks. There are two men carrying a long plank of wood. They need to go through a door. The problem is that the man at one end is not prepared to let the man at the other end go first. Why should he? But the man at the other end is not prepared to let the other man go first. Why should he? 
That door is the door to heaven, and because of their pride, ambition and conceit they can never go through. 
What it needs to get through the door is for one of them to humble himself and say to the other, 'It's OK. You can go first'.

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