David and Samuel - not judging by appearances
This assembly idea looks at how the inside part of our lives (our character) is more important to God than what we look like on the outside.
It links to the story of Samuel choosing David as King – 1 Samuel 16 verses 1-13
You will need a selection of seven different types of cereals and seven bowls; also labels for the boxes and bowls (see below). Try to use lesser-known varieties of cereal.
1. Present the children with a selection of seven bowls, filled with a seven different types of cereals on one table, labelled A to G. On a second table place the containers or boxes for the cereals randomly, labelled 1-7.
Ask some children to see if they can correctly match-up letters and numbers. No tasting is allowed, only looking!
2. Go through the answers. Carry on the discussion by asking questions like:
Which boxes look most exciting? Do the contents always live up to the box’s appearance? Are there some cereals that look better than the box suggests? What tempts you to buy a new cereal? How important is the attractiveness of the outside of the box?
All this could lead on to a discussion of how advertising is designed to tempt us into something!
3. Clearly the outside of a thing is often more attractive than the inside. It is also true that the inside might in fact be tastier and more nourishing for us than the outside of the box suggests!
4. What is true of cereals and other products can also be true of people. What we look like on the outside maybe in fact better than we do on the inside!
Read the story of how Samuel, arriving at Bethlehem for a special worship celebration, visits Jesse and his sons. I Samuel 16 verses 1 - 13.
God had told him that one of these boys was to be the new king. What should Samuel look for? Would it be obvious from the outside? How does Samuel choose David? What is God most concerned about?
Verse 7 is the key of course.
5. In a time of reflection, ask the children to think of ways in which they may have decided wrongly about a person or a situation based on the way things look on the outside. Have they ever been surprised? Use these questions on a screen during a time of quiet:
- I wonder how we can look at people and know what they're really like on the inside?
- I wonder what you are really like on the inside?
- I wonder if you are too bothered with looking good on the outside?
- I wonder what sorts of things tell you about the inside of a person?