Dedication - what a load of differences!

KS1, KS2RE, Collective Worship
Here's a storytelling way of presenting the call of the disciples. The fact that Jesus chose each one of them with all their differences is so important and becomes the model of the new family that Christians know as the kingdom of God.

Introduction

For Christians, following Jesus is sometimes compared to setting out on a journey or embarking on a race through life. There are several Bible passages that pick up on this theme (see Bible passages with a sports theme). But how does that journey start? The following idea explores the story of the call of the disciples.

Preparation

Here's a storytelling way of presenting the call of the disciples that involves the whole class or the whole school in collective worship. What an amazingly different bunch of people the disciples were! The fact that Jesus chose each one of them with all their differences is so important and becomes the model of the new family that Christians know as the kingdom of God.

The Bible stories about Jesus choosing the disciples can be found in Matthew 10:1 - 4, Mark 3:13 - 19 and Luke 6:12 - 16. The call of the first four disciples is given in Matthew 4: 18 - 22 and Mark 1:16 - 20. See The Barnabas Children's Bible (story 257: The four fishermen) for a retelling of this story.

Development

Here is a script for presenting the call of the twelve disciples:

What a load of differences we have here this morning!

  • Different faces, different smiles.
  • Different names, different hairstyles.
  • Different eye colour, different shoe sizes.
  • Different heights, different widths(!)
  • Different voices, different talents.
  • Different characters, different personalities.

It's too much... too many... too scary! I much prefer it when people are more like me. When they wear the same sort of clothes, have names I know, are more my size and share my ideas. But the truth is we are all unique and different: different interests, different tastes, different opinions, different habits. What on earth are we all doing here today under the same roof? The world must think we're very strange! But here's the reason why.

Once upon a time, Jesus was faced by a load of differences:

  • Some were young and some were old.
  • Some were clever and some were not so clever.
  • Some were easily confused and some were very strong-minded.
  • Some were talented and some could only do one thing.
  • Some were angry and some were peaceful.
  • Some were suspicious and some were over-enthusiastic.

But Jesus knew he needed them all in his world-changing team. Each time Jesus chose someone to follow him, the others said:

We don't need you.

But Jesus said:

Oh yes, we do!

(Rehearse this with your group so that one-half of the class or assembly calls out We don't need you and the other half shouts out Oh yes, we do! These responses are needed at various points in the story.)

Jesus chose hot-headed, loud-mouthed, never-stop-to-think-about-it Peter.

And the others said: We don't need you.

But Jesus said: Oh yes, we do!

Jesus chose angel-faced, quick-to-smile, far-too-young-looking John.

And the others said: We don't need you.

But Jesus said: Oh yes, we do!

Jesus chose quick-eyed, clever-in-class, good-at-languages Andrew.

And the others said: We don't need you.

But Jesus said: Oh yes, we do!

Jesus chose grumpy-faced, stick-in-the-mud, 'I don't believe it!' Nathaniel.

And the others said: We don't need you.

But Jesus said: Oh yes, we do!

Jesus chose very-excitable, won't-ever-give-up, always-in-a-rush Philip.

And the others said: We don't need you.

But Jesus said: Oh yes, we do!

Jesus chose thoroughly-nice, his-mummy-loves-him, he'll-go-far James.

And the others said: We don't need you.

But Jesus said: Oh yes, we do!

Jesus chose good-at-maths, rather-selfish, 'I'll do anything to succeed' Matthew.

And the others said: We don't need you.

But Jesus said: Oh yes, we do!

Jesus chose never-trusting, always-doubting, 'I'm-not-sure-about-this' Thomas.

And the others said: We don't need you.

But Jesus said: Oh yes, we do!

Jesus chose not-very-strong, easily-overlooked, 'I'm-too-small' James.

And the others said: We don't need you.

But Jesus said: Oh yes, we do!

Jesus chose temper-losing, tantrum-throwing, 'I'll smash your face in' Simon.

And the others said: We don't need you.

But Jesus said: Oh yes, we do!

Jesus chose very impatient, money-loving, 'I'll-do-it-my-way' Judas.

And the others said: We don't need you.

But Jesus said: Oh yes, we do!

And, finally, Jesus chose nobody-special, easily-overlooked, 'what's his name?' Jude.

And the others said: We don't need you.

But Jesus said: Oh yes, we do!

Yes, Jesus chose each one of these twelve disciples, with all their load of differences. And they became a great team. They became great friends working together.

The twelve disciples became a team that changed the world (with just one substitute before extra time!). Christians believe that God can bring all differences together, to help everyone become the best they can be, and so that together they can change the world.

Acknowledgements

Photo by aquachara on Unsplash