A fully worked assembly outline is offered here for exploring Love conceptually and theologically using the story of ‘Jesus Healing the Leper’, Mark :1 40-42 for use in whole school or classroom collective worship using the ‘Gather, Inspire, Reflect, Respond, Send’ model.
The clips of ‘The Healing of the leper’ and the related actor viewpoint clips from The Life of Christ stimulate creative thinking and questioning about Jesus’s life and influence, complemented by drama workshops to deepen engagement.
For young people of all ages, seeing actors recreating scenes from the bible, interacting with Jesus and one another brings the stories and their inherent values to life. They see characters listening and responding to Jesus’s teaching and example, making choices and acting upon them, as if they were real people rather than fictional characters.
Dramatized scripture can make the life of Jesus and his influence more accessible, serving as a dynamic stimulus for enabling deeper thinking and exploration. This approach to values learning advocates exploring concepts and theology through drama as a way of exploring and explaining the value. Access Love learning activities including drama workshop material here.
God is love all the time.
All the time God is love.
This greeting using words from 1John 1 in the Bible. Can you find other examples of the way the Bible uses the word love in the Bible and create your own greeting to say or sing at the beginning of the assembly?
See C of E Worship Planner see
Exploring the concept of showing unconditional love or being inclusive
We thought about what key questions we need to ask to help us investigate unconditional love or being inclusive.
For example: What is unconditional love or inclusion? When do you show unconditional love in different situations? What qualities do you need to unconditionally love or include others, yourself and situations? What is difficult about being inclusive? Why is it better to be unconditionally loving rather than excluding? What difference could faith in God make to showing unconditional love? How can the example of Jesus help you learn to be more inclusive and unconditionally loving? What helps you learn to be inclusive?
What does unconditional love mean? (pupil asks the question)
We worked in pairs to write down what we thought unconditional love was before we investigated further. Have a look at our Unconditional Love ‘Wordle’ reflection using the ideas that we came up with. See Wordle Create
We have been investigating how we show unconditional love in different situations? For example: towards ourselves, in our family, with our friends, other situations also how others are values role models
What qualities do you need to show unconditional love? (pupil asks the question)
We thought through real life situations and identified qualities that are needed to be good at showing unconditional love for example compassion, empathy, tolerance self-sacrifice. We considered who our values role models might be. Look at the images we have found of everyday situations as examples of unconditional love and the qualities we need.
What is difficult about showing unconditional love or being inclusive? What does it mean to love conditionally or to be excluding? (pupil asks questions) We thought about some of the challenges involved in showing unconditional love or being inclusive. For example: self-sacrifice and showing empathy. Exclusion and rejection are opposite of the qualities that help us grow unconditional love
What difference can faith in God make to showing unconditional love? (pupil poses question)
Scripture search: we are going to read the bible story of Jesus healing the leper – Mark 1:40-42
Dramatised bible stories. We are now going to show you some of the sources that we have used to enquire about how faith in God can help people be more unconditionally loving:
- film clip of Jesus Healing the Leper which is a dramatized version from The Life of Christ (This can be muted with the Bible reading over the top – timings need rehearsing)
- actor viewpoint clip showing an actor sharing about how the story helps them understand the value more deeply.
Please note: Background information is important here for teacher and pupil – see ‘Patience History and Theology’ Jesus gave his disciples many examples of showing unconditional love to others for example when he healed the leper (See video clips and scripture search)
Values learning through drama: (could also be a video of the drama workshop)
We are now going to show you the drama we created to explain our version of the story and help us all think about how faith can help people show unconditional love and be more inclusive
Be Values Detectives while you watch the drama see if you can meet these values challenges:
- Which characters show unconditional love?
- What evidence is there for inclusion?
- What evidence is there for how faith in God helps people show unconditional love
- What lessons from this drama could you apply to your everyday lives at home and at school?
Look at the Values detective challenges on the screen and be quiet and still for a moment to think about the evidence you found in the drama for answering these questions. What examples can your think of from your everyday life at home and at school where you can apply the lessons from this story?
Song: on the theme of unconditional love or being inclusive
Look at the prayers that have been suggested as guidelines only on the unconditional love theme. Pupils individually or in pairs write their own prayers and choose one to use in the assembly.
you opened wide your arms on the cross
to embrace the whole world with your love.
Open our eyes to see other people
with that same unconditional love
and our hands to respond with your compassion. Amen
you reached out to bring healing to a leper.
Help us to accept those we find it difficult to like,
Showing that your love has no boundaries. Amen