Ethos Education

Rise of the Guardians: The Centre of the Son

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Assembly Objective:

  • Why is Christmas a time of ‘goodwill to all’? This assembly explores the Bible’s teaching about the character of Jesus Christ and the idea that God’s ‘centre’ is love. (Particularly suitable for Christmas.)

Film:

  • Rise of the Guardians (DreamWorks, 2013). Click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible: 

Supporting Values Education:

  • The value of Individual Liberty affirms each person’s right to self-determination, but the values of Democracy, Respect and Tolerance call us to live as part of a community. This assembly encourages pupils to consider what they can choose to do with their lives that will make a difference to others.

OPENING ACTIVITY

Love at Christmas (creative thinking)

  • Invite the children to think of any words they associate with ‘Christmas’. Encourage them to think about objects, people, places, emotions, etc. Then, ask the children which words they associate with ‘love’. You could write this activity up on a board as you go, or just do it verbally. Finally, ask the children if they can find any links between Christmas and love (for example, people give Christmas gifts to people who they love).

FILM CLIP

  • Play the clip from Rise of the Guardians (DreamWorks, 2013) certificate PG.
    • Start time: 23:48 (Santa Claus opens the door to his office and he and Jack Frost enter it, beginning of chapter five)
    • End time: 25:42 (Santa Claus says, ‘It is what makes me a guardian. It is my centre’)
    • Clip length: 1 minute and 54 seconds
  • If you cannot play the film clip, you could read the description below instead, ideally with a matryoshka doll to hand to show the children what it looks like:
  • Santa Claus brings Jack Frost into his office, an office filled with ice sculpture, candles and toy aeroplanes. Jack looks around in amazement, but Santa is not in the mood for games. He wants to know what Jack’s centre is. ‘My centre?’ Jack asks, clearly confused. Santa wants to discover what is inside Jack, what makes him special. To help Jack understand, Santa throws him a matryoshka doll. It looks just like Santa – big and intimidating. But, when Jack opens the matryoshka, he sees that inside is another doll, which looks downright jolly! Inside that doll is another one that looks mysterious, then one that looks fearless, then one that looks caring. And finally, at the centre, there is a tiny doll that has very big eyes – eyes that are full of wonder. This is Santa Claus’ centre. He is full of wonder.

TALK

Download The Centre of the Son Assembly Powerpoint for use with this talk.

Scripted Talk

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Hello everyone and welcome to our assembly. With Christmas coming, we’re going to have a think about a very special person. Can anyone guess who? [Take suggestions.]
    • I need some brave volunteers. [Choose between two and four volunteers, depending on the number of flip charts (or equivalent – large sheets of paper stuck to the wall will work just as well) you have available.] You have a minute to draw a picture of what you think Jesus looks like. [Give them a minute, then praise their efforts, commenting on how each one is different.]
    • Now I’d like everyone’s help. We’ve thought about what Jesus looks like on the outside. Now we’re going to think about what he was like on the inside. We’re going to write some describing words on one of these pictures. I’ll start us off: Jesus was caring. Who can tell me something else about what Jesus was like? [Take suggestions – good, kind, fair, wise, powerful, etc.]
    • We’re going to watch a clip now from a movie called Rise of the Guardians.
    • Rise of the Guardians (DreamWorks, 2013) certificate PG.
      • Start time: 23:48 (Santa Claus opens the door to his office and he and Jack Frost enter it, beginning of chapter 5)
      • End time: 25:42 (Santa Claus says, ‘It is what makes me a guardian. It is my centre’)
      • Clip length: 1 minute and 54 seconds
    • If you cannot play the film clip, you could read the description below instead, ideally with a matryoshka doll to hand to show the children what it looks like:
    • Santa Claus brings Jack Frost into his office, an office filled with ice sculpture, candles and toy aeroplanes. Jack looks around in amazement, but Santa is not in the mood for games. He wants to know what Jack’s centre is. ‘My centre?’ Jack asks, clearly confused. Santa wants to discover what is inside Jack, what makes him special. To help Jack understand, Santa throws him a matryoshka doll. It looks just like Santa – big and intimidating. But, when Jack opens the matryoshka, he sees that inside is another doll, which looks downright jolly! Inside that doll is another one that looks mysterious, then one that looks fearless, then one that looks caring. And finally, at the centre, there is a tiny doll that has very big eyes – eyes that are full of wonder. This is Santa Claus’ centre. He is full of wonder.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • A matryoshka doll (also known as a Russian nesting doll) is a set of wooden dolls that get smaller and smaller, and which fit inside one another. At first you see only a big doll, then you open it up and discover another, smaller doll. Then you open that up and discover another smaller doll, and so on until you find a tiny doll in the centre.
    • Did you see how the matryoshka doll showed us what Santa Claus was like?
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Christians believe that – just as those dolls showed us what Santa was like in the film – Jesus shows us what God is like in real life. This is because Jesus is God’s son, so he is just like God. So, if we work out what Jesus’s centre is, then we will know what God’s centre is too.
    • Let’s have a think about what Jesus’s centre might be. When people look at Jesus they see lots of different things.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Perhaps we only ever think of Jesus as a baby in a manger because that’s how we celebrate him at Christmas. Or perhaps we just see him as a man with long hair and white robes. That may (or may not) be true, but if we get to know him a little, we will see that there is more to this man than a big beard! According to the Bible, Jesus was also …
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • A wise teacher. He taught his followers to love one another, to obey God and to forgive people.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • But he wasn’t just a good preacher; he was a good person. Jesus was a compassionate activist. He fed the hungry, encouraged the weary and provided for the poor.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • Not just that. Jesus was a powerful miracle-maker. He healed the sick, walked on water and even brought the dead back to life.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • But what is Jesus’s centre? What was he born for? What is it that makes Christians believe that he is the greatest guardian in the world?
  • Read 1 John 4:8-10 [PowerPoint slide 9]:
    • ‘God is love. How did God show his love for us? He sent his one and only Son into the world. He sent him so we could receive life through him.  What is love? It is not that we loved God. It is that he loved us and sent his Son to give his life to pay for our sins.’
    • What do you think is the centre of God and the centre of Jesus? [Take suggestions – love.]
  • [PowerPoint slide 10]
    • Jesus entered our world as a little baby and as he grew up into a man he showed us that God is wise, God is compassionate, God is powerful and that God is love.
    • At the centre of Jesus and at the centre of God is love. The Bible says that Jesus came to bring us into God’s love – to make us friends with God. This is what Christians celebrate at Christmas.

Headings and Bullets

  • Introduction [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Welcome.
    • Drawing activity: What do you think Jesus looks like?
    • Describing activity: What do you think Jesus was like on the inside?
    • Play the clip from Rise of the Guardians (DreamWorks, 2013) certificate PG.
      • Start time: 23:48 (Santa Claus opens the door to his office and he and Jack Frost enter it, beginning of chapter 5)
      • End time: 25:42 (Santa Claus says, ‘It is what makes me a guardian. It is my centre’)
      • Clip length: 1 minute and 54 seconds
    • Matryoshka of Santa [PowerPoint slide 2]
      • Description of a matryoshka doll.
      • Did you see how the matryoshka doll showed us what Santa Claus was like?
      • Christians believe that Jesus shows us what God is like because he is God’s son.
      • If we work out what Jesus’s centre is, then we will know what God’s centre is.
    • Jesus, the matryoshka of God [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • [PowerPoint slide 4]
      • Perhaps we only ever think of Jesus as a baby or as a man with long hair and white robes. If we get to know him a little, we will see that there is more to this man …
    • [PowerPoint slide 5]
      • Jesus, the wise teacher.
    • [PowerPoint slide 6]
      • Jesus, the compassionate activist.
    • [PowerPoint slide 7]
      • Jesus, the powerful miracle-maker.
    • [PowerPoint slide 8]
      • But what is Jesus’s centre?
    • Read 1 John 4:8-10 [PowerPoint slide 9]
      • What is Jesus’s centre?
        • What do you think is the centre of God and the centre of Jesus?
    • [PowerPoint slide 10]
      • Jesus entered our world as a little baby and as he grew up into a man he showed us that God is wise, compassionate, powerful and that God is love.
      • At the centre of Jesus and at the centre of God is love, and Jesus came to bring us into God’s love. This is what Christians celebrate at Christmas.

Photo Copyright for The Centre of the Son Assembly PowerPoint: Slide 1 Dreamworks Animation / Slide 2 Public Domain / Slide 3-8 and 10 Fanghong / Slide 9 iStockphoto.com


RESPOND

Reflection

  • What comes into your mind when you think about the word love? [Take suggestions – marriage, hearts, flowers, hugs, etc.]
  • At Christmas time, many of us enjoy the love of our family and friends. How do these people show us their love at Christmas? [Take suggestions – giving us gifts, cooking us food, spending time playing with us, giving us hugs, etc.]
  • The Bible tells us that Jesus was born with a special mission: to show us God’s love. Jesus did this by teaching people, by helping people, by doing miracles. But most of all, he showed God’s love by dying on a cross. As we read earlier from the Bible: ‘What is love? It is not that we loved God. It is that he loved us and sent his Son to give his life to pay for our sins.’
  • Jesus died to pay for all of the bad things we have done and all the bad things we will ever do. Because of Jesus’s death, God forgives us for all of them! If we want to, we can now be friends with God, and enjoy his love all year round.

Prayer

  • I’m going to say a prayer to Jesus now. If you’d like to join in, then simply say ‘Amen’ at the end. ‘Amen’ means ‘I agree’, so listen carefully to check whether you agree with what I’m saying.
  • Dear Jesus, thank you for coming to Earth as a baby all those years ago. Thank you for showing us what God is like: that he is wise, compassionate and powerful, and that his centre is love. This Christmas, please show us more of God’s love, so that we can really enjoy it! Amen.

Respond Later

Jesus, God’s son (follow-up activity)

  • Invite the children to draw a series of pictures that show the different parts of Jesus’s character, which were mentioned in the assembly. You could provide them with four or five matryoshka-style outlines, decreasing in size, which they can fill with appropriate expressions (like in the film clip). Alternatively, they could divide a page into four squares and draw scenes in each like a comic strip. It might be helpful to give them some suggestions of scenes from the Bible that display each part of Jesus’s character. Here are some suggestions from the gospel of Mark:
  • Jesus, the Wise: Jesus teaches the Pharisees what is truly unclean (Mark 7:1-7, 20-23); Jesus teaches his disciples to be humble (Mark 9:33-37).
  • Jesus, the Compassionate: Jesus heals a dead girl and a sick woman (Mark 5:21-43); Jesus feeds the five thousand (Mark 6:30-44).
  • Jesus, the Powerful: Jesus calms the storm (Mark 4:35-41); Jesus walks on the water (Mark 6:45-51).
  • Jesus, the Loving: Jesus reveals the greatest commandment (Mark 12:28-31); Jesus advises the rich young man (Mark 10:17-21).

YOU WILL NEED:

  1. Rise of the Guardians (DreamWorks, 2013). Click here to buy the DVD online (or a matryoshka doll).
  2. The Centre of the Son Assembly PowerPoint.
  3. Board and marker for the Love at Christmas opening activity.
  4. Paper (with matryoshka-style outlines – optional) and pencils for the Jesus, God’s son follow-up activity.

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