Christian Resources for Worship in Schools

Opening Activity: First Impressions

Take a can of Lynx Deodorant! Talk about the advert slogan ‘Because first impressions count.’ It’s a well known, well used phrase. We make all kinds of assumptions about people (how they dress, how they look, how they speak, etc) and we often get the wrong impression of them! Sometimes first impressions do count but what really lies beneath the surface? Can we actually tell what someone is like from the first impressions we get? Sometimes, we need to get to know someone a bit better before we really say what they are like. Perhaps we get influenced by other people’s opinions about a certain person. Is this right? (Perhaps show various photographs of different kinds of people and ask the young people what their first impressions are of them. Go for pictures where people may be stereotyped. Reflect on their answers).

Our Impression of Jesus
There are different ways of looking at Jesus. Lots of people have many different opinions about him. It was the same two thousand years ago too. Even those who met Jesus in the flesh didn’t believe what some people believed. Some people couldn’t cope with the claims that were being made about him. Tell them the story of the Transfiguration. On the mountain, his three apostles saw the secret of who Jesus is. They saw him as divine. For a while now they had journeyed with him and knew that there was something special about him. And I expect they still had lots of questions about him. They may still have had some doubts. But now they really knew what he was all about. If you were to take the first impression of Jesus—as a baby in a manger you may think ‘Well there’s nothing special about him—he’s just an ordinary looking child, born in the cold, crying and needing to be fed like any other baby, laughing, learning to talk, growing up and experiencing life—like any other baby. The story of the Transfiguration shows us that Jesus is Divine. That he is God in the flesh: the beloved Son of the Father.

Being filled with Awe!
The three apostles on the mountain were awestruck. They had seen such a beautiful, wonderful vision. In fact, they didn’t want the moment to end. Have you ever experience a moment of awe and wonder? Have you ever been bowled over by an experience or something you’ve seen? Were you dumbstruck? Did your stomach turn? Were you wide eyed? Jesus, too, should fill us with awe and wonder. After all, he is not just an ordinary man who happened to do good things. He is God among us, God in the flesh. He has come down to our level in order to raise our eyes to heaven. He has shown us the true value of things. Try to look for the wonder in things, in the miracles around us, in people and places, in the natural world, in our daily lives. There is so much to be in awe of, so much to have a sense of reverence for.

Reflection
Have we ever been awestruck?
What fills us with wonder?
Do we get bogged down by the mundane or can we see wonder in everything?
What do we think about Jesus? What is our opinion?
Does he fill us with wonder?

Prayer
God, help us to see Jesus as he really is.
Give us a sense of awe and wonder.
Help us to see the amazing value of even the littlest of things.
Amen.

You may need:
A can of Lynx Deodorant

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Hope Assembly

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