My latest two assemblies are, to me, what represent what being a Christian is all about. They are both use terms introduced by Jesus and are instinctively true for us all. The first is "The Golden Rule" and the second "Going the extra mile". In the Golden Rule assembly I ask children to decide from a list of rules which ones they consider serious and those they reckon are silly. They range from "Don't help someone on a Saturday" to "Do not bully". The children all know the correct answers to these - I suggest not because they have been taught, but because deep down we all know and intuit these things in our hearts. The last rule given is more debatable: "Tidy your bedroom" - They are not all so agreed about that one!
We then look at 3 instances where Jesus breaks the "silly" rules of the religious elites: Healing on the Sabbath; Picking corn on the Sabbath; Eating with so called "unclean" people. It is his non-compliance with the system which ultimately leads to the Cross and even then He keeps the Golden Rule (Do to others what you would want them to do for you) when he cried "Father forgive them for they know not what they do". This to me is why Jesus excels - he not only taught the Golden Rule but lived it, died for it and demonstrated it in his death.
This Golden Rule is the one supreme and all embracing rule of all. If we keep that one rule we will in effect be keeping all the other beneficial rules in school and society. It is the rule above all other rules. If you wikippedia it you will find at least 25 philosophies, religions and ideologies agree. But how do we keep it? The truth is the Golden Rule may be SIMPLE but it is not EASY! I illustrate this by using the pre-computer game BOPIT. Only 3 simple commands (Bop it, twist it, and pull it) but so hard to do when a child comes out and competes with me (and often wins!).
Now if The Golden Rule we know is all important and it is not easy to keep then how are we to keep it when it is most difficult - ie when someone upsets us and we know we should respond kindly. At this stage I bring out my pet squeeky puppet bird and tell the children that this puppet (called btw Russel Crow whose wife Cheryl cannot be with him today) will do exactly as I ask him like fly across the room to land on Lucy's head (If Lucy doesn't mind). After a long drawn out affair we decide Russel needs a helping hand - my life inside him. And so God gives us his spirit to live the life of Jesus. The Bible tells us that God has put his Spirit in our hearts (Romans 5).
And so we conclude the universality of the Golden Rule, it's simplicity but difficulty and finally the truth that God is always present to help us.
Following on now lets look at "Going the Extra Mile"