Thursday, 17 June 2010

The Wheat and the Weeds – KS 1 & 2 – SEAL theme Changes - Patience

The beginning of this assembly is rather specific to our school. It could simply begin with the comparison of grasses in para 3.The children who had grown the sweet peas were very glad, however, that I had noticed their efforts.

Every time I have come into school for the last month or so I have noticed the pots growing on the decking by the entrance. One of the classes has been growing some plants there. I love gardening, and I sort of recognise the plants there. I can see that they are something in the “pea” family, from the shape of the leaves and the tendrils on the plant. But I don’t know if they are sweet peas (show OHP picture), which we grow because they have got beautiful flowers that smell nice, or whether they are the kind of peas you can eat for your dinner (Show some edible pea plant shoots from home – they look the same). It’s important to know the difference, though because you can’t eat sweet peas – they would upset your stomach if you did.

I’ve watched as they have grown bigger and bigger, and tried to guess, but there are only really two ways I can know for sure which they are. I expect the class that grew them could tell me, if I asked. But how else could I find out…? (Wait until they flower – if you are a gardener, like me, you can tell then, even though they still might look very similar.)
So, unless you tell me I will just have to wait.

Other plants come in “families” like the pea family – different sorts of the same plant family look different. Grass is like that. It just looks like a lot of thin green leaves, but when you see the seed heads, you suddenly realise that there are lots of different grasses. I collected some on the way to school –[show grass seed heads – I put them on the OHP, so the seed heads cast shadows onto the screen] You can see that they are all different – some are fat, some are thin, some look like trees, some are very floppy. But their leaves all look very much the same.

Jesus told a story about one sort of grass – wheat – which a farmer got his workers to sow in his fields. When they had scattered the seed all over the ground, all they could do was wait. They waited until the seed germinated and began to grow. They waited while it poked little shoots above the surface of the soil. It looked just like grass – that was what it was supposed to look like. They waited while it grew taller. They waited while it put out its seed heads.

But when it did that, the farm workers all got very worried. Because instead of all the seed heads looking like good wheat, which they could harvest and make into flour, mixed in with it were some very different sorts of grass, with different sorts of seeds, seeds which would be no good to eat at all. The field was full of weeds, all mixed in with the wheat.

They ran to the farmer. “We’re sure we sowed wheat – it’s not our fault that the weeds have grown there. Perhaps an enemy of yours came along and did this?” they said. But the farmer wasn’t worried. There were always some weeds in amongst the wheat – he didn’t think anyone had done this on purpose. “But what shall we do?” said the workers. “Should we pull up the weeds?” “No”, said the farmer. “If you do that you will probably just pull up the wheat as well.” We’ll wait until it is all ripe, then harvest the lot and sort out the wheat from the weeds then – otherwise we’ll do more harm than good.
So that’s what they did.

Jesus told that story to remind people how important it is to be patient, not to make decisions about people too quickly. Sometimes, if we meet someone new we might decide very quickly that we don’t like them. But if we had waited and got to know them better they might turn out to be a really good friend. The Y6’s going to new schools will meet lots of people when they change schools – it will be tempting to rush to decide who you like and who you don’t, but you’d do better to be patient and wait a bit.

Jesus also wanted us to remember that God is patient with us. We might do something bad, but God doesn’t just decide that we are bad people and stop loving us. He goes on and on loving us and trying to help us.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your patient love for us. Help us to be patient with each other and with ourselves, to wait and not to decide things too quickly.