Noah for Children – A school assembly
What do you do when you’re thirsty – where do you get a drink from?
- At school? – At home?
We’re lucky we can get cool,clean water from the tap.
But there are places in the world where houses don’t have taps. Where do you think they get water from?
- River – dirty
- Sea – salty
And supposing it’s a really dry country, with very few rivers?
In many parts of the world – even today, people have to go long distances – further than you have to walk to get to school – to get water. Often it’s the children who have to do that, and they may have to make several trips a day carrying heavy water jars.
? Why don’t mums and dads carry the water?
They’re usually busy, looking after the younger children, growing food in fields or looking after the animals so that everyone can eat.
So if you lived in such a dry country – what would you think if someone in your family started building a boat?
Well that’s what Noah did. He lived in a very dry country with not much around in the way of rivers, lakes or sea. So when he said to Mrs Noah that he was going to build a boat she thought he’d gone a bit peculiar!
Well, she said, ‘I suppose there’s no reason why you shouldn’t, but mind you get your chores done first! But once the cows and sheep have been watered, and you’ve brought me some milk to make cheese, then I don’t see why you shouldn’t go off and do your boat-building.’
So in the evenings, when the day’s work was finished, Noah went off collecting wood to build a boat. Of course, being a dryer country than here, there weren’t so many trees so he had to tramp about a bit. And he got his brothers, and his teenage sons and daughters involved, helping him carry the wood home. Luckily, in those days, the teenagers didn’t have to do homework in the evenings or they’d have got told off the next morning for not doing it!
Soon there was a great stack of wood outside Mrs Noah’s back door.
‘How big is this boat going to be?’ she asked. ‘There’s enough wood there to build a Ferry, not just a boat.’
Anybody here ever been on a ferry – they’re really big boats that take loads of cars and buses and lorries on board, often to take them over to France or to Ireland?
‘Well’, said Noah, ‘we’ve got to take our children, and their families and all the animals in the boat too’.
Mrs Noah put her hands over her eyes, just like this [do it] and then shook her head in dismay. ‘you’d better go kill a cow or two so I can make some dried meat take with us! And just you make sure there’s somewhere on that boat where I can safely have a fire to heat my cookpot!’
So in time the boat got built. And what do you think happened then? In that dry country? Yes, it rained,and it rained and it rained.
So they all got in the boat and it floated away. Who got in the boat with them?
All the animals from the farm, and pairs of each of the wild animals. So, think of an animal that might have been on the boat – don’t shout it out! Now, for just a moment, until I go –x-, would you all like to make a noise of that animal? Ok, now: -x- Enough J
So, what was special about Mr Noah? I’ll tell you. It was that he did what God told him to. Even though it seemed ridiculous. Even though his wife laughed at him for it. He even got other people helping him to build a boat in dry country where it very rarely rained, because God had told him to. Sometimes God tells us to do things that don’t make sense. They never ever involve hurting anyone else, so that helps us to know whether it’s God telling us or our own silly imagination, but if it’s what God says to do, then it makes sense to do it, however stupid other people think it is.
So, for our prayer, we’re going to go right back to the beginning of the story and remember those children going on long walks to carry big jars of water. Remember them?
Lord, our Father, we thank you for your creation. We thank you that we live in a country where there is enough water, and we ask you not to give us too much of it as we’d rather have some sunshine this summer so we can all go out to play.
And we ask you especially to make life better for people in countries where there isn’t any water in the house, or even in the village. Let them have clean water from a tap like we have so their children don’t have to walk miles with heavy jars of water and keep them safe from illness they might get if the water they fetch home isn’t really clean.