Primary Current Assemblies
His story (Aidan’s Day, 31 August)
To tell the story of Aidan, who brought the good news of Jesus to Northumberland.
Preparation and materials
- Map of the UK (optional).
- Ask three children to take the speaking parts of Corman, the Abbot and Aidan, while you or another member of staff is the leader.
- Leader After Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came to Jesus’ friends, ordinary men and women who had believed the message of Jesus’ resurrection went out from Jerusalem to Judea, Samaria and other countries far away from their homes to share this message, just like Jesus said they would.
By the year AD600, the missionaries had even reached Ireland. They were called monks, because they devoted their whole lives to prayer, learning and living as a community, teaching God’s truths. Some travelled east in little boats across dangerous waters and reached Scotland where they walked in pairs, hundreds of miles, sharing God’s message of love with anyone who would listen.
Locate Scotland on the map, if using.
- Leader Aidan was a young monk living with a group of other Christian monks on the tiny island of Iona.
Locate Iona on the map, if using.
On this particular day, the monks had all gathered together. Some monks had come home. Usually this was a cause for celebration, but not today. Corman and his group of monks had returned from a mission to Northumberland.
Locate Northumberland on the map, if using.
They had only been gone a couple of months, so what were they doing home so soon?
Corman It was just an impossible task. The people in Northumberland are real heathens. All they want to do is drink, fight and use foul language. There is no way they will listen to us.
Abbot How so Brother Corman, this was such a great opportunity. King Oswald of Northumbria, having become a Christian just recently, gave us a royal invitation to go and spread the good news in his kingdom.
Corman That may be so, Abbot, and he was indeed very kind towards us and most hospitable, but his people, that’s a different matter. They are so uncouth. We told them about God and instructed them in lives of faith, discipline and obedience, but we were ridiculed. No one was interested.
Leader Aidan was stunned. He just couldn’t help himself. Out the words came.
Aidan Brother Corman, perhaps you expected too much of them too soon. Perhaps they weren’t ready for the hard lessons of discipleship that you were preaching. Perhaps it is love that they need to experience and a simple faith.
Leader There was stunned silence all around this time! If Corman had not been such a godly man, he might have been tempted to think, ‘What a young upstart!’
The Abbot also was quiet for a while and then turned to Aidan and said.
Abbot Brother Aidan, perhaps God is calling you to go to Northumberland and preach his message.
- Leader If the Abbot had not been such a godly man, he might have been tempted to say instead, ‘Well, Aidan, you can just put your money where your mouth is and have a go yourself!’
Instead, God seemed to confirm to Aidan what the Abbott said to him. He left Iona with a group of monks and went to Northumberland. There he served the King and the people with great love and humility and, as a result, many believed in God.
Time for reflection
The Bible says that there is faith and hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.
The Northumbrian people listened to Aidan because they recognized that he loved and cared for them.
Whose advice do you listen to because you know they love and care for you?
Thank you for Aidan’s willingness to obey you and go to Northumberland.
Thank you that, through Aiden and others, your message of love for everyone has spread all over the world.
‘God is love’ (Come and Praise, 36)