As we work our way through the Parables, we always remind the children that Parables are gifts. That is why in our Godly Play classroom, they are contained within gold boxes.
Today's story can be condensed as follows:
"There was once someone who said such amazing things and did such wonderful things that people followed him. They couldn't help it. They wanted to know who he was, so they just had to ask him.
Once they asked him who he was, he said, "I am the Good Shepherd. I know each one of the sheep by name. When I take them from the sheepfold they follow me. I walk in front of the sheep to show them the way.
I show them the way to good grass and I show them the way to the cool, still fresh water. When there are places of danger I show them how to go through.
I count each one of the sheep when they come back and go inside the sheepfold. If one of the sheep is missing I would go anywhere to look for the lost sheep--in the grass, by the water, even in places of danger.
And when the lost sheep is found I would put it on my back, even if it is heavy, and carry it back safely to the sheepfold.
When all the sheep are safe inside I am so happy that I can't be happy just by myself, so I invite all of my friends and we have a great feast.
When the wolf comes, the Good Shepherd stays between the wolf and the sheep. The Good Shepherd would even give his life for the sheep, so they can come back safely to the sheepfold."
As we close each storytelling session, we have wondering time where we can think further about the story as a group.
Some wondering questions to try at home:
- I wonder if the sheep have names?
- I wonder if you have ever been lost?
- I wonder if you have ever been found?
- I wonder if the Good Shepherd has ever called your name?
Remember. This is not a time to quiz children on what they may or may not recall about the lesson. Rather, it is an opportunity to be quietly present as the children share their own experience.
See a storyteller presenting this Parable here on YouTube.
NEXT UP: Bible Sunday and The Books of the Bible on March 2