The Good Shepherd

The Good Shepherd loves his sheepThe Parable of the Good Shepherd and the Parable of the Lost Sheep have become my favorite parables. As an adult these parables cause me to reflect upon the relationship that God wants to have with each of us personally, His wisdom, protection and condescension. It gives me hope that He seeks out those who are lost and lets me imagine the glorious day when there will be one fold and one shepherd.

The Good Shepherd leads the sheep
I am not trained in Godly Play or CGS methods, but I wanted to share these parables with our class because of their beauty. I did read quite a bit about the parables in several books by Sophia Cavaletti, months in advance of actually presenting the story to our class. I know there is much more to discover, however. (And that makes me very excited!)

He seeks the one that is lost

He calls after the sheep

The lost sheep turnsI told the parables together, first in my own words, then I read them directly from the scriptures. I only had one Sunday to do the parables since we were getting ready to start a new section in the regular curriculum. In retrospect, I really wish we could have had at least a month to reflect on just this one story. I don’t think the children had enough time to go very deep with it. We had some lovely thoughts and art responses none the less.

Safe in his armsOne girl connected it immediately to Psalm 23 and she recited it for us. Several children thought the sheepfold was the church or the Kingdom of Heaven. One child said that the sheep that hear the shepherd’s voice at the end are “like us when we come into the church.” There was a fair amount of attraction to the wolf as well, which makes sense. These children seem very interested in good vs. evil. In our art response we had quite a few wolves in addition to the sheep.

I feel I should just let you look up the parables yourself in the Bible (John 10: 1-16 and Luke 15:4-7) instead of writing my own version here. If you’d like to know more about the parable I’d encourage you to read The Good Shepherd and the Child as a starting point. Then you’ll be where I am, wanting to know more, perhaps wanting to take training.

There are a few places where you can buy handmade, sturdy wooden figures for this parable. I chose to make mine since I needed the materials a little faster than the usual ordering period required by the shops that sell online. However, I think that the wooden ones are better than mine because they encourage small hands to use them over and over. Mine are a bit delicate. I’d like to eventually get the good wooden ones and paint them myself.

Brought back into the foldThe hired hand runs away when the wolf comesThe Good Shepherd does not run awayHe gives his life for the sheepThe wolf cannot hurt the sheepOther sheep will hear the voice of the Good ShepherdOne fold and one shepherd



Filed under Stories

5 responses to “The Good Shepherd

  1. Val/Dad

    I loved the figures of the Savior and sheep. Would you share the directions of how to make them. I think the children I teach would really like these as part of our lessons.
    Thank you

  2. Muriel Garvis

    Yes I would like to have them also. I believe in the visual to make things come alive for the children and myself. Thank you

  3. I am presently taking the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Course in Toronto, Ontario. Until I actually taught The Parable of the Good Shepherd, using the materials borrowed from class, I had held the opinion that children under five or six years ought not to be made theologians. I had focussed in on the wonders of creation with five to six year olds. Then I taught The Good Shepherd using the borrowed Christ figure and the sheep. I was amazed at how my children absorbed the lesson. I am now writing the Album Page for this lesson and have other parables dancing in my head. I have sent away for the patterns for making the diaramas and hope to get started on these in August. It is amazing how the Spirit moves one.

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