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The Good Shepherd

To explore the parable of the good shepherd

by Ronni Lamont

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To explore the parable of the good shepherd (Luke 15.4-7).

Preparation and materials

  • Read through the story in advance to familiarize yourself with it and the sound effects.

Assembly

  1. This is a 'join in' story assembly with sound effects. First, teach the sound effects to be performed each time you use the appropriate words:

    sheep - baa
    lamb - ah ('isn't it cute' type sound)
    name - each child says their own name
    follow - trot trot
    eat - munch munch
    drink - slurp
    tired - yawn
    butterfly - flutter flutter
    wind - oooo (strong wind sound)
    sleep/slept - snore
    wolf - wolf howl noise

  2. Tell the story.

    I live in a large flock of sheep. We live on the hillsides around Bethlehem - you may have heard of Bethlehem, it features in quite a lot of stories. Anyway, there are exactly one hundred sheep in this flock, and we all know each other pretty well. I want to tell you a story about something that happened to me when I was just a little lamb.

    Our shepherd, he's a pretty special man. He knows each one of us by name, and when he calls us, we follow on behind. He makes sure we always have enough to eat, and every day he takes us down to the water, so we can have a good long drink.

    On the day I was talking about, the day when I was still a little lamb, we had been up on the hills wandering along for quite a time, and I was getting tired. My mum called my name to tell me to keep up, but I just couldn't. I couldn't follow the shepherd any more. And then I saw a butterfly. It was fluttering around, the way they do, looking so pretty that I just had to stop and look.

    The flock trotted on without me, but I was so busy watching the butterfly that I didn't notice. And then I heard how quiet it was. No sheep bleating. No shepherd to call my name. At first, I thought it was great. I stopped to eat some grass that was growing beside the path, and then I found a little stream and I had a drink of water. But then it began to grow dark, and a wind began to blow. Where was I going to sleep? I usually slept with all the other sheep in the safety of the sheepfold, with the shepherd lying across the entrance to keep us safe. And then I heard it - very softly on the breeze; the sound of a wolf howling. What was I to do? I found a rock, and I pressed myself underneath it, but the wolfwas getting closer and closer, and I was all alone, out here on the hills.

    But then - I heard something else, also a long way away. I could hear someone calling my name! Yes, it was, it was the shepherd, he'd come for me! Once again, closer, I heard my name! Overjoyed, I bleated as loud as I could. And he found me. He was so kind - I thought he'd be really cross and hit me with his stick, and drive me down the path back to the sheepfold, but he didn't. He picked me up onto his shoulders and carried me back to the sheepfold, where all the other sheep were waiting for me.

    Our shepherd's like that. He knows us all by name. And he cares about each one of us. Did I tell you his name? It's Jesus.

Time for reflection

Ask the children to close their eyes, and to listen carefully as you read Luke 15.4-7, and then Psalm 23.

Thank you, Lord,
that you know each one of us,
and love each one of us.
Amen.

Song/music

'The Lord's my shepherd' (Come and Praise, 56)

Publication date: July 2004   (Vol.6 No.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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