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Losing things (the lost coin)

To think about the idea of each one of us mattering to God.

by The Revd Sophie Jelley

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To think about the idea of each one of us mattering to God.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need 10 silver coins (real, plastic or chocolate!). Place 8 in a bag and use 2 to weight the paper as it is held up.
  • A large piece of paper (with 2 coins Blu-Tacked on the back to weight it), with the following written on it:
    ten             1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
    coins          clink, clink
    food            yum, yum
    lost             oh no
    found          hooray!


  1. Ask the children if they have ever lost anything. Discuss this. What was it? Did they find it? Talk about the school lost property box. Ask if their mums and dads ever lose things? Ask the teachers/support staff present as well.

  2. Explain that some things we lose matter more to us than others. You could add a personal story about something you lost, or use examples such as the difference between losing 1p or £10, or how tricky it is to lose the car keys or door keys if you only have one set.

  3. Say that there are stories in the Bible about lost things. In Luke’s Gospel there are three stories in a row: the first two are the lost sheep and the lost son. Empty the bag of coins and say that the third story is about coins. Get the children to count the coins with you. There are only eight. Say that there were ten – some must have got lost. You hope you will find them.

    Explain that you don’t just want to tell the story – you want the children to help. Hold up the paper (a colleague could help here) and practise saying the responses with the children. Tell them that when they hear you say the words in the story, they need to respond with the answering phrases. You could also add appropriate actions to each phrase.

  4. Tell the story.

    There was once a lady who had ten* shiny silver coins*. She was very pleased with her coins* because they meant that she would be able to buy food for her family and clothes for them to wear. The lady put her coins* carefully on the table and then began to get on with her daily chores around the house. First she washed the clothes, then she prepared some food* for the family to eat. Still the ten* shiny silver coins* sat on the table.

    At the end of the day, when all her work was done, she went to sit down at the table where she had placed her ten* shiny coins*. As she did so she realized that something had happened. She counted them carefully and then she discovered the truth. One of the coins* was lost*. Lost*? Yes, lost*!

    She panicked. She lit a lamp and began to search everywhere. She looked high and low. She searched inside and out. She even emptied the baskets of food*. She swept the floor and looked under the beds.

    Until, at last, it was found*. Found*? Yes, found* – it had been hidden behind the table leg all along! ‘Now I will be able to buy food* for my family and clothes for them to wear,’ she said.

    (You could tell the story again at high speed to get the message across. This depends on the age group’s attention span and time available.)

  5. Thank the children for their help. See if they have noticed the coins on the back of the paper – ask the teacher holding it to find them. Now there are ten.

  6. Explain that these stories about lost things were written down by Luke but they were first told by Jesus. They show how much God cares about every single one of us. Christians (followers of Jesus) believe that God made each one of us to know and love him every day.

    Explain that we are much more precious than socks or umbrellas and the other things people lose. Getting lost is a horrid feeling. God doesn’t want us to be lost. He wants to take care of us, just like that lady in the story wanted to take care of her money. Every single piece mattered to her – we matter that much to God.

Time for reflection


Ask the children to close their eyes and think for a moment about all the people who love and take care for them.


Dear God,
Thank you that you love us so much
that you want to look after us every day,
whether we are big or small, old or young, girl or boy.
Help us as we learn about you from stories from the Bible,
to know that we matter to you more than anything.


‘From the darkness’ (Come and Praise, 29)

Publication date: April 2005   (Vol.7 No.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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