Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Good Keeper

Another teachable story, a parable that introduces Jesus and his ministry. This story is to be told on Day 4 of Passion Week.

Tonight at dinner, big one told us the "serpent story," hitting every point. Small one helped with the hand motions. Favorite lines like "he spoke a lie!" and "God sent them out of the garden" {with wide sweeping arms} are acted out over and over. A very proud moment for me and encouragement to keep writing, keep telling. They are learning, more than I expected.
"The Good Shepherd" Jane Ladik

Day 4: The Good Shepherd Luke 15:2-7, John 10:1-18
This is the story from God's word: Once there was a man who took care of a flock of sheep. Every day he carefully led his sheep into the hills and picked a safe, good place for them to eat. Every night he faithfully led them back to their pen, where he slept by the gate to guard them. He loved his sheep, and all his sheep knew him and followed the sound of his voice.
One day when the flock was eating on a safe hill, a little lamb wandered off, leaving the good keeper and the flock behind. He walked so far that he could not remember the way back. Soon night fell. In the dark, the sheep was frightened and cried out, "Help!" Out of the darkness, the keeper appeared. He was so excited to see the little lamb that he scooped him into his arms and carried the lamb all the way back to the pen. When they returned home, the keeper threw a party with all his friends to celebrate the lamb's safe return.
This good keeper loved his sheep and risked everything to find his lost lamb. This good keeper is Jesus who loves his people and risked everything to make them safe. When his people cried for help, Jesus left his great throne in heaven, walked along a dark hill and delivered his people forever. That's the end of the story.
{This is not a hand motion heavy story, but I think it is easy to act out as you tell it.}

I remember learning this story when I was little, not much older than big one. The scared sheep calling from a rocky ledge while the good shepherd scours the hills to bring him home. I felt the desperation for the reunion. An aha! moment for me as a baby christian.

Jesus' original audience were the 99 sheep, probably offended that the shepherd left them alone to look for one foolish lamb. But for the foolish lamb, the tax collectors and sinners Jesus was so fond of, this story is life itself. Praise the Lord that I was counted with the foolish lamb, that the angels rejoiced upon my safe return!
If you use the stories, please tell me about it.

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