Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so! Parables like the story of the lost sheep are a great way to remind our kids (and ourselves!) how much Jesus loves us.
The Word: Luke 15:3-7
3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
The Main Point:
Jesus cares about people who are lost, just like the shepherd cared about the lost sheep! A sheep cannot survive the dangers of the wild without a shepherd to take care of it, and people cannot have eternal life with God without someone to save them. Jesus loves us so much that he pursues us until we accept his gift, and boy is there a party in heaven when we do! For older children, I would also point out that the “righteous persons who do no need to repent” don’t really exist. Jesus is talking about people who think they are righteous. Thinking you can save yourself by doing the right thing is not the way to please God, and it is certainly not the heart of the gospel!
Next, we pretended to be shepherds. We built a fence for our animals out of blocks, and then put our rather unique “flock” inside the fence. But oh no! There’s one animal missing! I explained how to use the clues “hot and cold” to help find the missing animal. Like good shepherds, we looked until we found it. Then, the shepherds and all the other animals celebrated!
I have super cute shepherds!
Finally, we make a pop-up sheep craft to remind ourselves how much Jesus loves us! We got our inspiration from here. (At the bottom of the cup it says “Jesus Loves Me!”)
The wordless video offers a great visual of this parable. I would suggest watching it together while you narrate it, and then watching it again and letting the kids narrate!