Putting All Children First

Good Shepherd Material

MassA sample of Good Shepherd material

Meditation
from Guided Meditations by Jane Reehorst

Close your eyes, take a deep breath and relax. You are in a country field…There are no houses or shops around…Listen to the birds singing…Hear that bird in the tree near you?…It seems so happy singing doesn’t it?…Do you see all the flowers…blue…pink…purple…and even red?… And look; there are sheep in the field!…Do you see the tiny lamb by his mother?…Go over and pet the lamb…Its wool is soft, isn’t it?

Someone is calling your name… It’s Jesus!…He is sitting under that tree near the tiny lamb…Run over to Jesus, who is looking at you and smiling…”Come, sit next to me,” Jesus tells you as he pats the ground. “I want to tell you a story about my Father’s love for you”…Go over and sit next to Jesus. Listen to his story.

Once upon a time there was a shepherd taking care of his sheep…just like that shepherd over there in the field walking with his sheep. Do you see him?…The shepherd loved his sheep very much, and the sheep loved and trusted their shepherd for he protected them from wolves and others who would want to hurt them. One day, as the shepherd was counting his sheep and putting them in a safe place for the night, he noticed that one of his sheep was missing. The shepherd ran over to the other shepherds, who were also counting their sheep and putting them in the sheep pen for the night. ”Will you please watch my sheep?” he asked them. “One of them is missing. It’s that little rascal who is always wandering off, getting into mischief.”
The other shepherds shook their heads and said to each other, “Well, this time he’s done it; he’s gotten himself lost!” They knew all about Fleetfoot. That was the name they had given the lost sheep, for he was always fleeing here and there, wandering away from the other sheep. “Hope you find him before the wolves do” they said.
Fleetfoot’s shepherd smiled sadly, turned, and hurried away calling Fleetfoot’s name as he went. And when he heard the wolves howling, he called even louder…Suddenly he heard Fleetfoot calling out for help…”Baa,…baa,” cried the frightened Fleetfoot….”I’m coming “ called the shepherd, who saw Fleetfoot caught in a thorny bush. Gently the shepherd removed the branches of the thorny bush from Fleetfoot’s wool, lovingly picked him up, and carried him back to the shepherd’s camp.” Look, I’ve found him!” he called out to the other shepherds… “Let’s celebrate! Fleetfoot, who was lost, is now found!” All the shepherds had a party to celebrate Fleeftoot’s return. And even though Fleetfoot had disobeyed, his shepherd was so happy to have him safely back with the other sheep that he happily forgave him.
Jesus turns to you, hugs you, and asks,” Do you see how much my Father loves you? Do you believe that my Father will forgive you? Just as Fleetfoot was forgiven?”
What would you like to tell Jesus? I’ll give you time to talk to him.

(Allow about a minute of silence. Watch for signs of restlessness. If this happens before the minute is up, close the meditation.)

Prayer

Jesus, sometimes I’m like Fleetfoot, and I do things I’m not supposed to do… I’m so glad that you love me and forgive me. Thank you for taking care of me. I love you, Jesus, I’m glad you are my friend.

good shepherd artwork
(Invite the children to participate in spontaneous prayer.)