It was a beautiful day out in the pasture. The sheep were grazing peacefully in the warm sunshine. One little lamb grazed by himself, apart from the rest of the flock. Now and then he would glance over to make sure the shepherd wasn’t too far away.
After a while the lamb began to wonder if there wasn’t some better grass to eat in another field. He wandered to the very edge of the pasture he was in. He looked at the green grass far off in the distance. He thought to himself, I guess it wouldn’t hurt if I just go a little farther and try that nice green patch over there. I’ll come right back after I eat it. So off he went.
But once he’d tried that patch, he decided it wasn’t as good as he had hoped. Then he saw more green grass farther off that looked like it would be better. By now he couldn’t see the shepherd and the flock because of the hills he had crossed.
As the day passed, he kept going from field to field, never feeling satisfied with what he found. After a time the sun began to set. The little lamb knew that he was far, far away from the kind shepherd who kept him safe from wolves and other dangers. He was all alone.
It got darker and darker. He began to hear noises that frightened him. He wanted to run back to the flock, but he couldn’t remember which way he’d come. He was lost! He began to run in circles helplessly. Then he fell down a steep place and got his foot caught between two rocks. He was trapped! He bleated and bleated, but no one heard him. What if the wolves found him there?
Meanwhile, the shepherd had gathered the rest of the flock together for the night. He counted to make sure they were all there. Wait! One little lamb was missing! Quickly he grabbed his staff and went out into the dark night. He searched and he searched. Would he find the lost one?
At last he heard a faint bleating coming from the rocky hills. With a shout of joy he ran toward the sound. He climbed down to the scared little lamb and freed him. The shepherd carried him on his shoulders back to the safety of the flock. He was so happy to have found the lost lamb before the wolves had.
How wonderful it is to be safe and sound, thought the little lamb as he snuggled down to sleep. I never want to wander away from the shepherd again.
Just like the kind shepherd who cares for his lambs, God loves and cares for each one of us. When we are lost in the darkness of sin, Jesus seeks for us in love.
It is important for primary children to realize how much God cares for them, and that He is seeking to bring each individual to Himself. This lesson visualizes that concept through the story of a shepherd who is searching for his lost sheep.
As you study this story with your child, explain that the lost sheep represents the sinner. The shepherd who searches for him is like the Lord who goes to great lengths to find and bring back the one who has wandered away from Him.
To go with this lesson, allow your child to cut several sheep from white paper. Cover them with cotton. Make a sheepfold of stones, using a piece of cardboard for the base. Place small thorny twigs on top. Make a shepherd by wrapping a clothespin with a piece of cloth.
Verses to help your child understand this Bible lesson.
SUNDAY: Luke 15:10
MONDAY: John 10:11
TUESDAY: Matthew 18:12-13
WEDNESDAY: Luke 19:10
THURSDAY: Psalm 23:1
FRIDAY: Isaiah 40:11
SATURDAY: Psalm 119:176