Parable of the Lost Sheep: God Forgives – Yeah, Even YOU!
Sunday School Lesson Capsule
Many people fail to pray because they feel guilty about something or they simply feel unworthy of God’s time. Kids can do this as well! This Sunday school lesson using building blocks will reinforce the notion that God is like your parent, and he can’t wait to forgive you!
Scripture: Luke 15:1″7
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Then Jesus told them this parable: “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? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, “˜Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 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.’ “
Standard building blocks as follows:
- 2 tall, skinny “column” blocks (this kind kids use for people when imagining)
- 2 half height skinny “column” blocks (the kind kids use for children when imagining)
- 1 triangle shaped block for the sliding board
- A few other blocks to signify other playground pieces
Put all the blocks on the table.
Set up the imaginary playground with the 2 grown ups off to the side
Sunday School Lesson
Let’s pretend this is Ian and that he’s on the monkey bars.
Put one of the short column blocks on top of a block that signifies the monkey bars.
He’s climbing very high. But he feels safe. There’s only sand below him. And nobody falls off the monkey bars.
Shake one of the tall column blocks.
This is Ian’s mom. She’s talking to the other grownups and is enjoying watching Ian.
Take up Ian again. Put him on a block signifying the swings.
Ian loves to swing. He goes very high.
Shake his mom again.
Mom is watching from afar. She’s having fun talking about Ian’s soccer team with another soccer mom.
Take Ian off the swing and put him near the slide.
One time, Ian got hurt on the slide. It has to do with his fear of heights. A kid in front of him got scared to go down. Ian had to climb down the ladder. On his way down, he fell, banged his chin, got stitches in the hospital, and lost a tooth. He’s lucky he wasn’t hurt worse. The doctor had said, “Don’t go up the slide yet. At some point in the future, you won’t be tempted to “˜freeze’ at the top now, due to your fear of heights. Just give it a few months.”
Bring Ian closer to the slide.
By now, Ian is deathly afraid of the slide. He knows he will freeze. But suddenly Buddy comes up.
Bring up the other half”column boy.
Buddy is not afraid. Shake Buddy. “Don’t be a chicken. So what if you got hurt? It won’t happen again.”
Shake Ian. “I don’t wanna. The doctor said not to.”
Shake Buddy. “Fine. Be a baby, then!” And Buddy went up and slid right on down. He gave Ian a weird look and went, “Pffffffcccc!” (a raspberry)
Ian takes a look at his mom. He looks at the slide. He looks at Mom. He looks at the slide. Up he goes.
Have Ian go to the top of the slide.
All of the sudden, the ground seems to move. From Ian’s eyes, it looks like the ground is coming up. He is dizzy and very scared. He knows if he doesn’t slide down, he is likely to fall over the side. Yet”¦he can’t move!
He screams, “Mooooooooooooooooooooommmmm! Hellllllllllpppppppp!”
What do you think Ian’s mom will do? Run to help him.
Will she run fast or slow? As fast as she can.
Will she try to be there in time to catch him if he falls? Yes.
What could happen if she’s not fast enough, and he falls? He could hurt himself worse this time.
What about the fact that Ian intentionally didn’t listen to what the doctor said? Will that slow her down? No.
Is she thinking about what he did wrong at that split moment, or is she just thinking of saving him? Saving him.
What if Ian’s mom said, “He deserves to break his neck! Let it happen! I’m not helping him after he was so stupid!” What kind of a mother would that be? A terrible one.
And yet this is how we sometimes think that God is! When we have done something wrong and we need his help to get out, we sometimes thinking he would say, “Just look at that disgusting action! I’m not helping him!”
The truth is”¦God is even better than a great mom. In Isaiah 49:15 God says, “Can a mother “¦ have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!”
In the parable, Jesus said that when he finds his lost sheep, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.
If the sheep got lost because it was stupid or took a dare or was defiant, the most important thing, to Jesus, was that he got his sheep back.
When we’ve done something incredibly stupid, we might feel ashamed. That’s normal. But we should not let that shame “trick” us into thinking that God isn’t there for us in a flash.
Jesus died for the sins of people who had been incredibly stupid. That includes me, my kids, my husband and everybody in this church – and you. We’ve all had brain flakes that could have cost us a lot.
Let Ian fall off the slide and have his mom “catch” him.
The times when we’ve been incredibly stupid are the times we need him the most. He understands that.
Let’s remember this week that if we have a brain flake, or we feel guilty or ashamed, to listen for the voice of God. He can take those feelings from us and save us from geEng into even worse trouble!
It’s part of the deal with him dying for our sins!
Sunday School Lesson Bible Snack: God “˜N Me Smores
- Marshmallow spread
- Graham crackers (enough for each child to have two)
- Hershey’s chocolate bars (enough for each child to have half of a standard sized bar)
- Plastic knives or spoons for spreading
- Paper towels
Give each child two graham cracker squares on a paper towel and a spreading knife or spoon. Have one set for yourself.
Additional Sunday School Lesson
Hold up one of your graham crackers.
This graham cracker is a licle like us. It breaks easily, just like we make mistakes easily.
Put some marshmallow spread on your cracker.
Some sometimes we get ourselves into some sticky messes. We do things wrong and find out that we’re just covered in the stickiness of our sins.
Spread some of the marshmallow on the cracker. Pick up your other cracker.
Jesus came to earth 2,000 years ago in human form. He took all our sins on him.
Spread the marshmallow on that cracker too.
This means that whenever we do something wrong, he’ll take the stick away and forgive us.
Hold up your piece of chocolate.
This chocolate is like prayer. When we pray to God, believing he wants to forgive us, he offers his son as a sacrifice to sin. We pray, and it brings Jesus near to us.
Put the chocolate on top of one cracker’s marshmallow spread. Then turn the other cracker over on top of it so that you have a graham cracker sandwich.
Prayer sure feels good when you know God wants to help – better than the best mom in the world – and he’s willing to save us from our brain flakes every time! And this “˜smore sandwich sure tastes good – every time!
Take a bite and smack your lips!
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