Free Children's Sermons
April 26, 2015
Prop: A sheep puppet or toy stuffed sheep.
(Show them the sheep.) This is my friend “Fluffy” (or whatever you want to call him) and he is going to help me tell you a story about Jesus. Can you say hi to Fluffy? Say hi back, Fluffy. (No response.) Fluffy, don’t be shy; say hi to the boys and girls. (Put the sheep in front of your mouth and softly say, hi.) I guess he’s feeling a little shy today.
When Jesus was living on the earth, people raised a lot of sheep. Sheep were very important because clothes and tents could be made with sheep wool and their meat was good to eat. (Have the sheep jump up and shout, “They ate sheep?!”) That’s OK, Fluffy (pat his head). We aren’t going to eat you. Do you know what the person who looked after the sheep was called? (Allow time for answers.) A shepherd. This was an important job. The shepherd took the sheep out to find good grass to eat and water to drink. (Have the sheep say, “That’s good!”) It was also the shepherd’s job to keep the sheep safe from wolves or other animals who might try to eat them. (Have sheep nod his head up and down.) Sometimes a shepherd had to keep some of the sheep from wandering off and getting lost or hurt.
One day, Jesus told his listeners, “I am the good shepherd.” A really good shepherd loves his sheep and will do anything to keep his sheep safe. If you hired just any old person to look after your sheep, he might not love them. If a wolf came around, the shepherd might get scared and run off to save his own life, leaving the sheep in danger of being killed by the wolf. (Have the sheep nod again.)
“I am like a good shepherd. I love my followers like a shepherd loves his sheep. I know your families and your names, just the way God knows who each of you is. I would take care of you and try to keep you from harm. A shepherd doesn’t love just his old sheep. He loves the new ones he buys and the new lambs who are born. Each day new people come to hear me and decide to be my followers. I get to know them also and show them my love. I care about each of you."
Then Jesus said, “There are people all around who need to know my love. I go out looking for people who are sick, sad, lonely, and unloved. I tell them about God’s plans for them and let them know how they can become well and know the happiness of being loved by my followers and by me. (Have the sheep say, “That Jesus was a really good guy!”)
Yes, Fluffy, Jesus was a really good guy! He said he would even die for us if that would help us know how much he loved us and how much God loves us too. He said, “I love you and God’s power is in me. Follow me and your lives will be good.” (Have the sheep say, “He’s the kind of shepherd everyone should follow.” Have him turn to the children and say, “He’s the kind of shepherd you should follow too.”) Thank you, Fluffy, for helping me tell the boys and girls about Jesus. (Have the sheep say, “You’re welcome.”)
Let’s pray: Thank you for loving us so much, Holy God, and for sending us Jesus to be a good shepherd to follow. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.