I've been enjoying Joan Halmo's Celebrating the Church Year with Young Children this past year and love her idea of weaving the Good shepherd story through lent. After reading The Good Shepherd and the Child: A Joyful Journey by Patricia Coulter et al. in December, I've been eager to work with the story more with my boys. A sense of security is so central to a small child's world and certainly to their spiritual development. We've been talking a lot about needs lately as we work on NVC (non-violent communication) with the boys and the good shepherd story is such a beautiful invitation to believe that all our needs can and will be met. A lesson that I'm working on learning myself as well.
So my lenten project with the boys is to work with this story playfully and thoroughly. Last year it was fun to share thoughts on prayer with children each week in this space, and so, this year I'll try to be here each of the six weeks to share something on the the good shepherd.
The godly play story of the good shepherd is one of my favorites! I love moving the figures through the green field, to the quiet waters and through the dark and shadowy places. I love building the sheep fold and wondering what it might be. I love searching for the lost lamb and sharing the shepherds joy when he finds it and brings it home. If anyone out there is thinking of delving into godly play and wondering where to start, this story is a wonderful place to begin. The script starts simply focusing on how the good shepherd meets the needs of the sheep. And, once that script is familiar, there are add ons of the lost lamb and the wolf. The figures can be easily made of paper or finding some toy lambs and a person of some sort isn't very difficult.