This story is an allegory of God’s love for us.
Once a great king lived in a kingdom far beyond the clouds, a kingdom so bright and beautiful that even the streets were gold. This king had a plan. This king made his plan long before either you or I were ever born. One day this great king said to his Son, who was also a great king, the king above all kings, “Son, I have a plan. There are sheep in my pastureland and they have become lost. They have wandered away from following me and they do not know the way back. I want you to leave this beautiful home here and go live on earth. You will be born as a tiny baby and you will live there. You will give your life for my sheep, rescuing them and bringing them back into my fold where they can dwell safely with me forever.”
This son said, “Yes!” to his father’s plan because just like his father, he loved the world so much. He loved the little lost lambs that had wandered away. He too wanted to rescue the sheep and help them find their way back to his father’s fold.
And so it was that this only son and great king left the beautiful kingdom of light and came to earth. Although he was a great king, when he came to the king’s pastureland, earth, he was not born in a palace or even a beautiful home. No, he left all the beauty of his kingdom beyond the clouds behind and was born instead in a stable, a barn where animals slept and where the cold air crept in. He cried like other babies and he had to depend on his mother to feed him and his father on earth to protect him. Like most babies, he grew. He learned to walk and talk. He went to school and he continued to grow until he became a man. As a man, he remembered that he had been sent to this pastureland, earth, to serve, to love and to tell about his father’s great love. Everywhere he went, he did these things, he served, he loved and he told about the great king’s plan to rescue and redeem His lost sheep. Although he was the king of kings, he became the great shepherd of the sheep and instead of lording it over them as most kings would do, he served.
Then came the day when this great shepherd, king gave everything. He willingly gave his life on the cross, dying in order to rescue the little lost lambs that had wandered away; the sheep who went their own way instead of following their great shepherd and king.
The story doesn’t end with death. No it ends with life; amazing, abundant life, because the great king of all kings can do anything. Nothing is impossible for him. A few days after he died, this great king rose from the dead. He is very much alive. Death could not keep him because he is the very essence of life. also He is our good shepherd, our rescuer, our savior and friend. Because he died, we have forgiveness and freedom from sin and from our lostness; because he lives, we have life forever in relationship with him.
Why did this great shepherd, king leave the beauty and splendor of his kingdom above? Why did his father send him to earth? The answer is simple and yet incredibly amazing. He came, giving up everything, because he loved. He loved you and me so much, that he was willing to come and willing to give himself, the greatest gift of all.
Ephesians 3:18-19 says it this way, “18 And I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide, how long, how high, and how deep that love is. 19 Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know,”
Never forget, little sheep, that you are loved. Welcome and receive this love gratefully; then embark on the greatest adventure ever, walking with your Good Shepherd and Great King.
PS This story came about as a result of a quick prayer for help when working with a group of preschoolers and I couldn’t get my video up – technology failed me, but Jesus didn’t! I share it with you and almost think I should leave it as a single story without the ‘Things You Can Do With Your Child’ section. I am including my prayer though and I do have a section for parents and children ready to add if anyone would like it – let me know and I would be happy to share it. Thanks for reading. By the way, when I told this story to my group of preschoolers, they were totally silent – if you have ever worked with preschoolers, you know that is a small miracle! I believe with all my heart, that God touches the hearts of little ones. Preschoolers are not too young to hear the good news! God knows exactly what will touch their hearts.
PARENT OR GRANDPARENT PRAYER:
Jesus, Thank you for coming to earth because you love me. Life crowds in on me and I lose my focus on your great love. Your love is so amazing! To think that you left heaven to enter my world because you desired relationship with me. You came to rescue me and help me live for you. I want my kids to know how much you love them too. How can I encourage my kids to take those first faith steps in learning to live in relationship with you? It is a relationship or it should be and yet how often do I put everything besides my relationship with you first in my life. I am so busy trying to find my own way out of my messes and mistakes when you are but a call away. Teach me to look to you daily and remind my kids amidst all the other distractions and calls for their attention, to also look to you. Open my eyes to see the opportunities you give me to encourage my kids/grandkids steps of faith towards you. Then, when I stop and remember all you have given and done for me, may I readily share your love with others. I can love and share because you first loved and shared everything with me and that is amazing! Amen
This story is an allegory of God’s love for us.