In presenting the Parable of the Good Shepherd to the children, one of the questions that is always asked regards the identity of the sheep. Jesus is very clear in revealing that He is the Good Shepherd…but He leaves us (and we leave the children!) the opportunity to discover who these sheep are that have such a dedicated protector and guide. In the Atrium, this parable is first read to the child at the age of three and, as he grows, further Scriptures and presentations are given which expand the beautiful image of the Good Shepherd caring for His sheep.
This week in the Atrium two children were gathered to hear the Parable of the Good Shepherd for the first time. After listening to the Scripture and conversing together about the love, care, and attention given by the Good Shepherd to his sheep, the children were asked, “I wonder who these sheep might be. The Good Shepherd knows their names, right? But do you know the names of His sheep?” A 5-year-old new to the Atrium this year began pointing to each sheep, naming them one by one: “Peyton, Riley, Josh,” and then pausing and looking at the child sitting across the sheepfold from her, touched a sheep and said the name of that child, “Chloe,” and continued, “my brother, my grandmother,” until she had named each sheep. The catechist then asked, “And this one on His shoulder?” The child responded, “A girl. It’s a girl’s name,” and, pointing to herself, “Maybe me!”