The Good Shepherd Script
by Debbie Weir

Godly Play Script: The Good Shepherd
- a compilation of
Psalm 23
Luke 15:1-7, the lost sheep 
John 10:12, the good shepherd

Telling the Story

 

Assemble your materials in a box. Lift the lid and peek inside. Put the lid back on and move the box to your side. Then open the lid just enough to remove the materials, but not enough for the children to see inside. Take out the green underlay and say:

 

I wonder what this could be?

 

Begin smoothing out the underlay and say:

 

It's so green. It's so soft and warm. I wonder what could be so green?

 

As the children respond, incorporate their responses  into the story. (Don't discuss them). For example:

 

Yes, it could be grass…or a bush…or a tree…or a balloon. …Perhaps it is a large green meadow.

 

Sit back and reflect a moment.

 

Maybe there is something else that will help us.

 

Take out the light blue felt. Present it, saying:

 

Yes. There is this.

 

Place it on the underlay to your upper left and smooth it out slowly.

It's so blue…and cool. I wonder what it might be?

Again, incorporate the responses into your story. For example:

 

Yes, it could be water…perhaps it is a piece of the sky…or a mirror…or a window to see through to the other side. Let's see if there's anything else.

 

Look in to the box and take out the black pieces of felt.

 

These are very dark. There seems to be no light in them at all.

 

Place the black pieces on the upper right corner from you, spaced so the Good Shepherd can led the sheep through.

 

I wonder what these could be? I wonder if there is more?

 

Take a tan strip from the box. Place it horizontally near the edge of the circle closest to you and smooth it out. …

 

It looks like a road.

 

Walk your fingers from one end of the strip to the other, saying:

 

This could be the beginning, and this could be the end. Or this could be the beginning and this could be the end.

 

Bring out another strip and place it parallel.

 

If I add another…then the road could be in between.

 

Glide your hand between the strips.

 

Then this could be the beginning and this could be the end.

 

Place two more strips to make a square and continue laying the remaining eight strips on the first four, as you say:

 

There are more. If I put one here, and one here…I could make this place very strong. It's getting stronger…and stronger. Now I wonder what this could be? It could be a log cabin…Hmmm, it could be a pen for animals.

 

Point to the inside of the sheepfold and then to the outside.

 

There is an inside and an outside in this place. But I think there needs to be a way to go out….and a way to come in…I could make a gate.

 

Make a gate by separating the ends of the strips on the corner farthest from you at your right.

 

I wonder who lives here?

 

Look into the box and take out the sheep.

 

Here are some sheep. If sheep live in this place, then it must be a sheepfold. It is called a sheepfold because the sheep are folded safely inside.

 

Trace the sheepfold with your finger. Sit back, pondering for a moment, remaining centered and looking at the material.  Be sure to keep your eyes on the material during the telling of the story. You do not want to break the story through eye contact. Continue:

 

Once there was someone who said such amazing things and did such wonderful things that people began to follow him. But they didn't know who he was. One day they simply had to ask him, and he said…

 

Take the Good Shepherd figure out of the box, present it, place it on the underlay as you say:

 

"I am the Good Shepherd. I know each of my sheep by name.

 

Touch each one of the sheep in the sheepfold.

 

And they know the sound of my voice. So when I call my sheep from the sheepfold, they follow me.

 

Open the gate.

 

I walk in front of the sheep to show them the way.

 

Move the Good Shepherd out into the open "grass" at the left of the underlay. Move the sheep one at a time as they follow the Good Shepherd.

 

I show them the way to the cool green grass…I show them the way to the cool, clear still water…

 

Move all the sheep so that they are around the blue pond, drinking.

 

And when there are places of danger…

 

Move the Good Shepherd to the dark "rocks." Then move the sheep one at a time.

 

…I show them the way to pass through…

 

Move the Good Shepherd through the rocks. Then move the sheep through the places of danger into the sheepfold,  except "hide" the last sheep under one of the "rocks".  

 

I count my sheep to make sure none of them are missing.

 

Silently touch each sheep as if counting.

 

And if any of my sheep are missing, I will go anywhere to look for them.

 

Move shepherd all around the underlay.

 

And when I find my sheep, I carry it home. Even if it is very heavy. Even if I am very tired.

 

Move shepherd back to the sheepfold. Put sheep in and close the gate.

 

An when all of my sheep are safe, I am so happy. But I can't be happy by myself, so I call all of my friends and we have a great feast.

 

Pause. Sit back.

 

Remove the Ordinary Shepherd and present him. Say:

 

This is the ordinary shepherd.

 

Move the ordinary shepherd to the sheepfold.

 

When the ordinary shepherd takes the sheep out of the sheepfold,  he does not show them the way.

 

Move sheep out of the fold and place them randomly on the underlay.

 

So the sheep wander and scatter.

 

Take the wolf out and present him. Place him near the place of danger.

 

When the wolf comes, the ordinary shepherd runs away.

 

Move the ordinary shepherd across the underlay and put him away.

 

But the Good Shepherd stands between the wolf and his sheep.

 

Move the Good Shepherd between the wolf and the sheep. Say:

 

And even gives his life for his sheep.

 

Start moving the sheep back to the sheep fold, one by one. When they are all in, say:

 

So that the sheep can come home safely to the sheepfold.

 

Move the wolf off of the underlay.

 

Move the shepherd to the gate. Close the gate. Pause. Leave all the "figures" and underlay out while you move to Wondering Together.

 

  

Responding to God's Word:
Wondering Together

 

Now it's time to look up from the story and engage in the verbal wondering. Be patient, sometimes it takes the children a while to feel happy to speak. Sometimes the quietest children are doing the deepest wondering!

 

Begin wondering with the children.

 

I wonder if the sheep have names?

I wonder if the sheep are happy in this place?

 

Trace the sheepfold with your fingers.

 

I wonder how many sheep really could live in this place?

 

Trace the place of danger.

 

I wonder if you have ever had to go through places of danger?

 

I wonder how the sheep feel with the Good Shepherd?

 

I wonder how the Good Shepherd feels about the sheep?

 

I wonder if the shepherd has a name?

 

I wonder who the shepherd could really be?

 

Trace the sheepfold with your fingers.

 

I wonder where this place might really be?

 

Trace  the underlay with your finger.

 

I wonder where this whole place might really be?

© 2020 by Galbreath Digital Culture Ministries.          beth@bethgalbreath.com       Rev. Beth Galbreath, United Methodist deacon