Liturgical Drama

Left Behind: The Story of a Few Good Sheep

Today was Children’s Sunday at Main Street Church. We used texts and hymns about the Good Shepherd, and the Gospel lesson was Luke 15:1-7 (The Parable of the Lost Sheep). We then presented the following drama, including performances by #1 Son as "Shep," Snowman as the Narrator and Molly as the runaway sheep, Blackbonnet. The other parts were undertaken by children in the church family, as well as the congregation. I would like to offer a tip of the hat to Barbara Kersey, daughter of my childhood pastor, who complained bitterly about this parable when we were in high school and got me thinking along these lines a long time ago.

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
(Luke 15:1-7, NRSV)

Narrator – A long time ago, in a pasture far, far away, three sheep met under a shady tree. There names were Cottonball, Whitey and Baab. They greeted each other and commented on the weather, and then Whitey asked an important question.

Whitey – I was just wondering what happened to Shep? He’s always around, but I don’t see him anywhere! Have you seen him, Baab?

Baab – BAAAAAA!!!!!!

Cottonball – I heard he went out looking for Blackbonnet.

Whitey – That Blackbonnet, always wandering off. She is such a silly little lamb.

Baab – BAAAAAA!!!!

Narrator – They all wondered why her mother didn’t take better care of her and teach her to behave like a decent little lamb.

Whitey – Lambs should be seen and not heard.

Baab – BAAAAAA!!!!

Cottonball – And I hate to mention it, but what if some dangerous animal should come by and try to eat us! It’s Shep’s job to take care of ALL of us!

Whitey – There must be 99 of us, and only one little lamb who wandered off. What does one little lamb matter?

Baab – BAH!

Cottonball – I think we need to call a meeting. SHEEP!!! SHEEP!!!

Narrator – Cottonball gathered all the sheep together near the shady tree.

Cottonball – I’ve called you all here today to discuss the current situation involving Blackbonnet. As you know, that silly little lamb has wandered off. And instead of taking care of us good, obedient sheep, Shep has gone to look for her!! I say this has to stop!! Do you agree?

(Narrator holds us “BAAAA!!!! BAAAA!!!!” sign.)

All – BAAAAA!!!!  BAAAAA!!!!

Cottonball – When Shep gets back, I’m going to give him a piece of my mind!! Imagine caring more about one little runaway than the rest of us?!???!!! It’s preposterous!!!

(Narrator holds us “BAAAA!!!! BAAAA!!!!” sign.)

All – BAAAAA!!!! BAAAAA!!!!

Narrator – Just then, they saw Shep coming.

(Shep enters with Blackbonnet.)

Shep – Hello, my friends!! Look, it’s Blackbonnet!!! She’s safe!!!

Baab – BAAAA!!!!

(Narrator holds us “BAAAA!!!! BAAAA!!!!” sign.)

All – BAAAA!!!! BAAAA!!!!

Cottonball – Shep, I want to have a word with you.

Shep – What is it, Cottonball?

Cottonball – You were gone a long time looking for Blackbonnet.

Whitey – That’s right, he was.

(Narrator holds us “BAAAA!!!! BAAAA!!!!” sign.)

All – BAAAA!!!! BAAAA!!!!

Shep – It took a long time to find her. You see, she saw some pretty flowers and wandered off, and she couldn’t find her way home by herself.

Whitey – I believe that!

Baab – BAH!!!

(Narrator holds up “BAAAA!!!! BAAAA!!!!” sign.)

All – BAAAA!!!! BAAAA!!!!

Cottonball – That’s just the point, Shep. Here we all were, 99 of us sheep and lambs, quietly minding our own business, behaving as nicely as anyone could want. And you went off and left us here!!! You left us all alone!!!

Whitey – Yes, you did!!!

Baab – BAAAA!!!!

(Narrator holds up “BAAAA!!!! BAAAA!!!!” sign.)

All – BAAAA!!!! BAAAA!!!!

Shep – Now, Cottonball, were you really alone?

Cottonball – Yes!

Shep – Cottonball?

Cottonball – Well, no, not really alone exactly. But who was going to keep us safe with you gone, Shep?

Shep – I can’t always be with you, Cottonball. Sometimes you have to take care of each other.

Whitey – But why do you care more about one bad lamb than you care about the rest of us?

Shep – When lambs get lost, that’s when they need me most, Whitey. Don’t you remember the time Baab got separated from the flock?

Baab – BAAAA!!!! I remember!!! You helped me!!!!

Shep – That’s right. I went looking for you just the way I went looking for Blackbonnet today. I care about all the sheep, the young ones and the old, the mothers and the fathers, the black sheep and the white sheep. I love all of you, but sometimes one of you needs me more than the others do. And if I can find one lost sheep, isn’t that good news for all of us?

Baab – BAAAA!!!!

(Narrator holds up “BAAAA!!!! BAAAA!!!!” sign.)

All – BAAAA!!!! BAAAA!!!!

Narrator – All the sheep began to celebrate little Blackbonnet’s return. Now they understood that the shepherd loves all the sheep, just the way Jesus loves all people. And *that* is the Good News today, for all of us. Amen.

8 thoughts on “Left Behind: The Story of a Few Good Sheep”

  1. Lovely!
    When we were finally able to bring LM home from Mexico, after 2 years of bureaucratic nightmares, she was 5 years old. The first few months were magical–she was sweet and funny and such a total miracle in our lives. I had read a lot about adopting older children so I “knew” about the “honeymoon” period where an older child makes a very concerted effort to win the approval of his or her new family. I also “knew” that it’s not unusual for that to be followed by a “rebound”.
    Well, rebound we did. LM began having these epiisodes of rage that are undescribable–literally, her countenance changed, she became very, very violent. All the book knowledge in the world could not have prepared me for the sheer raw, explosive pain and anger this little body, this little self carried within her. It was nuclear. I was appalled by the primitiveness of it all–how threatened I felt, how desperate to control “it”, how every single tactic we took, guided by an army of psychiatrists, therapists, social workers, etc, only seemed to entrench her in these new behavior patterns.
    There is only one memory of grace and goodness from those months. LM was still tiny–though she was 5 she was the size and weight of a 3 year old, so on my good, strong days, I would simply hold her against me and let her rail at life. One day, in the midst of the chaos, she made real eye contact, and I still am convinced that it was God’s grace that inspired me to start telling the parable of the Lost Sheep to her. I described how that little sheep felt so lost and scared and angry, and how she was sure that no one would ever look for her or find her, how cold and hungry and totlly alone she was, and then, there was the Good Shepherd, reaching down and picking her up and holding her against his heart.
    As I told her the story, her little body slowly relaxed against me, and she began doins some of her “self-soothing” behaviors and allowing me to run my hand through her hair. Now, by this time, we had already been told that LM had serious developmental delays and that she was functioning about at the level of an 18 month old. But that afternoon, she so got it when she looked at me and me and said, “Mami, I am that little sheep.” Still makes me cry when I think about that moment. “Yes, my darling. You are one of the little sheep of the Good Shepherd and nothing, nothing will make the Good Shepherd stop looking for you whenever you are lost.”

  2. I have goosebumps RevRosa… beautiful story. And a big AMEN! to you too Songbird. What a great way to illustrate the story for the kids.

  3. Wow, great drama Songbird. And Rosa, what a blessing! Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. Hey Songbird, this is a great little drama that I would like to maybe use tomorrow for part of our worship. I will ask the youth class to consider doing it during children’s time.thnaks for sharing it!
    Peace, Quaker Pastor

  5. Wow! Great drama! I would like to use it for our setting Sunday if that’s okay. Love the story from rev Rosa, I’d use it, but I’d cry all the way through!Praying for you and your family as you seek that precious kitty. (((songbird and kitty)))

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