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Activity 1: Story and Discussion - Jesus and the Sheep
Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Story 1, "Jesus and the Sheep"
Preparation for Activity
- Read the story.
- Photocopy Story 1, "Jesus and the Sheep," one for each participant.
Description of Activity
Youth hear a parable of love and forgiveness.
Read or tell the story "Jesus and the Sheep." Alternately, you might ask for one or more volunteers to read it.
Ask the youth for comments and reactions. Do they like hearing Jesus' parables? Is telling stories a good way to teach? Why do they think Jesus did not tell people more directly how they should act?
Offer these ideas if the group has not already done so in the discussion:
- In comparing himself to a shepherd, Jesus suggested that teaching, guiding, and leading other people are good, virtuous acts. Do UUs believe this?
- When he said that good shepherds love their sheep, he was preaching the value of love. Do UUs value love?
- By praising the shepherd who searched for the lost sheep, he encouraged people to value each other. Do UUs preach that we should value each other?
- Comparing himself to a shepherd taking care of sheep, Jesus used a metaphor. In the metaphor, his followers are likened to sheep. What would we today think of calling people “sheep?” Is the connotation pleasant? Do you think Jesus was calling his followers “mindless” or might the sheep metaphor have meant something different to people who were farmers and shepherds during Jesus’ time?
- When he spoke of heavenly joy over sinners who repent, Jesus suggested that God was loving, kind, and forgiving of sinners. Do UUs who believe in God believe God is loving, kind, and forgiving? Some UUs do not believe in a god, but do some still believe that the universe is a loving, kind, and forgiving place? Do most UUs believe we should be loving, kind, and forgiving of each other?
Would participants agree that UUs believe many of the things Jesus taught?