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Shepherd Saves Silly Sheep

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(An excerpt from The Gospel in Greasepaint: Creative Biblical Skits for Clowns, Mimes, and Other Fools for Christ)

Based on: Luke 15:1-7.

Theme: Sin, salvation.

Cast: Narrator and two clowns.

Level: Children/adult.

Props: Two signs ("99 Sheep," "Save Our Sheep"--the first letters of the second sign are much larger than the rest of the words so that SOS is clearly visible), umbrella (with curved handle), bell, 7-Up cans, fake binoculars, huge sunglasses, flashlight, party poppers, horn or noisemaker, cotton balls.

The Performance

(The narrator talks to the children gathered at the front.) You have a special part in today's story. You get to pretend to be sheep. We are going to pretend here in this group we have 99 sheep. What would 99 sheep sound like? Let's hear the 99 sheep "baa" now. (Children baa.) That's good. Every time I hold up this sign (holds up the sign that reads "99 sheep") you all talk like sheep. Remember, only when I hold up the sign. Let's start our story.

Once a shepherd owned 100 sheep. (The "Shepherd" clown, carrying a folded umbrella upside-down as if it were a shepherd's crook, enters. The "Sheep" clown crawls in on all fours.) The good shepherd owned 99 (the narrator holds up the sign and children baa) well-behaved sheep that did everything the shepherd wanted them to do, and he owned one naughty sheep that often got into trouble. (Sheep clown butts the narrator.)

On hot days (Shepherd dons a pair of huge sunglasses and fans himself with his hat) the shepherd would take his 99 sheep (the narrator holds up the sign) and the one silly sheep to get a cool drink from the stream. (Shepherd puts a six-pack of empty 7-UP cans near the children.) The naughty sheep would butt her way to the front of the line and not let any other sheep get a drink. (Sheep crouches possessively over all the cans. Shepherd pulls the Sheep away from the cans with his umbrella's crook and shakes his finger at her.) The shepherd would have to stop the naughty sheep, so that the 99 sheep (the narrator holds up the the sign) could get a drink from the stream.

When the shepherd would take his sheep to a field filled with luscious green grass to eat, the 99 sheep (the narrator holds up the sign) followed him, but the naughty sheep often went the other way. (The Shepherd points and walks in one direction. Sheep crawls rapidly in the opposite direction. The Shepherd looks back over his shoulder, runs back to the Sheep, grabs her with the crook of his umbrella, and points the Sheep in the proper direction.) When the shepherd made her go in the right direction with the 99 sheep (the narrator holds up the sign), the silly sheep would pout and whine all day. (Sheep pouts.)

Even though the silly sheep did many bad things, the shepherd still loved her just like he loved all his sheep. (The Shepherd pats or hugs Sheep.)

One evening the shepherd rang his bell (Shepherd rings a bell) to call all the sheep (the narrator holds up the sign) into their pens where they would be safe from wolves, bears, lions, and other dangers. (Sheep slips away and crawls up on a pew or platform where she can be easily seen.) The shepherd began counting his sheep. One, two, three, (Shepherd mimes counting the children) four, five . . . Until he got up to 99. (The narrator holds up the sign.) Oh, no! The shepherd owned 100 sheep, not just 99. (The narrator holds up the sign.) One sheep was missing! Which one was it? (Sheep waves.) The naughty sheep, of course.

The good shepherd began to worry. He knew all the harmful things that might hurt the missing sheep. What would he do? The shepherd would go and find her because each and every one of his sheep was special to him. (Shepherd begins walking around, pretending to be searching. He uses fake binoculars with huge eyeballs painted on the ends.)

Soon the sun went down, and everything got very dark. (Shepherd pulls a flashlight from his pocket.) Then rain began to fall (Shepherd feels imaginary rain drops and transforms his staff into an umbrella), the lightning flashed, and the thunder cracked (Sheep explodes a party popper)!

Meanwhile, the naughty sheep was lost, wet, cold, and scared! (Sheep shivers.) Why did she wander off? She just wanted to see what was over the hill, but she found only rocks and thorns. (Sheep pretends to prick her hoof on a thorn.) No good green grass at all. Now she was lost and cold and caught in some thorns. She might never find home again. A wolf or bear might eat her. Things were looking very . . . (Sheep finishes the narrator's sentence by bleating, "BAAAAAD").

Now she was sorry. She was sorry for running away. She was sorry for all the bad things she had ever done. If only some help would come. (Sheep holds up the "S.O.S." sign.

After many hours of searching, the good shepherd was tired and numb from the cold. (Shepherd staggers, leans on the folded umbrella, and shivers.) But look! (Shepherd leaps up excitedly, and Sheep starts waving at him.) There was the little lost sheep! The shepherd joyfully ran over and reached out with his shepherd's staff to save the sheep. (Shepherd reaches out the umbrella. Sheep grabs the umbrella and then leaps into Shepherd's arms. The Shepherd honks a horn, and they dance back to the children.)

The sheep was so happy to be back that she never again ran away from the shepherd. She also became better friends with the 99 sheep. (The narrator holds up the sign, children baa, Sheep hugs various children.) And that also made the good shepherd happy. (Shepherd nods head.)

Does this story of the silly sheep remind you of anybody? People are like that lost sheep, and God is like that good shepherd. We often don't do what God wants for us. We often choose things that will later hurt us. Yet, God, our good shepherd, still loves us so much that he wants to save us from the trouble we get in.

To help you remember the story, we are giving each one of you a white ball of cotton that looks just like the white wool of a little lost sheep. (Shepherd and Sheep begin handing out cotton balls to the children.)

Copyright 1995 Mark D. Stucky
From The Gospel in Greasepaint: Creative Biblical Skits for Clowns, Mimes, and Other Fools for Christ

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