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The Good Shepherd
By Jerome W. Berryman, Lois Mitchell
Church Publishing IncorporatedCopyright © 2014 Jerome W. Berryman
All rights reserved.
The box is the color gold. Maybe there is something precious inside, like gold.
There is a lid. The box is closed, but it looks like a present.
Maybe there is a parable inside, because parables are precious even if you don't know what they are.
Parables are also gifts. They were given to you before you were born.
It is hard to know what's inside parables, because they are hard to open and to go inside.
You need to be very quiet to open a parable. They can hop away like rabbits or shatter like glass unless you are very, very careful.
What does the green spot mean?
I have an idea. Let's turn the page to see what's in this box.
Are you ready?
Well, this is interesting. There is something green coming out of the box. It looks like a piece of cloth, but there is something strange about it. It looks alive as it flows out.
I wonder what could be so green? Could it be one of those things in a pond that frogs sit on? Perhaps, it's a leaf from a giant tree. I wonder if it is grass?
I wonder what could be on the other side? Look! When you turn it over the "other side" is still on the other side.
Let's pretend that we have smoothed out all the green so there are no wrinkles there at all. There. That's better.
Uh oh. There's something else coming out of the box.
It's blue. I wonder what could be so blue? It could be water. Water is blue.
What if it's one of those things you can look into and can see your own face? I wonder if it is like a mirror,
or maybe it's like a window, so you can look through to see the other side.
Oh, no. There's more. What's coming out of the box now?
They are very dark. There's no light in them at all. There are three.
They look like a shadows moving across the green until they stop.
Now they look like holes. There are two little ones and one long, big one. Maybe they are so deep they absorb the light. It goes in but it can't get out.
Sometimes people see a face when the dark parts are laid out like this. The face looks strange, doesn't it. There's no sparkle in the eyes and there is no smile.
Now what's coming out of the box? They look like long ?at strips. When you begin to play with them and lay them out they look like all kinds of things.
I wonder if each one is a path? A ?at stick? No. They aren't rubber bands. They don't stretch.
If you lay them out like this they look like two paths with a bridge connecting them.
When they are closed there is an inside and an outside.
If you are inside does it feel too closed? Maybe we need to make a gate so you can go inside or outside when you feel like it?
When the gate is closed it is a safe place. Look. More and more pieces are making it stronger. Is it like a house? I wonder who lives there?
Oh, it's a place for sheep. They are climbing out of the box. I wonder how many there really are?
This many? This many?
Or this many?
Maybe only this many?
Or maybe this many and more!
Let's say there are five. One, two, three, four, five. They look very happy inside.
Now, we are all ready. It's time for the story to begin. .....
Once there was someone who said such amazing things and did such wonderful things that people followed him. As they followed him, they sometimes just had to ask him who he was.
Once when they asked him, he said, "I am The Good Shepherd."
"I know each one of the sheep by name and they know the sound of my voice, so when I take the sheep from the sheepfold they follow me. I walk in front of the sheep to show them the way."
"I show them the way to the good grass and I lead them to the cool, still, fresh water."
Excerpted from The Good Shepherd by Jerome W. Berryman, Lois Mitchell. Copyright © 2014 Jerome W. Berryman. Excerpted by permission of Church Publishing Incorporated.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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