Free Psalm 23 Toddler Lesson - Week 9

MY SHEPHERD CATCHES ME WHEN I FALL!

Concepts Children Learn:

When I stumble and fall, my shepherd treats me gently and sets me on my feet again.

When I fall, my shepherd catches me.
My shepherd is loving and kind even when I fall.
LESSON: There are story pictures, lamb crafts, and activities to hold their attention and make it fun. There are coloring pages to do when the children first arrive, and crafts to do after the lesson.
SUPPLIES LIST:
Color Story Pictures: 1, 2, 3, 4 5. (*You should already have all of them if you did Week 1-8 lessons.
BW Pictures: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Clear shelf paper (Optional)
Story Pictures - Print on card stock or regular paper. Cover with clear shelf paper (optional). Make sample of Lamb Fall Down Craft to use with lesson. See Directions on Craft Page.  

PREP: Mark bible with the memory verse: Psalm 23:3a. Supplies needed: A stuffed lamb, a small Ace bandage, and a dry erase board with marker, or chalk board and chalk. Only read words that are not in parentheses for the lesson. (The words in parentheses tell you what actions you do. The numbers in parentheses tell you what pictures to show while you are telling the story).

LESSON: MY SHEPHERD CATCHES ME WHEN I FALL!

Bible Memory Verse: Psalm 23:3a (The last part of verse is next week's topic). Other verses used as reference for lesson: Psalm 37:23-24.

Today we are going to hear another story about Marshmallow the lamb and his shepherd.. (1) If you've been listening to our stories about Marshmallow , you know how helpless Marshmallow is without his shepherd, and how much he needs his shepherd. In this story Marshmallow just keeps getting himself into trouble. Listen closely and we'll see what happens.
One bright, sunny morning, Marshmallow and his shepherd decided to go for a walk. (Set lamb on table, upright). Almost as soon as they started walking Marshmallow saw a pretty butterfly fluttering by. He ran after it to try to catch it. He was running so fast that he tripped and fell down! (Lay lamb flat on its side on table) "Hel-l-l-l-p!", Marshmallow cried out. His shepherd heard him cry out, so he ran to see if Marshmallow was hurt. He gently picked him up and brushed off his wool. (Pick up lamb and brush it off.) Marshmallow was O.K., so his shepherd set him back on his feet again. (Set lamb aside, and show picture 1) Marshmallow was sad because the butterfly got away. But, as they walked along, his shepherd came alongside of him to cheer him up.

(2) Soon they caught up with their friend Cotton Candy. Marshmallow was so happy to see his friend! He gave her a big hug! They stopped and talked for a while. When it was time to go, Marshmallow turned around to wave good-bye to his friend. But, he wasn't looking where he was going, and he bumped right into a big tree in front of him. "Ow-w-w!", he yelled. But, when he bumped into the tree, it knocked him over! So there he was...on the ground again! (Lay lamb on flat on its side). This time he was mad at himself for being so clumsy. He felt so hopeless. Why did he keep falling down? He was so sad. He thought to himself: Maybe the shepherd won't notice that I fell, and I can just sit here. So, he just sat there and didn't even try to get up. But his kind shepherd did notice. He came rushing over to him once again. He picked Marshmallow up, and brushed him off again. (Pick up lamb, brush it off, and hug it.) He asked Marshmallow if he was ok. Marshmallow answered, "Yeah, but I'm mad because I keep falling down!" The kind shepherd explained, "Everybody falls down sometimes. That's why I'm here...to help you when you fall." That made Marshmallow feel better. Now he had more energy; so the two of them started walking again.

Soon, Marshmallow saw a big log in the path. He thought it might be fun to try to jump over it. So he took a running leap...and he went flying off into the air! (Make stuffed lamb leap into the air) Whee-e-e-e! How fun it was to jump high! Uh-oh...the fun didn't last very long. When Marshmallow landed he tripped over the stump and fell down again! (Set lamb flat on its side). This time he fell near a big hill. He began sliding down the side of the big hill! (Move lamb slowly down over the edge of the table). "Hel-l-l-l-p!" Marshmallow yelled out, "I'm falling!" As soon as his shepherd saw Marshmallow falling, he quickly reached out his hand to grab him. He caught Marshmallow just in time and kept him from falling too far. Whew! that was close! said Marshmallow. "I almost slid all the way down that hill! And I would've gotten hurt really bad. Thank you so much for saving me!", Marshmallow said to his shepherd. (3) His kind shepherd gave Marshmallow a big hug and said, "I would do anything to keep you from getting hurt, I love you so much!"So the kind shepherd brushed off Marshmallow once again, (Pick up lamb, brush it off, hug it, and put it upright).
But when Marshmallow tried to walk, he couldn't move his leg. All he could do was wobble. (Make lamb wobble). So, down he went again! Plop! ( (Set lamb flat on its side). This time he started crying for his shepherd again. His shepherd went right over to see what was wrong. He looked closely at Marshmallow. Now he could see that Marshmallow had a broken leg. His leg was swelling up. So, he picked up little Marshmallow again. (Pick up lamb and hug it). Marshmallow was afraid because he thought the shepherd would be mad at him for falling so much. But, his shepherd just said, "Don't worry, my precious little lamb, I will make your leg all better very soon."

His shepherd was very strong. It was no problem at all for him to carry Marshmallow. And, that is exactly what he did. He put Marshmallow on his shoulder (4), and carried him all the way back home! What fun it was being way up high on his shepherd's shoulder. He could see lots of things when he was up so high. And, how wonderful it felt to be carried by his big strong shepherd. He felt so safe and loved. His leg hurt a little, but he trusted what his shepherd told him. His shepherd always did what he said he would do. He knew that his shepherd would fix up his leg, just like he said.

Once they got home, the shepherd put a bandage on Marshmallow's leg, just like he promised. (Place ace bandage on one of the lamb's legs). (5) They were both tired from the long walk, so Marshmallow laid down by his shepherd. How safe he felt by his shepherd! He stayed right by his shepherd all night long. The next morning, Marshmallow woke up early. He remembered that he had hurt his leg the day before. He wondered why it didn't hurt anymore. So his shepherd took off the bandage and looked at his leg. (Take off bandage). He said, "Your leg looks much better today. Its not swelled up any more. See if you can walk on it, Marshmallow." Marshmallow started walking real slowly. At first he was a little wobbly. (Make lamb wobble). But, then he took a few steps. (Make lamb walk). Hey! His leg felt O.k! Pretty soon, he was running! (Make lamb run). "Its all better! he said excitedly, (3) He ran over to his shepherd and gave him a big hug! He thanked him for making his leg all better. He also thanked his shepherd for carrying him all the way home when he couldn't walk. His shepherd looked at Marshmallow kindly and said, "I know little lambs tend to fall a lot, and I know you get yourself into a lot of trouble sometimes. But, I want you to know that I'm always here for you. You can call out to me anytime. I will always help you!" And, he gave Marshmallow a big hug. (Hug lamb). That made Marshmallow feel really safe. He knew that next time he fell, that he would have someone to help him get back up again. Someone who understood him and cared. And, someone who really did make it all better. The End.

CIRCLE TIME: (What does this mean for me?)

Well, I hope you all liked the story. Did you know that you have a shepherd who will help you when you fall, too? I don't mean fall down like Marshmallow did. You see, we also fall in a way when we sin. Sin means we do something wrong; things like hitting, punching, or taking something that isn't ours. Did you know that there is someone who will listen to you when you feel bad that you did something wrong. That someone is Jesus. You see, God doesn't want us to sin. But, if you do sin, you have a friend who will help you. When you go to Jesus and pray, he is always there for you. He will listen. If you tell him you are sorry, and ask him to forgive you, he will. When he forgives you, that's kind of like erasing it, like this: (Make a mark on chalk board or dry erase board, then erase it). That means its all gone. Isn't that wonderful? When we sin, if we ask Jesus to forgive us, he erases it...just like that!

Remember when Marshmallow fell down? His shepherd wasn't mad at him. His shepherd felt sorry for him and rushed over to see what was wrong. His shepherd was gentle with him and just wanted to help. That's how Jesus is with us, too. He just wants to help. And, he will always help you. He doesn't want you to stay in your sin. Remember when Marshmallow fell down and felt so bad that he didn't want to get up? (Lay lamb flat on its side). Well, Jesus loves us so much that he doesn't want us to stay down. He wants us to get up and walk again. (Pick lamb up and make it walk). He wants us to walk with him and follow after him.

Remember when Marshmallow fell, and almost slid down the big hill? His shepherd reached out his hand. Marshmallow could have gotten hurt really bad, but his shepherd saved him from that. He was kind enough to reach out his hand and pull him up when he called out for his shepherd.

Our shepherd does the same thing. Just like Marshmallow called out for his shepherd to help him when he fell. That's all we have to do, too. And, Jesus, our shepherd, will be there for us every time we call out to him. We can just go to him and pray; Or, we can even just whisper our prayer. We can even just think our prayer! He will still hear us because he even knows what we are thinking. Every time we call out to him, he helps us.

And, after we tell him we are sorry, and ask him to forgive us, he erases the sin and forgives us! (Demonstrate erasing a mark again). Its like when the shepherd picked up Marshmallow and set him on his feet again. (Hug lamb). He gives us new strength to start walking again. We don't have to feel guilty anymore. Just like the shepherd made Marshmallow's leg all better, Jesus makes us better, and stronger too. We'll be happy just because Jesus understands us and forgives us! And when we know that he will be there for us whenever we fall! That makes us feel loved and safe, just like Marshmallow felt loved and safe when his big, strong shepherd was carrying him. THE END.

PRAYER: Allow children to take turns praying after you or a helper prays.

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