Children and the Sacramental Imagination

In last Sunday’s SCORE class we drew from the collective wisdom of both the Scriptures and our children.

In the beginning:

. . . a sheep wandered away from the fold . . . and Jesus said, “Imagine that you are a farmer who owns a hundred sheep. One day you count only ninety-nine. What would you do? We all have heard the parable from Luke’s Gospel (15:3-7).

Jesus frequently used parables to ignite the religious imagination of his listeners. And so it happened with the children in our SCORE classroom, the parable of the lost sheep captured our collective imagination as we discussed the times when we, like the little sheep, have wandered away. Together, we identified those actions and behaviors which have not reflected our best selves.

Through our class discussions, faith sharing, and small group activities, I continue to observe the children’s growing awareness of the elements of Reconciliation:

  • at times we sin, we miss the mark [recalling from the discussion at our October 12 parent meeting, sin doesn’t mean to commit something wrong; rather it simply means to miss, to be absent. The Hebrew root for the word sin, means to miss].
  • Jesus helps us to say, “I am sorry.”
  • God always forgives, and always welcomes us home.
  • Receiving forgiveness is cause for celebration.

Sending forth:
The children’s sacramental imagination was ignited once again while participating in the take home activity. The decorated with cotton balls a little cut-out sheep to remind them of Jesus, our Good Shepherd. On the reverse side of the little sheep the children wrote a prayer thanking Jesus for watching over them.

At home:

  • Talk about the parable of the Lost Sheep.  Be open to your child igniting your religious imagination of turning around, being found, and the joy of forgiveness.
  • The little sheep your child came home from SCORE can generate conversation on the love of the Good Shepherd, and the joy of being found. Together read the prayer your child wrote.
  • Celebrate God’s continual graces informing, enlightening, sustaining us throughout this year of sacramental formation.

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