Many Parents and teachers prepare children for Confession & Reconciliation by having the children imagine themselves as little lost lambs as part of their Examination of Conscience. The following activity enables a young child to cultivate a true sense of contrition for their sin, while also increasing their appreciation of the JOY that reconciliation with God brings!
By using images and ideas from the story, Little Lamb Finds Christmas, even very young children can grasp the idea that we can be lost and stuck in our sins…and the love of Jesus sets us free! It’s not too early to get a child’s heart ready for confession and reconciliation. For children still too young for the actual sacrament, this activity helps them not to fear that special one-on-one time with Jesus through the ministry of the priest, but to look forward to it and to all the grace it brings!
Confession and Reconciliation really is all about finding Jesus again, and again, and AGAIN!
Click below for a free download of “Finding Jesus” activity to help your child/ren
experience the JOY of forgiveness, mercy and reconciliation.
To do the activity, print out the activity page and then together with your child (or with your class), for each of the first four pictures and reflective sentences:
1)Read the line and look at the picture
2) Each child can prayerfully think about their own habits and sins
3) Discuss what each line means
For the middle line about being “Sorry”, children too young for sacramental confession can still silently and prayerfully confess their sins to Jesus (for now), thinking about how our sins hurt God, others and ourselves. Explain how when they are old enough, they will get to give all those yukky sins to Jesus through the priest during sacramental Reconciliation, and get all that extra Sacramental Grace and power, just like Jesus wants us to.
For the final four pictures and reflective sentences, have the child share one of their “sins” with you and apply it to the rest of the lines together. Emphasize how Jesus’ forgiveness and grace makes us stronger to choose what is good and to avoid what is not.
Children old enough to be preparing for for a Sacramental reconciliation, can think of each line more personally and make the whole activity a prayer that engages their imagination in each step of the process.
Finding Jesus! was created by award winning author, speaker and catechist, Cathy Gilmore. A native of St. Louis, MO she is a married mother of three. Experience with the Montessori-based children’s Bible study program, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd gives Cathy a unique approach to writing children’s literature. Her endearing children’s book Little Lamb Finds Christmas is the story in which the LOVE of the Good Shepherd, the MIRACLE of the Peaceable Kingdom and the JOY of Christmas are all tucked into one charming holiday parable. Cathy’s passion is to cultivate each reader’s spiritual imagination through stories that touch the heart with the transforming love of Christ.
Featured illustration of Lemi the lamb is by Kim Wilson, from the book Little Lamb Finds Christmas, published by Liguori Publications 2014.