“Today,” said Jesus, “we are going to have a chat about sheep.” Everyone says: “Baa!”

“First, I want you to think about the sheepfold. You know, the pen with the door, the safe place, where the sheep sleep at night.” Everyone says: “Baa!” again, followed by a little sheepy snore.

“Now, if someone climbs over the side of the pen and sneaks in, they’re up to no good, aren’t they? They’re sheep-stealers, robbers and thieves.” Everyone makes a frightened “Baa!” sound.

“But the shepherd, the shepherd uses the door. He walks up to the man who guards the door and says: ‘Let me in, please.’ And the guard lets him in, because he is the shepherd. As for the sheep, when they hear the shepherd’s voice, they get very excited.” Everyone jumps and gives a happy little “Baa!”

“And when he calls them by name: ‘Come here, Fluffy! Come here, Woolly! Come here, Tiny Poopy Pellet!’ They follow him wherever he goes because they recognise his voice.” Everyone goes: “Baa!” and makes a little marching motion.

“A stranger, however, they will not follow, because his voice they do not recognise.” Everyone shakes their head and goes: “Baa! Straaanger daaaanger!”

The people Jesus was talking to were a little confused by all of this, so Jesus went on.

“Listen carefully. This is the point I’m trying to make:

“I am like that door to the sheep pen. Those who came before me were like the sheep-stealers and the robbers. And that’s why the sheep didn’t listen to them.” Have them shake their heads and repeat: “Baa! Straaanger daaaanger!”

“I’ll say it again. I am the door to the sheep pen. And everyone who comes in through me will be saved, and come in and out, and find good pasture.

“The robber just wants to steal and hurt and destroy the sheep. But I came so they could have the very best life possible!” Have everyone shout: “Baaa! Hooraaaaay!”

“And that’s because I am also the good shepherd. And what does the good shepherd do? He gives up his life for his sheep.” Have everyone nod and give a sad little “Baa!”

“It’s different with the hired hand. He doesn’t own the sheep. He doesn’t really care about them. It’s just a job he does. So when the wolf comes, he runs away, because fighting that wolf is more than his job is worth. And the wolf grabs the sheep and gobbles them up.” Have everyone give a frightened “Baa!”

“But I am the good shepherd. The sheep belong to me. I know them and they know me, in the very same way that I know God, the Father, and he knows me. And that’s why I give up my life for them.” Everyone says: “Baa!” and then, “Thaaaank you, good shep­herd!”

“Just one more thing. There are other sheep. Sheep that are not in this sheep pen. I want to bring them in as well, so they will recognise my voice. And so there will be just one flock. And one shepherd.

“That’s why the Father loves me. Because I give up my life. And take it back again!” Have everyone say: “The good shepherd gives up his life. And takes it baaaaack again!”