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Johann's Lamb

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It was a beautiful morning in early summer
and Johann whistled as he walked along towards the great cathedral that he was helping to build.

Johann was a stonemason and he had been asked to help carve patterns in the stonework high up on the tower.

It was very important work and something only the best stonemasons were asked to do.
So Johann was feeling happy - and proud - as he walked along.
He shouted out a cheery "Good morning!" to the shepherd whom he often saw walking slowly along taking his flock to the pasture.
How the lambs had grown in a few short weeks -
they were almost as big as their mothers!

All morning Johann worked -
it was difficult getting the patterns just right -
but Johann was enjoying himself.
From his perch in the tower he could see for miles.
He was still whistling
but more quietly now - through his teeth.
He needed the smallest chisel to carve the last leaf.
It was on the ledge beside him and
without really looking, Johann stretched out his hand for it - and fell!
Other workmen saw him hurtling towards the ground -
they ran, thinking that surely Johann would be dead.
As they turned the corner, they were amazed to see
Johann getting to his feet - quite unharmed.
He had landed on something soft.

It was one of the lambs that he had seen earlier
which had broken his fall
- and it was dead.

Johann was very glad to be alive and very sad that the lamb was not.
He would always remember that lamb -
but other people would soon forget.

Johann went to see the important people in charge of the cathedral
and asked if he might carve one more pattern.
They agreed - and to this day, on the great stone lintel
above the great wooden door,
is the beautiful carving of that special lamb.
The lamb who saved Johann's life.

Sometimes Jesus is called the Pascal Lamb or the Lamb of God.
At Easter we remember how on Good Friday
He died that we might live.
And on Easter Sunday, how He rose from the dead
and is alive for evermore!

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