a stack of numbers on Post-it notes, starting with one down the stack to 25 (or however many children it is possible to have)
Good morning, boys and girls.
Each of you must take a number, please. (pass out numbers to each child as they come up before they sit down)
We're going to talk about waiting. It's very hard to wait sometimes. Where have you been where you had to take a number before? (let them answer) Sometimes in stores it is very busy at Christmastime and instead of trying to figure out who is next, stores have people take a number.
I am so happy to see you this morning. How are you? (children may respond)
Let's play a game I call “Lost and Found.” Okay? (children respond)
(presenter role plays) Uh, oh, I lost something for today's message. Hmm, I wonder where it could be. It's a box like this. (shows approximate dimensions) (instruct the children to look around the immediate area) (then presenter or child finds it)
Since the Fourth Sunday in Lent has been historically identified as Laetare (Rejoicing Sunday), it is most appropriate that the lessons collectively testify to a theme for which we can rejoice — God saves us by his grace!
In this familiar and well-loved story of the Prodigal Son, I often wonder what happened to the mother of the family. She's totally ignored. So are any daughters. It seems like a completely male stronghold. So much so that I wonder whether perhaps the mother had died some years previously, and that was the cause of much of the unhappiness displayed by both the father and the sons. Or whether the father was such a domineering character that his wife played no real part in family life, but simply bowed her head in compliance with all his wishes, no matter how extreme they were.