Ask people, "What special tree was located in the Garden of Eden?" Most will reply that
it was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. That was an exceptional tree, but not the
most special one. The most important tree there was the tree of life. That plant could have
given Adam and Eve eternal life, but they never paid much attention to it. They became
fixated on the other tree.
How could they be so unwise as to spend their time on that forbidden fruit, and why did
they believe the devil's lie? We need only look at our own choices. The tree of life is
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.