In August 2002, Linda and Anthony O'Malley traveled from Wales to Spain with plans to
find and buy a retirement property. What they found instead, however, was murder.
Linda and Anthony fell victim to two con men who had rented a villa, then advertised it
as for sale in the English language papers. They listed it at a bargain price so Linda and
Anthony decided to go for a look. They liked what they saw. The con men instructed
them to come back with a deposit in order to ensure the property would not be sold to
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.