Clifton Fadiman reports in Anecdotes how Frank Costello, racketeer, amazed people with his ability to wield power even while in jail. He smoked English cigars, though no one knew how he smuggled them in. He ate steak as though he were sitting in a restaurant. On one occasion, his attorney Edward Bennett Williams, was visiting Costello late one afternoon and told him that he was upset because he had failed to get tickets to My Fair Lady and had already invited his wife's parents to the play to celebrate their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary.
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.