The bride-to-be was obviously nervous. It was only the rehearsal, but already the pastor
could see that tomorrow's wedding might be in for problems. "You're letting it all get to
you," he told her gently, as he pulled her aside. "Just take it one little step at a time. When
you get to the door with your father tomorrow afternoon, look only at the aisle ahead of
you. You've walked it hundreds of times, every Sunday when you come to church. Think
only of that.
"Then, when you get to the front, glance toward the altar. Here's where you first received
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.