This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. Accordingly, our first reading is the familiar story of
Pentecost from chapter 2 of Acts. And, accompanying it, we have two other passages that
bring to light the work of the Holy Spirit. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul discusses the gifts of
the Spirit and in John 20, Jesus breathes on his disciples, saying, "Receive the Holy
It would be natural enough, therefore, for us to conclude that we should preach this week
about the Holy Spirit.
In so many of our churches, the Holy Spirit is the most unmentioned member of the
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.