In the days after 9/11, there were several incidents where planes flying in a suspicious
way in the sky got the attention of the air controllers. Fighter jets were immediately
deployed from the air bases to come alongside the errant planes and escort them safely
through the air until they landed.
That is what the Holy Spirit does. The Spirit comes alongside us when we are "in
trouble," makes himself known to us, escorts us on our way, communicating all the way,
and then helps bring us down for a safe landing. The "Counselor" is one who comes
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.