Edith Burns lived in San Antonio, and she always introduced herself this way: "Hello, my
name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?" When Edith was hospitalized and close
to death, she asked her doctor to put her in a room with a non-Christian so she could
share her faith. Everybody at the hospital loved Edith, but the head nurse, Phyllis Cross,
was not impressed. Phyllis rejected all of Edith's comments that Edith was praying for
her, until one day Phyllis asked Edith, "How come you ask others if they believe in
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.