At the end of the Crimean War in 1856, Immanuel Nobel went
bankrupt. His armaments factory, located in St. Petersburg, was no
longer needed to provide munitions for the war effort. Immanuel
returned to his home country of Sweden, leaving his three oldest sons
behind to salvage the business. One son, Alfred, was trained as a
chemist and physicist. Through tireless work he discovered the lethal
combination of mixing nitroglycerine and black powder, to create what
he called dynamite. He went on to develop several other explosive
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.