Alone for his first cruise ship voyage, a young man felt a stranger among crowds of aging
patrons. But one youngish woman kept sidling up to him in the most unlikely of spots.
She seemed to recognize him, at least by the knowing look in her eyes. Finally, he
apologized for not having a clue who she was.
"I'm sorry," she said. "I didn't mean to stare at you, but you look so much like my first
Taken aback, he stammered a halting condolence, and asked hesitantly what had
happened to her husband. "Oh," she replied cheerfully, "I haven't been married ...
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.