Mothers always save memorabilia. In my memory box I found a campaign button from the 1964 presidential election. It said only AU/H2O. It was for Barry Goldwater. This is stuff I would have tossed thirty years ago but good old Mom saved it in a memory box. Barry Goldwater played an important part in American politics for decades. He was the U.S. Senator from Arizona who recognized the importance of water to a desert state. Water was valued like gold in the Southwest. Perhaps it seems unusual to compare Barry Goldwater, a crusty politician, to Jesus. There are good parallels.
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.