The road-weary business traveler steps out of a taxicab, suitcase in hand, and climbs the
steps of a downtown hotel. "I'd like to check in," he says to the doorman.
"Right this way, sir," the doorman replies, ushering the man through the revolving door.
He directs him not to the front desk, but to a machine resembling an ATM. A sign posted
on the machine instructs the traveler to insert his credit card, punch in his room
preference, and the machine will issue him his key.
They say these "automatic check-in kiosks" are the wave of the future in major hotels. No
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.