Who is Jesus? We learn a lot of Jesus' identity from what goes on here: He is "The Lamb
of God who takes away the sin of the world!" He is the one who comes after John but
ranks ahead of him and upon whom John saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a
dove, and remaining. He is the Son of God.
At the same time that we learn who Jesus is, he teaches us who we are. Specifically here,
Jesus knows who Peter really is. He's not just Simon son of John. Jesus knows who he is
destined to be and who by God's grace he will be: The Rock. So also at our
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.