Worship prepares us to recognize and receive God's grace -- no matter the circumstances.
During WWII, Jews in Berlin hid anywhere they could and the Nazis used every means
to find them. On Passover, April 22, 1940, Rabbi Nussbaum presided over Passover in
his apartment. Their Passover was like the first Passover. Nussbaum said they each
prepared with an invisible bundle on their backs and a staff in their hands, not to mention
the anxiety in their hearts.
We share this heritage with Jews, but we have more. Jesus' last Passover supper also
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.