On Passion Sunday we took note of the work of Richard Fortey, an English paleontologist, who published a book called Life. The work is a popular summary of all the evidences of the wide distribution of fossils that inform us as to how life began on this amazing planet of ours. What is still missing for paleontologists and anthropologists as well, are fossil remains of someone who can be recognized as the predecessor of human beings we know as homo sapiens. What is clear, however, is that civilization had its roots in those areas where grain was first domesticated.
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.