John was tired. He could hardly stand up. He needed rest. Mrs. Ho's surgery had been very intense and, although the team was great, he felt it his responsibility to stay with the woman until her vital signs strengthened. He wanted to be close, but he needed to rest. He called the charge nurse, instructing Shirley to keep someone close to Mrs. Ho and let him know if there was any change at all in her vital signs. He would be asleep in the doctors' lounge down the hall. The lounge was probably deserted at this early hour in the morning, and he desperately needed to nap and catch a quick bite.
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.