Letty looked around the cafe. The usual were present: the man who wore a plastic grocery sack on his head when it rained, and Harry who, every day, had one pant leg tucked in a boot, and one pant leg over a boot. The fellow who either cursed the wall or laughed half the time was at his table. It was hard to decide which was better: when he took his medication or when he didn't. The tall, skinny man was in the corner booth. He twitched constantly and coughed like a machine gun. Bessie was sitting on a stool at the counter. She was so large no one could sit on the stools next to her.
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.