Cycle A Second Lesson Sermons for Advent, Christmas, Epiphany
Every summer Kaitlin joins her youth group on mission trips. One summer the group traveled to New Orleans to help with the Hurricane Katrina relief. Their job was to clean out houses that had not been open since the hurricane. "As I entered the first untouched home," Kaitlin remembered, "the idea of caring and reaching to others really kicked in." Her first thought was to complain about the conditions but she said, "I knew if this were my own home that would be the last thing thought crossing my mind.
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.