Gospel Sermons For Sundays After Pentecost (Last Third) Cycle C
Here is a true story about a strange funeral service.
The deceased man had no church home, but that is not the unusual part of the story. The man's widow asked for a certain clergyman to be the funeral preacher. The desired clergyman had performed a family wedding a few years earlier. That is not unusual either. It is what is called "an extended church family relationship." In other words, the man had been neither a church member nor a church goer, but there had been a connecting experience -- in this case a family wedding.
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.