Gospel Sermons For Sundays After Pentecost (First Third) Cycle C
The widow of Nain, the Gospel story just read: Can you picture the scene?
"A man who had died was being carried out. He was his mother's only son, and she was a widow."
Can you picture it? Can you feel the pathos of her anguish, her hopelessness, her helplessness as she is left alone?
We know her, don't we? We've stood beside the various shapes and forms she has taken in her grief -- the widows and widowers, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, grandsons and grandmothers. We have seen her, stood beside her, and in our own times, been 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.