Before there was Harry Potter, there was Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit. In J. R. R. Tolkien's wise fantasy, this short, hairy-footed resident of the Shire in Middle-Earth was a well-to-do bachelor and country squire. Comfortable and conventional, but just a touch bored with life, he nevertheless was shocked when the mysterious wizard, Gandalf, knocked on his door one spring morning and requested his services as (of all things) a thief. The clever, nimble-fingered hobbit was just the person to help a struggling band of dwarves reclaim their treasure from a greedy dragon.
“And immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.” (v. 52b)
Good morning whoever is out there.
I hope you boys and girls are here this morning. Since I can't see you, let me know if you are actually present. (have the children touch and/or speak and/or sing) (Humor works, like have the children repeat something silly like, “Good morning fantastic, awesome, most highest lord pastor/teacher”)
I remember going to a Lent group years ago, where the priest gave all us lay folk a piece of paper and a pen and asked us to write down what we knew about Jesus. He didn't want us to write down what we'd been told about Jesus or read about Jesus, but simply what we knew for ourselves from our own experience.
I ended up with a blank sheet of paper, but one person wrote, "I know that Jesus saves me." That led onto an interesting discussion along the lines of: saves you from something? Or for something?