Lesson 1: Genesis 32:22-31 (C) Jacob wrestles with an angel. Jacob with his family and herds was on his way back to his parents' home. When he learned that Esau with 400 men were coming to him, Jacob was scared that Esau was coming to kill him. To appease Esau, he sent gifts in advance and then his servants, wives and children. He remained at the end of the procession. Jacob spent the night in prayer as he wrestled with a man until he received a blessing.
Lesson 1: Nehemiah 9:16-20 (E) Upon hearing the Law, the people confess their sins.
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.