19"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine
linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20And at his gate
lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man's table; even
the dogs would come and lick his sores. 22The poor man died and
was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man
also died and was buried. 23In Hades, where he was being
tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by
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.