Cycle B Sermons for Sundays after Pentecost (First Third)
There is nothing like taking part in a worship service with 17,000 people. If you are surrounded by a choir that large, all of the hymns sound in tune. With that many people gathered to pray in the same place at the same time, you have no doubt God will hear somebody in the crowd. And when a super-charged speaker stands up to challenge people to follow the commandments of Christ, the group dynamics of such a huge crowd ensure that someone, somewhere, is ready to answer the challenge.
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.