How does one describe love for another person? A Scotsman would say, "Love is an outward inexpressability of an inward all overishness." A teenager might call love "an itching in your heart that you can't scratch." A bride-to-be will likely say that "love is a feeling that you feel when you feel that you're feeling a feeling you've never felt before." And if you ask the poet Carl Sandburg he will tell you that love is "a personal sweat." We could go on passing the microphone around allowing folk singers, politicians, teachers, and housewives to have their say. But there is not enough time.
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.