Huckle the Cat and his school teacher Miss Honey the Bear, Bananas Gorilla, Captain Salty, Pig Will and Pig Won't, Sergeant Murphy the Police Dog, and my favorite, Lowly the Worm; if you know these names then you are familiar with the work of Richard Scarry, author and illustrator of children's books, who passed away in '94 at age 75. Scarry wrote over 250 books, which in thirty languages have sold over 100 million copies. He said, "The greatest compliment I can receive is to be told that some of my books are held together with more Scotch tape than there is paper in the original book.
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.