First Lesson Sermons For Sundays After Pentecost (Last Third)
Today is the festival of Christ the King. During this past year our liturgical cycle has moved from the whole world waiting for its Savior, through the coming of an infant in poverty and obscurity, his dying, rising, and returning to the Father, the church's own pilgrimage in the image of Christ, to his final coming trailing on clouds of glory. Today we reach the liturgical end of the story. Today our liturgy celebrates the high point of creation, when humankind and all that is, even death itself, will be subjected to Christ.
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.