Maddie really wanted to go into the Haunted House. All the other kids were doing it, coming out screaming and shaking but laughing at the same time. But Maddie was younger, sensitive, and hesitant. Her grandpa, seeing her desire and sensing her desperation, called out from behind her, "Maddie, you can do it. Go ahead." Whenever Maddie heard her grandpa call her name, a warm feeling surged inside her. She turned and asked with her eyes if he would go with her through the haunted house. Grandpa understood his only granddaughter for whom he would do anything.
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.