One child coming out of church after service asked the pastor, "Are you God?" When we wear our cleric, some folks put us on a very high level. When I drive in town with my cleric on, I drive more carefully so if I am stopped, God's reputation will not suffer. If someone knows you are a Christian and a church member, how do you act when you are with them? The Bible tells us to let others see our good works and give him the glory. Even though John was baptizing the Lord of lords, he remained humble and did not take the credit that belonged to Christ alone.
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.