First Lesson Sermons For Advent/Christmas/Epiphany Cycle C
The Holy Gospel appointed for this First Sunday after Christmas was chosen to help us understand the development of that Holy Child whose birth we have just celebrated with joy and high delight. However, in Bible classes pastors generally have difficulty handling the protests of mothers who think that the behavior of the twelve-year-old boy Jesus was quite reprehensible. Mothers normally contend that no matter how impressive Jesus may have been with the teachers in the Temple, he gets poor marks for the anxiety he caused both Mary and Joseph.
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.