Second Lesson Cycle A Proper 23 through Thanksgiving
When we put together the collection of things that we can believe, we need to ask a question about the person in the middle of the inquiry. What can we believe about ourselves? We don't often ask that question but it is a very important one. Some people are oppressed by low self-esteem. Others are led astray by exaggerated images of themselves. It is important to get a realistic understanding of who we are -- and of who we can be. The Bible has something to say on the subject that may surprise you. Are you ready? Hold on to your hat. The Bible says you were created and called to be saints.
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.