Beulah Land: The Prodigal Son
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God… Ephesians 2:8
- Summary: Today’s parable is the Prodigal Son. This parable is also known by different names such as: The Two Sons, The Running Father, and The Loving Father. It only appears in one Gospel—Luke. This parable is a response to the mutterings of Pharisees who did not understand why Jesus “welcomes sinners and eats with them.” (v. 2) Interestingly, though many parables highlight what one should do, this one does not. Instead, we see the abundance of the Good News…there is enough for all, regardless of if you do everything you “should do” or if you fail miserably and squander all you have.
- I Wonder… : how it feels to waste things? how it feels to say you are sorry? how it feels to be the older brother? if anything like this story has ever happened to you? what it means to hear the story and let it change you? how God’s love changes us?
- Parent Reflection: With your spouse or a good friend, talk about which parable character you personally identify with and even which tendencies you notice in your children. Pray to receive the grace of Jesus in those places. A good, short, follow-up read for adults is Henri Nowen’s Return of the Prodigal.
- Hymn of the Month: Each month we sing a verse and a chorus to help our children learn hymns they’ll sing when they remain in the service next year. Holy, Holy, Holy is this month’s hymn. If you want to practice it at home, check HERE for help!
Godly Play I & II: Faces of Easter III
When John saw Jesus coming toward him, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!” John 1:29
- Summary: We are three Sundays into Lent, the season in which we prepare for Easter. We are using a set of stories that walk through the life of Christ. Today’s lesson focuses on the baptism of Jesus by his cousin, John the Baptist. This is the first account we have of adult Jesus in Scripture.
- I Wonder…: if anyone in our family has been baptized? if this story reminded you of any other stories? why God told everyone that he was pleased with Jesus? if John and Jesus knew each other already?
- Additional Followup: This might be a good time to revisit the topic of baptism. Talk about your child’s baptism or your own. You can talk more about John the Baptist. Why did he wear what he wore and eat what he ate? Look up pictures of the Jordan River. You can also talk about the presence of Trinity seen in this account– God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. That is something to really wonder about!