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March 2013

Lost Dog

4th Sunday in Lent

From “Scolding the Snakes”

Scripture Reference: Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32  

Preparation: Bring a poster or flyer with a picture and notice about a lost dog. Or make up your own poster for class.

Have any of you ever seen a paper like this posted in your neighborhood? (Hold up lost-dog poster for all children to see.) Can you see what it is? Why do people put these notices up? (Let children discuss the poster.)

When someone loses a pet they really love, it is almost like losing a member of the family. The pet’s owners will search for that lost pet day after day until they find their pet again. Sometimes they even offer a reward.

(You may share your own lost-pet story or use the following paragraph.) I feel sorry for any family that has lost a pet. If I see a sign like this, I keep my eyes open for a pet that looks like that. It would feel wonderful to be able to bring a lost pet back to its family again, wouldn’t it?

The story in the Gospel today tells about a son who had left home and was living a miserable life. He had spent all his money. He had done some very bad and very foolish things. He didn’t have a proper home, and he didn’t have enough food to eat. He was so unhappy. In a way, he was lost.

The young man’s father was very worried about him. This was the child he had kissed and fed and hugged and loved since the young man was a baby. A lost child is an awfully sad thing. But this story has a happy ending. The lost son finally decided to return home. When he came back to his father, he looked terrible, ragged, dirty, and hungry. He was afraid he wouldn’t be welcomed home. But as soon as his father saw his son coming, he ran to him, hugged him, and threw a big party to celebrate his return. How do you think that lost son felt when he got back home? (Let children describe.)

Sometimes it seems like people feel sorrier for lost dogs than they do for lost people. It may be easier for us to care about a poor, ragged dog than to care about a poor, ragged human. Lost people take a lot more work. They may not look as cute as lost dogs, they may not ask for our help, they even may say mean things to us. But anytime people are unhappy or lonely or sinful—anytime they feel far away from God—they are lost children of the Lord. And they need our help to come home to God.

Jesus used to hang around with lost people when he lived on Earth. This was why Jesus came—to guide the lost children back to the heavenly Father. And our job as Christians is to tell people about God, to help bring them back to God. You are God’s search and rescue team.

Prayer:  Jesus, make us your search and rescue team; help us bring lost people home to you. Amen


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