Children’s Sermon

Luke 15:1-3, 11b – 32

Return of the Lost

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Luke 15:1-3, 11b – 32
Return of the Lost

By Lois Parker Edstrom

Objects suggested: A well-loved (worn) doll, teddy bear, or book. (Not essential to lesson.)

Jesus often told stories when he wanted to teach a lesson. This is a difficult story to understand, but let’s try. There was a man who had two sons. The younger son asked his father to give him the property that would belong to him later (his inheritance) so the father divided his property between the two sons.

The youngest son gathered everything that he had been given, traveled to a distant land where he was careless and spent all that he had on foolish things. Then hard times came and this son did not have enough money left to buy food.

He went back home to his father and apologized for being careless and self-centered. His father was so glad to see him that he brought out a robe and sandals to dress him well and also prepared a feast to celebrate his return.

This made the other son angry because he had stayed home all this time, obeyed and worked hard for his father. This doesn’t seem fair does it?

Let’s try to understand the story this way: Think about if you misplaced one of your much-loved dolls, a teddy bear, or a favorite book? Perhaps it would be lost for a long time. You would miss that doll or teddy bear or book, wouldn’t you? That doesn’t mean you would love your other playthings less. While the lost toy is gone you would continue to play with and care for the others.

When your beloved object is found and returned to you, I imagine you would feel very happy and excited. Perhaps that is what the father in this story felt when his youngest son, who had definitely made mistakes, returned home.

In the story that Jesus tells, the father says this to his oldest son: “Son, you are always with me…,(15:31) but it was appropriate to celebrate and be glad, for this, your brother was … lost, and is found” (15:32).

We could say the lesson of this story is about being able to love more than one person and about being able to forgive those we love when they make mistakes.

Copyright 2010, Richard Niell Donovan