I was leading worship today at Dunfermline URC. I’ve been a few times and always enjoyed it there.
The Gospel reading was Luke’s account of the Story of The Lost Son.
For the all age talk I hid 100 sheep around the church and asked everyone to try to find them. In an initial rush lots of the adults helped the couple of children to find most of the sheep. They found all the easy ones and then something I hadn’t banked on happened. All the grown ups gave up looking, but the children kept at it. What a brilliant illustration! Of course I was going to tell them that Jesus doesn’t give up (I had the 100th sheep so they would never find them all) but the point was made even more forcefully by their quiting. They gave up pretty easily.
For anyone looking for a great exploration of the Prodigal Son have a look at Lawrence Moore’s Disclosing New Worlds blog. Lawrence did a fantastic series of bible studies on Grace at URC General Assembly in 2006 and his weekly thoughts on the lectionary are always worth a look!