Hello again,
Our activities last week were about things that get lost and how hard we work to find them. These things were lost by accident but sometimes people get lost too, sometimes by accident and sometimes on purpose. Have you ever been lost? In a shop? In a crowd? Or have you ever found a small child who has lost their Mum or Dad and been able to help to reconnect them? The panic of the child and the parent and their relief when they are reunited affects everyone around them.

The picture has some other pictures hidden (or lost) in it. Can you find them?

Child reading

Reverend Mary reads the Open the Book story that is called ‘The Big Spender’. It tells the story of a young man who was impatient to be independent, to see the world and to have a good time. His life didn’t quite turn out as he expected…

It is based on Luke 15, verses 11-32 if you would like to read it for yourself.

puzzled face

This story is often referred to as the ‘Lost Son’ or the ‘Prodigal Son’. The word prodigal means spending money or using resources recklessly or wastefully. The young man bought lots of things and spent money on parties for his new friends. Maybe he thought that spending lots of money would make other people love him more. At the beginning of the story people who considered themselves to be ‘good’ were complaining that Jesus was spending time with ‘bad’ people. Jesus used parables to tell people about God. What do you think Jesus was trying to tell them about God’s love with this parable?

teddy bears hugging

The lost son eventually decides to go back to his father and ask for forgiveness. The story tells us that the father was waiting for his son to return and ran to meet him throwing his arms around him. Sometimes we do the wrong thing by accident or on purpose and lose our way. We know that if we want to change, we can ask God for forgiveness and he will run to meet us and welcome us home to him.

Use the craft to remind you of this. There are no instructions but a few different designs so that you can add your own ideas. Could you hang it near the door of your house that your family use most to welcome everyone home?

Hand outline

When we know that we are forgiven, we also need to forgive other people. It is easy to be like the older brother in the story and be jealous of other people who seem to ‘get away with’ doing whatever they want. He didn’t want to give his father or brother a chance to explain how they felt. He focused on how he felt: jealous, angry, maybe overworked and overwhelmed. It is also easy to feel like the people at the beginning of the story that we do the ‘right’ thing and are somehow better than others. God loves everyone equally and is waiting to welcome everyone when they decide to turn to him.

We can use a hand to help us to apologise to others and to accept apologies from them.

  1. Draw around your hand on card and cut it out
  2. Write one of these words on each finger: love, accept, breathe, apologise, listen
  3. Draw a heart in the palm of the hand; punch a hole somewhere in the hand; thread a piece of string or ribbon through the hole; hang it up to remind you

Here is a prayer you might want to use this week:

Father, we thank you for your love for us. We know that if we make mistakes, you will always welcome us back when we return to you.

Continue to take great care of yourselves and each other.

Alison and Angie