Sunday Reflection: What have we lost?

As I have meditatied on the Revised Common Lectionary Gospel Reading for this week, one idea has stayed stuck.

Though this weeks reading is anchored in time and place (Luke 15:vs 1-2), it is still worthy of a message of the word that brings it to the attention of today.

I have written in the past about the compexities of families, this year my thoughts turned more to the metaphor of the church as parent. It, The Church, has children that have left, my own included, who are doing life their way, and not the way of the church, they are not attending regular sunday services, they are not attending, church socials or prayer or study groups, but they are on their own mission with God. Like the father in the second parable of today’s readings (Luke 15: 11b-32), the parable often refered to as the Prodigal son, the Church has let it’s children go, but unlike the open armed welcome of the father when they return, often these children of the church are treated as guests or outsiders, when they turn up for Feast Day’s (Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Christmas for example), not as a valued part of the familiy/community, not as lost prodigee, to be celebrated and valued.

I am a little afraid, that as we return to face to face worship that those left on line for what ever reason, be it for health and safety, for convenience, for disabilty, for travel, hospitalisation or nursing home admission, will also be treated as no longer members of the Church. I have already been told in my own home congregation, that unless you physically attend you are not a part of the community.

Until The Church is welcoming to all, like the father has embrassed his son as son, the Church looses. It looses vibrancy, it looses questioning, it looses genuine engagement, in short it losses growth.

If we fail to look for the missing ones like the Shepherd in one of the two adjoining parables to this weeks Gospel reading( Luke 15:4-11a), and just tend the members of congregation that stay, what are we tending? traditionalism. The parable of the father with two sons, does not tell us what happens long term, did practices change? did they stay the same?

I’m just asking the question. What have we lost in our churches today?


Wendy L.

I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present and emerging.


Lent 4 C: Revised Common Lectionary ideas to involve even the youngest.

WELCOME: Everyone is welcome here.

While designed to be used during a Sunday service at church or by zoom, these readings can also be used during the week to help you remember and build on what you experienced on Sundays. My objective is for faith to be a lived experience and for children to learn how to worship and explore the Bible and pray by participating in Worship. The goal here is not for them to learn names or facts though they may want to do that for themselves, but rather to find ways of connecting with the text and sharing that with others. The ideal is to form alife long love of Christ and for the Word of God.

Today is the Fourth Sunday in LENT. The Liturgical colour is PURPLE.

If you are worshipping from home you may like to set up a worship area

You can do this by setting up a candle, then add the things that remind YOU of God, a Cross, a Bible that everyone likes to read from, a special object, even something from one of the readings.

If able to worship in the Church buildings pack a special backpack, as well as filling, it with your Covid Safe equipment, add the books or materials required to help your young ones relate to today’s readings.

For adults and older students, you might like to use a journal with which to record anything that grabs your attention during the service. This could be a special, bound book or use your ipad or iphone. You could write a precis of the message (traditional words or pictures), draw, keep a record of emotions and hymns that you did or did not like. You could use a template like this free download. Remember, this is for you, you do not have to show anyone what is in it unless you want to, and you feel safe to do so.

CONGREGATIONAL USE: Though parents are the best at sharing their faith with their children. If you are a small congregation where children are a very small, or rare part of your congregational life, please feel free to make these suggestions available to your congregation. I am very happy for you to copy and paste ideas from here into your own Order of Service or for you to supply a link to this page. An acknoledgement though is always appreciated.


LISTEN: On Lent Lent 4 Set our Hearts Ablaze, by Liturgical Folk

Light or turn on 6 Candles (one for each Sunday in Lent) Blow out (or turn off) 4 Candles


Into this season of Lent (pretend to Walk)

I go (point to yourself)

Life has it’s seasons (draw a circle in the air)

It’s Joys and (happy face)

It’s sadnesses (sad face)

You go before me (point your arms ahead)

You are there after me (look behind)



You might like to start with the Lord’s Prayer if at home, or say the Lord’s Prayer within a set place if following along in a service. Here are 4 options


A more contemplative version

Or for a more Intergenerational approach try Number 1 on the Table Settings album by Liturgical Folks


If you are in Australia and attending a Uniting Church in Australia, in many cases an Acknowledgment of Country will be said. You can teach your young ones to do this too.


PRAY: Use heart shaped post-it notes and as you write a person or an activity you can do out of love, pray for the activity or person.

FIRST READING: Joshua 5:9-12

READ: That’s not a Daffodil by Elizabeth Honey


I have suggested this book as the Isrealists had been supported by manna until they could have food from the land, and when that was the case they then celerated passover for the memory of their ancestors escape from Eygpt. In That’s not a daffodil, the young boy keeps looking for the daffadil in his pot, in much the same way the Isrealists were looking for the promised land and whne they arrived they could celebrate, as the young boy did in the book i’ve recommended.

If you want to recap the idea of Passover read The Lion Picture Book p.83


PLAY with play food or a play picnic to celebrate as the Israelites did.


I feel safe God (wrap your arms around your body)

When I trust you, God



READ: Psalm 32: The mad donkey

Will you buck against God, (kick one leg backwards)
kick and fight what is right (make fists and pretend to box)
like a mad donkey?? (put your hands straight on either side of your head)
True happiness happens (smile and hug yourself)
when you let God be in charge. (salute)
So say sorry when you stuff up. (make a sad face)
Say sorry when you hurt people. (make a sad face)
You are forgiven and adored (smile)
more than you know,(pretend to count your fingers)
so start over, fresh each day. (lay your head to one side placing your hands underneath it)
Rejoice in the Lord and stand tall. (do a star jump)

Words by Rev. Purdie, actions by me.

How does this Psalm make you feel, draw a picture, or show how you feel on your face, or find an emoji that fits your thinking about this Psalm.

SECOND READING: 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

READ: Florette by Anne Walker


I chose this book as it represents new beginnings and things created differently to what went before, in much the same manner that “everything old has passed away:see everything has become new” in v.17. In that newness is reconciliation to the new environment Mae has found herself in, which reminded me of God’s reconcilliation to us, V.19.

DRAW: Take a blank piece of paper and transform it into your work of art.

OR Build something with bricks and then tear it down and make something else.

GOSPEL READING: Luke 15:1-3 and 11b-32

READ: The Whirl Story Bible p.262-264 then p.266-269

OR The Whirl Story Bible, pp.pp.312-313, then pp.316-321

PLAY: re tell the stories with toy pigs, sheep and dolls, or make your own puppets

MAKE: The Tiny Truths bookmark “I am one of HIs Sheep”

SENDING HYMN Tell the World by Hillsong Kids Learn the actions here


Wendy L.

Please check local guidlines before using items that are not mine especially if you are using this page for congregational use. Please acknowedge this page if you find it useful. Thank you.

I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present and emerging.

I have qualifications in Education, Theology and Children’s Spirituality, and have worked as a Children and Families Worker in a city church. I use simple and easily found ideas to help you share the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) readings. This is a ONE STOP SHOP where I have done the sifting for you to find theologically and developmentally appropriate material for your congregation or family, saving you time from sifting through many websites, facebook , pinterest, instagram, and blog posts.