What do Christians believe God is like?
How do you think each person in the story felt when the younger son decided to leave with his Father's money?
How might the Father and each of the sons have felt when the younger son came home?
Talk about the story together. Who was your favourite character, most important moment, surprises, anything that made you laugh or smile, or cry or feel sad.
Wonder: What might this teach Christians about God? Is God like a father? How?
The Lost Son is a parable, which is a special sort of story that was told by Jesus to help people learn or understand ideas. Parables might be harder to understand than some other stories because they have hidden meanings. They can seem to be saying one thing, but are really teaching something else.
What do Christians believe God is like? Do you have any ideas yet, about what the story says about God?
2) A loving parent
For Christians, this parable teaches that God is loving and forgiving, like a parent.
Draw an outline of a parent. Inside the outline write or draw what parents do or say to show that they love their children. On the outside of the outline write or draw what pupils do or say to show that they love their parents.
Love goes both ways!
3) How do Christians show they love God?
The parable of the Lost Son teaches that God is loving like a parent so Christians want to show that they love God.
Think of some of the ways that Christians might do this. For example, sing praising songs, pray saying why they love God, read about God in the Bible, love people, forgive people, care for people, go to church, pray and talk to God, pray and ask God to help, be generous.
Make a poster of the kinds of things Christians might do.
4) The importance of forgiveness
What happens in school if you do something wrong?
What might happen if someone spoils a piece of work, trips someone up, steals their sister’s chocolate or doesn’t tidy their room?
Is it good to forgive people? Why/why not?
How does it feel if you don’t forgive? Why is it sometimes hard to forgive?
Why is forgiveness one of our High Five Values?
What do Christians believe God is like? The story shows the idea that God is loving and forgiving.
Christian prayers have four main types. Some prayers show all four, some just one or two.
These are praise, saying sorry, saying thank you and asking for something.
Peter Praise , Suzy Sorry, Andrew Ask and Thea Thanks — these characters can help us remember these different types of prayer.
The story of the Lost Son might lead Christians to think it is very important to say ‘Peter Praise’ prayers and ‘Suzy Sorry’ prayers. Look through the Lost Son story and see if you can spot which parts of the story suggest that Suzy Sorry, Peter Praise, Andrew Ask or Thea Thanks prayers are something that the characters might say.
Have a go at writing your own prayers - which characters might help you?
6) Write your own song or poem!
Listen to the extract of the song below.
You could write your own extra verse to the song about what it feels like to forgive or not forgive. You could use the repeated phrase from the song, ‘You can hold on to the feeling or you can let go.’
Or, you could draw or write about a time when you have been forgiven, or have forgiven someone, and how it made you feel.