Thursday: Compassion

Pray: Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God’s name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you …
in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Dear God, open our minds and our hearts today, so that we may learn more about Jesus. Thank you for sending your Son into our world as your ultimate act of compassion. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention as the Bible story is read in the form of a rhyme.

For supper, Jesus went to see
His three good friends in Bethany;
While Lazarus sat down to eat,
His sister, Martha, kept things neat.

Then Mary came into the room
With costly nard, a sweet perfume.
She gave her Lord this gift most rare
And wiped his feet with her long hair!

Then Judas yelled, “Why waste that stuff
When some poor folks don’t have enough?”
But Jesus said, “Leave her alone;
For in a while I’ll soon be gone.”

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: Two times in the Bible, a woman wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair. Why do you think someone might do that?

Child: In this poem, Jesus said, “I’ll soon be gone.” What do you think Jesus meant by that? Where was he going?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

Holy God, Mary, Martha and Lazarus knew that Jesus was special—and in fact, he was the Savior of the world! Help us to understand how much Jesus loves all of us, and to live good, faithful lives in return. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words.

May you serve the Lord!  Amen.

Wednesday: Mercy

Pray: Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God’s name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you …
in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Almighty God, as we study your Word today, may we learn to have mercy on others, as you do for us. Please be with us now, and teach us all that you would have us know. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention as these verses from the Bible are read aloud.

John 12:4-6
A disciple named Judas Iscariot was there. He was the one who was going to betray Jesus, and he asked, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor?” Judas did not really care about the poor. He asked this because he carried the moneybag and sometimes would steal from it. (CEV)

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: The Bible tells us that Judas stole from the moneybag. Why is it wrong to take something that doesn’t belong to you?

Child: Judas didn’t care about the poor, even though he said he did. Who are the poor in our area? What are some ways we might help them?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

God of grace, you have given us so much. Help us to use what we have for good purposes, so that we can make a positive difference in this world. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words.

May you spend money on the important things in life! Amen.

Tuesday: Struggle

Pray: Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God’s name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you …
in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Lord God, may your Holy Spirit inspire us now, as we turn again to our Bible story. Help us to learn from Martha, Mary and Lazarus, our ancestors in faith. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention as these verses from the Bible are read aloud.

John 12:1-3
Six days before Passover Jesus went back to Bethany, where he had raised Lazarus from death. A meal had been prepared for Jesus. Martha was doing the serving, and Lazarus himself was there. Mary took a very expensive bottle of perfume and poured it on Jesus' feet. She wiped them with her hair, and the sweet smell of the perfume filled the house. (CEV)

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: If you were Lazarus, and had been raised from the dead by Jesus, would you live your life any differently afterwards? How might a second chance at life change the way you looked at things?

Child: Mary, Martha, and their brother Lazarus treated Jesus very well when he visited them. What are some special things our family does to make a guest feel welcome?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

Heavenly Father, sometimes we feel too busy to host people. Yet even Jesus was a guest at times. Help us to remember this, and to treat any visitors who come our way with true hospitality. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words.

May you welcome visitors and help them feel at home! Amen.

Monday: Understanding

Pray: Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God's name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you …
in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

O God, as we read our Bible story today, help us to understand more about who Jesus was, and about who we are in relation to him.  Be with us now as we study and learn. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention as these verses from the Bible are read aloud.

John 12:1-8
Six days before Passover Jesus went back to Bethany, where he had raised Lazarus from death. A meal had been prepared for Jesus. Martha was doing the serving, and Lazarus himself was there.

Mary took a very expensive bottle of perfume and poured it on Jesus' feet. She wiped them with her hair, and the sweet smell of the perfume filled the house. A disciple named Judas Iscariot was there. He was the one who was going to betray Jesus, and he asked, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor?” Judas did not really care about the poor. He asked this because he carried the moneybag and sometimes would steal from it.

Jesus replied, “Leave her alone! She has kept this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor with you, but you won’t always have me.” (CEV)

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: Why do you think Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet? Do you think she would have done this for any guest? Why or why not?

Child: To “betray” someone means to be disloyal, or to turn a friend over to an enemy. From reading this story, what was Judas most concerned about? How might this have tempted him to betray Jesus?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

Heavenly Father, we want to be like Mary, and to serve you with all that we have. Help us to follow her example, so that we may value our relationship with you above earthly things. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words:

May you put Jesus first in your life! Amen.

Sunday: Worship

Pray: Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God’s name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you …
in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Gracious Lord, thank you for this Sabbath day, and for everyone in our family, both near and far. Be with us as we study our psalm now. Help us to learn from it and turn to you. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention as these verses from the Bible are read aloud.

Psalm 25:6-18
I am lonely and troubled. Show that you care and have pity on me. My awful worries keep growing. Rescue me from sadness. See my troubles and misery and forgive my sins. (CEV)

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: What are some of the things that you worry about? How does your faith help you deal with your fears?

Child: When you feel sad, what do you do to cheer yourself up? How can helping others make you feel better, yourself?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

Lord God, no matter how lonely or troubled we feel, we are never truly alone. Help us to trust you with all our worries, big and small, for you care for us and love us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words.

May you pray—and let God worry! Amen.

Sunday: Worship

Pray: Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God’s name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you …
in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Gracious Lord, thank you for this day of rest and worship. Help us to turn to you now, and to leave the worries of the week behind as we study your Word. Be with us, and teach us all that you would have us learn. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention as these verses from the Bible are read aloud.

Psalm 23:5-6
You treat me to a feast, while my enemies watch. You honor me as your guest, and you fill my cup until it overflows. Your kindness and love will always be with me each day of my life, and I will live forever
in your house, Lord. (CEV)

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: Think back over your life, from when you were little to now. What are some ways God has shown kindness to you at each point in your life?

Child: What do you think God’s house is like? What would it be like to live there forever?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

Lord God, we love you! Since our earliest days, you have been there, sometimes in ways we did not even notice at the time. Thank you for always caring for us, and for being our true resting place. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words.

May you see that God has always been there for you! Amen.

Saturday: Generosity

Pray: Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God’s name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you …
in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Mighty Lord, you are so good to us! Be with us now, as we finish our study of the Prodigal Son, and help us learn to trust you more. You are our true, heavenly Father, and we are so grateful for you! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention as these verses from the Bible are read aloud.

Luke 15:20-24
The younger son got up and started back to his father. But when he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt sorry for him. He ran to his son and hugged and kissed him. The son said, “Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you. I am no longer good enough to be called your son.”

But his father said to the servants, “Hurry and bring the best clothes and put them on him. Give him a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. Get the best calf and prepare it, so we can eat and celebrate. This son of mine was dead, but has now come back to life. He was lost and has now been found.” And they began to celebrate. (CEV)

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: Have you ever expected to be punished, and been forgiven, instead? Have you ever forgiven someone else when you could have punished them?

Child: How is the father in this story like God, our Heavenly Father?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

Dear Lord, no matter how far we go astray, you are always waiting for us with open arms like the loving father in today’s story. Thank you for never giving up on us. Help us to reach out to others who need to hear this good news. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words.

May you never forget that God is a loving Father! Amen.