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.

Holy God, stir up your Holy Spirit in us today. Make us into compassionate followers who love your Word and who care for your people. 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.

Paul was brought before a judge
By some folks who held a grudge;
They believed that Paul was bad
And his actions made them mad.

What on earth could Paul have done?
Worshipped Jesus Christ, God’s Son!
This was more than they could take.
(They thought Jesus was a fake).

Paul explained he broke no rules,
And the judge was not a fool:
Seeing Paul had done no crime
He delayed the case in time.

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

Child: A group was pressuring the judge to turn against Paul. Have you ever been pressured by a group, but said “no” to them? What happened? What role did your faith play in that?

Child: After hearing Paul’s argument, the judge showed compassion and put off making a decision. Have you ever changed your mind about a big decision? When? How did God help you?

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

Holy God, sometimes people try to turn us against others. Help us to be strong, to think for ourselves, and to treat everyone fairly. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you be fair to all you meet. 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, you give us what we need when we face challenges. Be with us now, and help us to learn more about the quiet ways you shower us with mercy. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Acts 24:10-12
The governor motioned for Paul to speak, and he began: “I know that you have judged the people of our nation for many years, and I am glad to defend myself in your court. It was no more than twelve days ago that I went to worship in Jerusalem. You can find this out easily enough. Never once did the Jews find me arguing with anyone in the temple. I didn’t cause trouble in the Jewish meeting places or in the city itself. (CEV)

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

Child: When Paul was ask to explain his actions, he was very respectful? Why is it important to show respect to others, even when they don’t show respect to us?

Child: Many people said Paul was guilty, but Paul had done nothing wrong. How does it feel to be accused of something you didn’t do? Does it help to know that Paul (and Jesus) experienced this same thing?

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

God of grace, you see all and know all. When people say bad things about us, help us to remain honest and respectful, so that by our words and actions, we will show the truth. 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 be honest and respectful in all you do. 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, you know us by name, and we belong to you. Let that good news soak into our hearts and minds today, and help us to remember it when we are feeling most alone. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

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

Acts 24:5-9
[A lawyer named Tertullus, and several other leaders, went to the governor to present a case against Paul]: “This man has been found to be a real pest and troublemaker for Jews all over the world. He is also a leader of a group called Nazarenes. When he tried to disgrace the temple, we arrested him. If you question him, you will find out for yourself that our charges are true.” The Jewish crowd spoke up and agreed with what Tertullus had said. (CEV)

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

Child: No matter where Paul went, he met people who were against him. Why do you think he chose to continue to work for Jesus? Would you have the courage to do that? Why or why not?

Child: As people who believe in Jesus, should we expect our lives always to be easy? Why or why not?

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

Heavenly Father, most of us would like a simple, stress-free life. But sometimes, serving you requires doing the hard things. Help us to remain faithful each day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you serve God even when that’s hard to do. 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, guide us and make us into the people you would have us be. As we hear your Word today, help us to grow in faith. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Acts 24:5-16
[A lawyer named Tertullus, and several other leaders, went to the governor to present a case against Paul]: “This man has been found to be a real pest and troublemaker for Jews all over the world. He is also a leader of a group called Nazarenes. When he tried to disgrace the temple, we arrested him. If you question him, you will find out for yourself that our charges are true.” The Jewish crowd spoke up and agreed with what Tertullus had said.

The governor motioned for Paul to speak, and he began: “I know that you have judged the people of our nation for many years, and I am glad to defend myself in your court. It was no more than twelve days ago that I went to worship in Jerusalem. You can find this out easily enough. Never once did the Jews find me arguing with anyone in the temple. I didn’t cause trouble in the Jewish meeting places or in the city itself. There is no way that they can prove these charges that they are now bringing against me.

"I admit that their leaders think that the Lord’s Way which I follow is based on wrong beliefs. But I still worship the same God that my ancestors worshiped. And I believe everything written in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets. I am just as sure as these people are that God will raise from death everyone who is good or evil. And because I am sure, I try my best to have a clear conscience in whatever I do for God or for people.” (CEV)

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

Child: The community leaders wanted Paul to stop talking about Jesus. What does it feel like when a whole group is against you? Has that ever happened to you?

Child: When things go against us, how does trusting in God help us not to lose hope?

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

Lord God, be with those Christians around the world who are treated unfairly or even jailed for their faith. Strengthen them, free them, and let them know that they are not forgotten. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you fearlessly share your faith! 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 God, thank you for this day of rest, when we can leave the cares of the week behind us. Open our minds to better understand your ways as we turn to your Word. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

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

Psalm 59:1-3
Save me, God! Protect me from enemy attacks! Keep me safe from brutal people who want to kill me. Merciless enemies, Lord, are hiding and plotting, hoping to kill me. I have not hurt them in any way at all. (CEV)

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

Child: The psalm writer was feeling very scared, so he turned to God. Have you ever prayed to God when you were feeling desperate? When? How did that help you?

Child: In Psalm 59, the writer asked God to keep him safe from enemies. If you were to make a list, what are some other things you might ask God to protect you from?

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

Lord God, you keep us safe every day, even from things we may not know about. Thank you for watching over us. Please help those who are in harm’s way. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you turn to God when you are in need. 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, as we read today’s story, teach us to see all of life through the eyes of faith. Help us to trust in your goodness always. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Acts 21:32-33
[The Roman army commander] quickly took some soldiers and officers and ran to where the crowd had gathered. As soon as the mob saw the commander and soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. The army commander went over and arrested him and had him bound with two chains. Then he tried to find out who Paul was and what he had done.  (CEV)

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

Child: Do you think the Roman commander realized that by arresting Paul and putting him in chains, he was saving him? Why or why not?

Child: When we are being honest and good, we have nothing to fear and nothing to hide. Knowing that, do you think it was a relief for Paul when the Roman commander tried to find out what he had done? Why or why not?

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

Dear Lord, you are always working for good. Thank you for those who work honorably to keep order in our world. Protect them, and protect all your people. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

May you see God’s hand at work in the world. Amen.

Friday: Trust

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, thank you for the gift of Baptism. Help us to live this day and every day in faith, trusting you. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Listen: Pay close attention to this reminder from Luther’s Small Catechism.

What gifts or benefits does Baptism bring? It brings about forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives everlasting salvation to all who believe, as the Word and promise of God declare. (Luther’s Small Catechism)

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

Child: Luther’s Small Catechism tells us that Baptism brings about the forgiveness of sins. Have you ever asked God for forgiveness? How did this help you?

Child: As baptized children of God, we can trust that no matter what happens in life, God will never let us go. Why can this knowledge give us comfort?

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

Heavenly Father, you know that on our own, we would be lost. Thank you for reaching out to us and making us your dear children. May we always be thankful for this gift. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you trust that God will never let you go. Amen.