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, as the year draws to a close, bless each person here. Walk beside us in the New Year, and guide us, so that we may lead lives that are pleasing 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 40:5
You, Lord God, have done many wonderful things, and you have planned marvelous things for us. No one is like you! I would never be able to tell all you have done. (CEV)

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

Child: Why is it so helpful to know that we can trust and rely on God?

Child: God has planned marvelous things for us, even though we do not yet know what they are! What are some of your hopes and dreams for the New Year?

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

Lord God, thank you for being involved in our lives, and for watching over us. We praise you, and love you! Help us to serve you today, and in the year to come. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you be blessed in the New Year! 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 continue to study our Bible story, we ask that you would be present with us. Let your Holy Spirit lead us, and help us learn 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.

Luke 2:16-20
They hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and they saw the baby lying on a bed of hay. When the shepherds saw Jesus, they told his parents what the angel had said about him. Everyone listened and was surprised. But Mary kept thinking about all this and wondering what it meant. As the shepherds returned to their sheep, they were praising God and saying wonderful things about him. Everything they had seen and heard was just as the angel had said. (CEV)

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

Child: Do you think Mary was surprised by all that the shepherds told her about Jesus? What do you imagine she thought of it all?

Child: Artists throughout history have painted little Jesus in many different ways. What do you imagine Jesus looked like as a baby?

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

Dear Lord, please bless new mothers like Mary, who are so full of hopes and dreams for their babies. Give them strength, and help them trust you as they raise their little ones. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

May you be thankful for the gift of life! 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, as we study the Catechism today, may we have a deeper understanding of all that you do for us, and may we come to love and trust you more. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

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

Every day [God] provides abundantly for all the needs of my life... He does this purely out of fatherly and divine goodness and mercy, though I do not deserve it. Therefore I ought to thank, praise, serve, and obey him. This is most certainly true! (Luther’s Small Catechism)

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

Child: What’s the difference between a “want” and a “need?” What are some of the ways that God gives us all that we need in life, even when we don’t get everything we may want?

Child: Has God ever met a need for you in an unexpected way? Tell us about that.

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

Heavenly Father, we are so thankful for all that you do for us. When we get caught up in “wants,” help us to count our blessings. We love you! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you realize that God is with you, helping you always! Amen.

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, speak to us through our Bible story today. Let your Holy Spirit be at work in us, drawing us ever closer to you as we learn more about your work in the world. 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.

While shepherds watched their flocks by night
They saw a most amazing sight!
An angel, sent from God above,
Appeared to them, and spoke with love.

“I bring good tidings of great joy!
For just tonight, a baby boy
Has come to earth for everyone!
He is the Savior—God’s own son!”

More angels soon appeared, as well,
To praise the Lord, clear as a bell.
And when they’d gone, the shepherds ran
To see this child in Bethlehem!

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

Child: Why does our world need a Savior? What does Jesus save us from?

Child: Angels told the shepherds about Jesus, and we can do the same for people in our time. Is there anyone you know who has not heard the story of Jesus? How could we share that good news with them?

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

Holy God, you care about us so much that you sent your own Son to save us. We are so grateful that you did not leave us alone in our sin, but broke into our world with hope. Thank you for loving us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you rejoice, because Jesus came for you!  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 are merciful and kind. Thank you for caring for us, and for watching over our world. Be with us now, as we hear your Word, and teach us how to better care for each other. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 2:13-15
Suddenly many other angels came down from heaven and joined in praising God. They said: “Praise God in heaven! Peace on earth to everyone who pleases God.” After the angels had left and gone back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see what the Lord has told us about.” (CEV)

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

Child: How does a happy song make you feel? Why do you think believers often sing to express what they feel about God?

Child: The angels talked about peace coming to those who please God. How do you think we can please God today?

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

God of grace, we pray for your peace to come into our struggling world. Help each of us to act in peaceful and good ways, so that we may make a difference and please you. 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 a peacemaker today! 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, we want to trust you and in your plans, but sometimes we worry and feel uncertain. Help us to believe your Word, and to live each day in faith. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 2:8-12
That night in the fields near Bethlehem some shepherds were guarding their sheep. All at once an angel came down to them from the Lord, and the brightness of the Lord’s glory flashed around them. The shepherds were frightened. But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. This very day in King David’s hometown a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. You will know who he is, because you will find him dressed in baby clothes and lying on a bed of hay.” (CEV)

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

Child: What do you typically do when you are frightened, like the shepherds were? How does this help you?

Child: What do you think the “brightness of the Lord’s glory” might have looked like? How might that have changed the night sky (especially in a time before electricity)?

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

Heavenly Father, please be with all those who work at night, like the shepherds in today’s story. Keep them safe, and help them stay awake to do their jobs well. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you be filled with gladness, as the shepherds were! 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, speak to us as we hear the Christmas story today. Teach us, so that we may learn from the example of those who came before us. Give us the courage to share our faith with others, as they did long ago. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Luke 2:8-20
That night in the fields near Bethlehem some shepherds were guarding their sheep. All at once an angel came down to them from the Lord, and the brightness of the Lord’s glory flashed around them. The shepherds were frightened. But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. This very day in King David’s hometown a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. You will know who he is, because you will find him dressed in baby clothes and lying on a bed of hay.”

Suddenly many other angels came down from heaven and joined in praising God. They said: “Praise God in heaven! Peace on earth to everyone who pleases God.” After the angels had left and gone back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see what the Lord has told us about.” They hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and they saw the baby lying on a bed of hay. When the shepherds saw Jesus, they told his parents what the angel had said about him. Everyone listened and was surprised. But Mary kept thinking about all this and wondering what it meant. As the shepherds returned to their sheep, they were praising God and saying wonderful things about him. Everything they had seen and heard was just as the angel had said. (CEV)

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

Child: What is your favorite part of the Christmas story? If you were with the shepherds on that special night, what would you have done after seeing the angels?

Child: What do you think went through Mary’s mind when the shepherds showed up? What might have been most surprising about them?

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

Heavenly Father, on this beautiful Christmas Day, we thank you for the most precious gift of your Son, Jesus. Like the shepherds, may we, too, tell others about how wonderful he is! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you tell others about Jesus! Amen.