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, thank you for the many ways you show us mercy. When we are weak, you make us strong! Stir up the Holy Spirit in us now, and inspire us to turn away from evil, as Jesus did. In his holy name we pray. Amen.

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

Matthew 4: 5-7
Next, the devil took Jesus to the holy city and had him stand on the highest part of the temple. The devil said, “If you are God’s Son, jump off. The Scriptures say: ‘God will give his angels orders about you. They will catch you in their arms, and you won’t hurt your feet on the stones.’” Jesus answered, “The Scriptures also say, ‘Don’t try to test the Lord your God!’” (CEV)

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

Child: How can knowing our Bible help us when we feel tempted to do something wrong? How did it help Jesus?

Child: Jesus had to stand on the highest part of the temple, which would have been very far up. Where is the highest place that you have ever been? Was that scary for you? Why or why not?

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

God of grace, when he was tempted in the desert, Jesus looked to you and to the words of the Bible. Help us to learn from the Bible, too, so that we may rely on its teachings to guide us. 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 lean on and love the Bible! 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 lead us and guide us each day, just as you did for Jesus so long ago. Be present now, as we study our Bible story, and teach us how to face hard times with courage. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

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

Matthew 4: 1-4
The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert, so that the devil could test him. After Jesus had gone without eating for forty days and nights, he was very hungry. Then the devil came to him and said, “If you are God’s Son, tell these stones to turn into bread.” Jesus answered, “The Scriptures say: ‘No one can live only on food. People need every word that God has spoken.’” (CEV)

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

Child: Does it surprise you that the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tested by the devil? Why or why not? How did this show God’s confidence in Jesus?

Child: Jesus went without eating for 40 days and nights while he was in the desert. If you had done that, how might you be feeling at the end of that time in body, mind and spirit?

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

Heavenly Father, it can be easy to think that when we are tested, we are on our own. But you know everything, and only allow what is good for us. Help us to trust you, and to believe that if you lead us to it, you will lead us through it. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you trust that God’s will for you is good! 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, be with us today as we learn about Jesus and his time in the desert. Open our minds and our hearts, so that we may understand more about your Son, and all that he faced during his years here on earth. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Matthew 4:1-11
The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert, so that the devil could test him. After Jesus had gone without eating for forty days and nights, he was very hungry. Then the devil came to him and said, “If you are God’s Son, tell these stones to turn into bread.” Jesus answered, “The Scriptures say: ‘No one can live only on food. People need every word that God has spoken.’”

Next, the devil took Jesus to the holy city and had him stand on the highest part of the temple. The devil said, “If you are God’s Son, jump off. The Scriptures say: ‘God will give his angels orders about you. They will catch you in their arms, and you won’t hurt your feet on the stones.’” Jesus answered, “The Scriptures also say, ‘Don’t try to test the Lord your God!’”

Finally, the devil took Jesus up on a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms on earth and their power. The devil said to him, “I will give all this to you, if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus answered, “Go away Satan! The Scriptures say: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’” Then the devil left Jesus, and angels came to help him. (CEV)

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

Child: What does it mean to be “tested?” What is the hardest test that you ever faced?

Child: Can you tell us what a desert is like? Why might the desert have been a particularly hard place for Jesus to be tested?

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

Heavenly Father, it is comforting to know that Jesus faced times of testing while he was on earth, and that he understands when we do, too. Help us to look to you, and to the Bible, for strength when we need it most. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you know that God is with you during any test you face! 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. Bless each person here, and give us understanding as we come together to read 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 80:14-15, 17
God All-Powerful, please do something! Look down from heaven and see what’s happening to this vine. With your own hands you planted its roots, and you raised it as your very own. But help the one who is at your right side, the one you raised to be your own. (CEV)

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

Child: Have you ever been upset by something, and prayed a desperate prayer to God? How did God answer that prayer?

Child: Why does God want us to turn to him in times of trouble? How can remembering our baptism help us with that?

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

Lord God, sometimes we feel upset, because everything seems wrong. But we know that you hear our prayers, and do not turn away. Thank you for listening, and for answering us, even when your answers are not what we expect. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you always turn to God in times of 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, speak to us today as we continue to study our Bible story. Help us learn and understand more about you, and about Jesus, your beloved Son. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Matthew 3:16-17
So Jesus was baptized. And as soon as he came out of the water, the sky opened, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down on him like a dove. Then a voice from heaven said, “This is my own dear Son, and I am pleased with him.” (CEV)

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

Child: Imagine that you were sitting on the shore when Jesus was baptized. What would have been the most amazing part of that experience for you?

Child: Why were God’s words at Jesus’ baptism so important? Do you think John knew who Jesus was before he heard God speak?

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

Dear Lord, we can only imagine how wonderful Jesus’ baptism must have been! Thank you for inviting us to be your children through baptism, too. Help us to never take it for granted. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

May you be amazed by the wonder around you! 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 read from the Small Catechism today, may we come to trust you more. Be with us, and lead us as we study today. 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: How can knowing that we belong to God give us comfort when we have done something wrong and need forgiveness?

Child: People baptize their children because they know that baptism brings good things into their lives. Let’s name all the people in our family (and in the generations before) who have been baptized!

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

Heavenly Father, it helps so much to know that when we do something wrong, we can go to you for forgiveness and love. Thank you for never giving up on us, and for the wonderful gift of baptism. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you remember that you belong to God! 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, we are blessed by your kindness and compassion for us! Stir up your Holy Spirit in us now, so that we might learn more about you as we listen to our Bible story. 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.

John the Baptist lived outside
Wearing skins and camel hides;
Many people knew his name
For his ways had brought him fame!

But he was a faithful guy
And when Jesus Christ stopped by
John said, “You have come here, too?
I should be baptized by you!”

But John baptized Christ instead;
Pouring water on his head,
God’s voice spoke: “This is my Son,
My beloved Chosen One.”

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

Child: What do you think it would be like to live outside all the time, like John the Baptist? What would be your favorite (and least favorite) part of that?

Child: How do you imagine John felt when he heard God’s voice boom down from heaven?

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

Holy God, it is amazing that you sent your own Son to us! Thank you for caring about our world, and for reaching out to us through Jesus, our Savior. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you listen to God’s Word!  Amen.