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 kind and merciful. As we read and discuss our Bible story today, be present with us. Please draw us closer to you and to one another while we learn together. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 15:15-19
He went to work for a man in that country, and the man sent him out to take care of his pigs. He would have been glad to eat what the pigs were eating, but no one gave him a thing. Finally, he came to his senses and said, “My father’s workers have plenty to eat, and here I am, starving to death!  I will go to my father and say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you.  I am no longer good enough to be called your son. Treat me like one of your workers.’” (CEV)

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

Child: What do pigs eat? How would their food have been different from what the younger son was used to eating?

Child: Why do you think the younger son felt he had sinned against both God and his father? How can confessing our sins actually bring us closer to God?

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

God of grace, it is hard to face our weaknesses, and to admit when we’ve done wrong. Yet you are a God of forgiveness! Help us to turn to you when we have made bad decisions, and to trust you with everything. 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 look to God for mercy and help! 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, be with us as we study today, and teach us all you would like us to know. Open our minds, so that we can learn from the Prodigal Son as we read our story now. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 15:11-14
Jesus also told them another story: Once a man had two sons. The younger son said to his father, “Give me my share of the property.” So the father divided his property between his two sons.  Not long after that, the younger son packed up everything he owned and left for a foreign country, where he wasted all his money in wild living. He had spent everything, when a bad famine spread through that whole land. Soon he had nothing to eat. (CEV)

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

Child: Have you ever wanted to escape from your normal routine and explore new places, like the younger son did? How did you handle that?

Child: Have you ever been truly hungry and had nothing to eat? What do you think that would feel like?

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

Heavenly Father, sometimes we are tempted to think only of ourselves, and of our own wants and desires. Help us to see the big picture, and to look to you for direction in all we do. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you think of others, and not only of yourself! 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 now as we read our Bible story. Help us to understand how much you love us, and show us how to extend that love to others. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Luke 15:11-24
Jesus also told them another story: Once a man had two sons.  The younger son said to his father, “Give me my share of the property.” So the father divided his property between his two sons. Not long after that, the younger son packed up everything he owned and left for a foreign country, where he wasted all his money in wild living. He had spent everything, when a bad famine spread through that whole land. Soon he had nothing to eat. He went to work for a man in that country, and the man sent him out to take care of his pigs. He would have been glad to eat what the pigs were eating, but no one gave him a thing. Finally, he came to his senses and said, “My father’s workers have plenty to eat, and here I am, starving to death! I will go to my father and say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you. I am no longer good enough to be called your son. Treat me like one of your workers.’”

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: This story is often called, The Prodigal Son. A “prodigal” is someone who spends money very foolishly. Have you ever wasted money, and later learned a lesson from that?

Child: If you were the older son, how would you have felt about your younger brother’s behavior?

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

Heavenly Father, we all make bad choices at times, and we often come to regret those. Help us to learn the lessons we need to learn, so that we can grow into the people you want us to be. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you always know where you belong! 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, on this beautiful Sunday, we thank you for bringing us together to praise and worship you! Lead us now, as we study our Psalm, and draw us ever closer 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 40:16-17
Our Lord, let your worshipers rejoice and be glad. They love you for saving them, so let them always say, “The Lord is wonderful!” I am poor and needy, but, Lord God, you care about me, and you come to my rescue. Please hurry and help. (CEV)

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

Child: God is indeed wonderful! What are some of the amazing things that God is doing right now, even as we speak?

Child: Can you remember a time when you felt that God came to your rescue—maybe by using other people or events to help you? What happened?

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

Lord God, we all go through times when we feel needy or overwhelmed. Thank you for caring for us, and for helping us through those experiences. May we remember your compassion and be grateful for it not only when times are tough, but when they are good, as well. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you thank God for all your blessings! 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, we want to follow you and live good lives. Increase our faith as we dig into our Bible story today, so that we may please you and serve you better every day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 10:36-37
Then Jesus asked, “Which one of these three people was a real neighbor to the man who was beaten up by robbers?” The teacher answered, “The one who showed pity.” Jesus said, “Go and do the same!” (CEV)

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

Child: What does the word “pity” mean? Have you ever felt pity for someone, and tried to help? When?

Child: How can we be good neighbors to the people in our neighborhood, school, or work place?

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

Dear Lord, we want to be like the Good Samaritan, but sometimes people’s problems seem too big for us. Show us how we can make a difference, whether it’s by giving to a charity, volunteering in a soup kitchen, or simply praying for those in need. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

May you find a way to make a difference! 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 the school week draws to a close, may we be thankful for what we have learned. Teach us even more now, as we settle in to study the Small Catechism together. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

We should fear and love God so that we do our neighbors no bodily harm nor cause them any suffering, but help and befriend them in every need. (Luther’s Small Catechism)

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

Child: Who is our neighbor? Does this only mean people who live next door to us? Why or why not?

Child: Why does showing kindness to our neighbor also show love for God?

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

Heavenly Father, we trust you and love you! We know that you want us to treat our neighbors well, but sometimes this is hard for us. Show us the way. Help us to notice and befriend those who are in need of a friend. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you reach out to someone who needs a friend today! 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, fill us with love and compassion, so that we may see others as you see them. Open our hearts now, as we talk and pray together, and make us into the people you want us to be. 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.

There once was a Samaritan
(Who was a fair and decent man),
And as he walked along the road
He saw an injured man, and slowed.

Then taking bandages and oil
He washed his cuts; cleaned out the soil.
He helped the man, and carried him
Along the road and to an inn.

While usually they would not meet
One helped the other on that street.
And in that act, the hurt man knew
He had a neighbor, good and true.

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

Child: Are there groups of people that we usually would not meet in our neighborhood? Who are they?

Child: What do all people have in common, even if their skin color, beliefs, or backgrounds are different?

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

Holy God, sometimes we let differences keep us apart from other people. Teach us how to reach out and treat people lovingly even if they have other traditions or ways of life. Show us how to share our faith with them. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you see your neighbors as fellow children of God!  Amen.