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 so thankful that you lovingly watch over us. Help us to care for others who may be struggling with heavy burdens this season. 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.

Mary, who was young and sweet,
Was, indeed, surprised to meet
Someone who appeared at night;
‘Twas an angel, filled with light!

“Do not be afraid, Dear One,
For in time you’ll have a son!
God is happy with you, too,
That’s why he sent me to you.”

“How can this all be?” She said.
“I’m not married; I’m not wed.”
“God will make a way, somehow,”
Said the angel, “Trust him now.”

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

Child: Why do you think the angel told Mary not to be afraid? Do you think the angel’s words helped Mary feel better? Why or why not?

Child: Mary was going to have to trust God with her future. Why? How does trusting God with the future help us deal with all the uncertain things in life?

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

Holy God, thank you for sending your Son into our world, which so needed a Savior. And thank you for Mary and Joseph, who received him in true faith. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you know how much God cares 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, be with each person here today, and inspire faith in us as we study the amazing things that happened before Jesus’ birth. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 1:30-35
Then the angel told Mary, “Don’t be afraid! God is pleased with you, and you will have a son. His name will be Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of God Most High. The Lord God will make him king, as his ancestor David was. He will rule the people of Israel forever, and his kingdom will never end.” Mary asked the angel, “How can this happen? I am not married!”  The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come down to you, and God’s power will come over you. So your child will be called the holy Son of God. (CEV)

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

Child: What do you think was the scariest thing for Mary in this story? What was the most exciting? Have you ever felt scared and excited at the same time?

Child: Some people may have talked behind Mary’s back when they heard her story. How do you think she handled this? What’s the best way to deal with gossip?

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

God of grace, you have a plan for each of our lives, and it is good. Just as Mary trusted that plan, may we do the same! 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 trust your future to God! 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, thank you for sending messengers to bring good news into our world. Help us to listen to your Word, and hear it with open ears. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 1:26-29
One month later God sent the angel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth in Galilee with a message for a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to Joseph from the family of King David. The angel greeted Mary and said, “You are truly blessed! The Lord is with you.” Mary was confused by the angel’s words and wondered what they meant. (CEV)

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

Child: How do you imagine Joseph felt when he heard what the angel told Mary? Do you think this was hard for him?

Child: What is it like to be engaged to marry someone, like Mary and Joseph were? Do you think challenges can draw a couple closer together? Why or why not?

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

Heavenly Father, even when we receive unexpected news, you are with us. May we believe this, and learn to walk forward in faith, as Mary and Joseph did so long ago. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you be open to hearing God’s Word! 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, thank you for being with us. Help us to learn more about your mighty power as we study your Word today. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Luke 1:26-38
One month later God sent the angel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth in Galilee with a message for a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to Joseph from the family of King David. The angel greeted Mary and said, “You are truly blessed! The Lord is with you.” Mary was confused by the angel’s words and wondered what they meant.

Then the angel told Mary, “Don’t be afraid! God is pleased with you, and you will have a son. His name will be Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of God Most High. The Lord God will make him king, as his ancestor David was. He will rule the people of Israel forever, and his kingdom will never end.” Mary asked the angel, “How can this happen? I am not married!” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come down to you, and God’s power will come over you. So your child will be called the holy Son of God. Your relative Elizabeth is also going to have a son, even though she is old. No one thought she could ever have a baby, but in three months she will have a son. Nothing is impossible for God!”  Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said.” And the angel left her. (CEV)

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

Child: What do you imagine the angel Gabriel looked like? How do you think you might react if an angel showed up with a message for you? Why?

Child: Mary was likely a teenager when she was visited by Gabriel. Can you think of other stories in the Bible where God has chosen young people to do important things? What are they?

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

Heavenly Father, you are a God of surprises. Even when we may not understand your plan, help us to accept all that you bring into our lives, as Mary did. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you believe in God’s good plan! 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, we praise and thank you for giving us this day. Be with us, and turn our hearts to you as we study. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

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

Psalm 148:3-5
Sun and moon, and all of you bright stars, come and offer praise. Highest heavens, and the water above the highest heavens, come and offer praise. Let all things praise the name of the Lord, because they were created at his command. (CEV)

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

Child: How do you think the sun, moon, and stars can offer praise to God? How about things like animals or plants? What are some different ways that people can praise God?

Child: What is your favorite plant, tree or flower in the natural world? Why do you think God might have created it?

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

Lord God, thank you so much for this beautiful world that you have created. Help us to take good care of it, and to appreciate all that you have given us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you take care of God’s good earth! 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 welcome you into our lives, today and always. Please lead us now, and help us to understand your Word. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

John 1:11-14
He came into his own world, but his own nation did not welcome him. Yet some people accepted him and put their faith in him. So he gave them the right to be the children of God. They were not God’s children by nature or because of any human desires. God himself was the one who made them his children. The Word became a human being and lived here with us. We saw his true glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father. From him all the kindness and all the truth of God have come down to us. (CEV)

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

Child: The Bible tells us that Jesus wasn’t welcomed by his own people. Have you ever had trouble welcoming someone? Why? Did you learn anything from that experience?

Child: What does it mean to be a child of God, in your opinion? Do you think old people can be children of God? Why or why not?

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

Dear Lord, you understand what it feels like to be unwelcome. Help us reach out to those who need care and kindness, remembering that in doing so, we are welcoming you. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

May you never forget that you are God’s child! 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 great teachers, like Martin Luther, who wrote the Small Catechism for us. Be with us now as we study it, and teach us what you’d have us know. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

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

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again.  (Luther’s Small Catechism)

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

Child: What’s your favorite part of the Christmas story? Do you remember where you first heard about Jesus’ birth? Tell us about that.

Child: What’s your favorite part of the Easter story? What are some memories that you have of Easter from when you were a child?

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

Heavenly Father, we are so thankful that you sent Jesus into our world! Help us to live every day in faith, trusting in your love. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you put your trust in Jesus! Amen.