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, every day, you reach out to us and show us mercy and kindness. As we study our Bible lesson now and learn more about Jesus and his disciples, help us to grow deeper in our own faith. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Matthew 4: 21-22
Jesus walked on until he saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat with their father, mending their nets. Jesus asked them to come with him too. Right away they left the boat and their father and went with Jesus. (CEV)

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

Child: Jesus invited James and John to follow him. What are some ways that we can reach out to people, in our time, and invite them to follow Jesus?

Child: If Jesus called you to be one of his early disciples, what would be the most exciting part of that for you?

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

God of grace, we want the whole world to know about Jesus! Please help us as we look for ways to share our faith with others. 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 tell someone about Jesus 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, stir up your Holy Spirit in us as we study your Word today. Lead us, guide us, and help us to grow into the people you want us to be. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

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

Matthew 4: 18-20
While Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw two brothers. One was Simon, also known as Peter, and the other was Andrew. They were fishermen, and they were casting their net into the lake. Jesus said to them, “Come with me! I will teach you how to bring in people instead of fish.” Right then the two brothers dropped their nets and went with him. (CEV)

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

Child: Have you ever spent an entire day fishing? What was the best and worst part about that? What might it be like to fish as your day-to-day job?

Child: By dropping their nets and following Jesus, what hardships do you think the fishermen would have faced? Do you think friends and family understood their decision? Why or why not?

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

Heavenly Father, sometimes people don’t understand why we follow Jesus. They may not know why we make certain decisions, and might even tease us for our faith. Help us to be brave, anyway, like those fishermen from long ago. Make us strong. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you be strong in your faith! 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, and inspire us as we learn what it means to follow Jesus. Help us to trust him enough that we can go wherever he leads us, just like his disciples 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.

Matthew 4:18-23
While Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw two brothers. One was Simon, also known as Peter, and the other was Andrew. They were fishermen, and they were casting their net into the lake. Jesus said to them, “Come with me! I will teach you how to bring in people instead of fish.” Right then the two brothers dropped their nets and went with him.

Jesus walked on until he saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat with their father, mending their nets. Jesus asked them to come with him too. Right away they left the boat and their father and went with Jesus.  Jesus went all over Galilee, teaching in the Jewish meeting places and preaching the good news about God’s kingdom. He also healed every kind of disease and sickness. (CEV)

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

Child: Jesus said to the fishermen, “I will teach you to bring in people instead of fish.” How might working with Jesus be similar to fishing?

Child: Why do you think the fishermen followed Jesus “right away?” What would cause you to do that, if you were with them?

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

Heavenly Father, Peter, Andrew, James and John knew that Jesus was someone very special, and that his work was the most important thing they could do. Help us to see this, in our own lives, and to be brave in following him. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you follow Jesus all of your days! 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, just as you led your people through the desert, lead us now as we come to learn from your Word. Guide us, teach us, and help us to become the people you want us to be. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

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

Psalm 136:16-17
The Lord led his people through the desert. God’s love never fails. Our God defeated mighty kings. God’s love never fails. (CEV)

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

Child: What does it mean that “God’s love never fails?” How might knowing that affect how you live your life?

Child: God led his people through a desert, and God helped Jesus in the desert, too. When has God helped you get through something really hard? What good came from that experience?

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

Lord God, we love you, and we are grateful to be together on this day of rest and worship. Thank you for loving us, even when we are most unloveable. Help us to believe your promises, for you are completely trustworthy. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you love the Lord your God! 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, you are so good to us, and you give us more than we can ever ask. Thank you for being with us now, as we read your Word. Help us to learn from it today. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Matthew 4: 8-11
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: The devil made all sorts of promises to Jesus, but who really had the power in this situation? How can this fact be a comfort for us, today?

Child: What does it mean to worship the Lord and serve only him? How can we do this better in our own lives?

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

Dear Lord, it helps us to know that you are more powerful than any force of evil. Realizing this, and remembering that we belong to you, we truly have nothing to fear. Thank you for meeting our every need. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

May you remember that God is over all! 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, teach us what you would like us to know as we study the Small Catechism today. Be with us now, and open our ears and our hearts. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

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

God indeed tempts no one to sin, but we pray in this petition that God would guard and protect us from this, that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or lead us into false belief, despair, and other great and shameful sins. (Luther’s Small Catechism)

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

Child: What does the word “despair” mean? Why would giving up all hope be a sin?

Child: The catechism reminds us that God tempts no one to sin. Knowing that, how might prayer help us when we are struggling to make a good decision?

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

Heavenly Father, we are so thankful that we can turn to you, and that you watch over us and keep us safe. Guide us each day, and lead us down the paths that you would have us go. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May God guard and protect you! 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, every day, you watch over us. We may not see you, but you are there, caring for us. Be with us now as we talk and study and help us to learn all that you would have us know. 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 in the desert Jesus prayed;
He ate no food for forty days.
That’s when the devil came and tried
To tempt the Lord with pleasant lies.

The devil promised lots of things:
Like food and safety, wealth of kings,
But Jesus would not go along.
With all the things he knew were wrong.

“Be gone!” yelled Jesus, “Let me be.
Your tempting will not work with me!”
The devil could not beat the Lord
For Jesus stood upon God’s Word.

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

Child: The devil offered Jesus things he wanted or needed—food, safety, money. Do you think it might have been hard for Jesus to say “no” to these things? Would it have been hard for you?

Child: Do you think the devil was surprised that Jesus turned him away? Have you ever surprised anyone by going against something bad that you were being pressured to do?

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

Holy God, it can be hard to turn away from things that tempt us. Jesus understands this, as he had to do that, himself. Help us to make good decisions, and to look to you for guidance. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you look to God for guidance!  Amen.