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, as we start this week of study and prayer, thank you for being with us and inspiring us. Please help us to better understand your Word. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

John 1:-14
In the beginning was the one who is called the Word. The Word was with God and was truly God. From the very beginning the Word was with God. And with this Word, God created all things. Nothing was made without the Word. Everything that was created received its life from him, and his life gave light to everyone. The light keeps shining in the dark, and darkness has never put it out.

God sent a man named John, who came to tell about the light and to lead all people to have faith. John wasn’t that light. He came only to tell about the light. The true light that shines on everyone was coming into the world. The Word was in the world, but no one knew him, though God had made the world with his Word.

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: Why does a light shining in the dark help people feel better? Tell about a time you were afraid of the dark and were comforted by the light.

Child: Jesus wasn’t welcomed by his own people. Have you ever felt like an outsider? When? Why does it help to know that Jesus understands that feeling?

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

Lord God, you know what it feels like to be misunderstood and rejected. Help us to remember that you love us, especially during those times when we feel like outsiders, ourselves. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you always follow the light! 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, you want the best for us, and you bless us every day. Be with us now, and help us to understand more about your Word. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Revelation 21:1-6
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. (CEV)

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

Child: The Bible tells us that there will be a new heaven and a new earth one day. What do you imagine these places will be like? Describe that for us.

Child: Where is Jerusalem? Why do you think it’s called a holy city? What would you most like to see if you visited there?

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

Lord God, thank you for caring for your people. We look forward to the day when you make all things new! Please help us to be patient until that time. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you trust in God’s good plans! 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, no matter what is going on in our world, you are over all. Be with us now, and give us a peaceful heart and a clear mind as we study your Word. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Revelation 12: 7-11
A war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels were fighting against the dragon and its angels. But the dragon lost the battle. It and its angels were forced out of their places in heaven and were thrown down to the earth. Yes, that old snake and his angels were thrown out of heaven! That snake, who fools everyone on earth, is known as the devil and Satan.

Then I heard a voice from heaven shout, “Our God has shown his saving power, and his kingdom has come! God’s own Chosen One has shown his authority. Satan accused our people in the presence of God day and night. Now he has been thrown out! Our people defeated Satan because of the blood of the Lamb and the message of God. They were willing to give up their lives. The heavens should rejoice, together with everyone who lives there.” (CEV)

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

Child: Why do you think the Bible describes the devil as a “dragon” and a “snake”? What does that tell us about who the devil is and what the devil is like?

Child: Why is it important to remember that God is stronger than the devil? How can this promise give us comfort when we hear of bad things happening in the world?

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

Lord God, thank you for winning the battle against the forces of evil. Help us to remember that we never need to fear, because we have you in our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you remember that God is all powerful! 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, help us to understand your Word as we study it now. Draw us closer to you while we learn more about your love for us. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Revelation 5:1-5, 11-14
John wrote what he saw in a vision of heaven, saying:
In the right hand of the one sitting on the throne I saw a scroll that had writing on the inside and on the outside. And it was sealed in seven places. I saw a mighty angel ask with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” No one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or see inside it. I cried hard because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or see inside it. Then one of the elders said to me, “Stop crying and look! The one who is called both the ‘Lion from the Tribe of Judah’ and ‘King David’s Great Descendant’ has won the victory. He will open the book and its seven seals.”

As I looked, I heard the voices of a lot of angels around the throne and the voices of the living creatures and of the elders. There were millions and millions of them, and they were saying in a loud voice, “The Lamb who was killed is worthy to receive power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and praise.”  Then I heard all beings in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and in the sea offer praise. Together, all of them were saying, “Praise, honor, glory, and strength forever and ever to the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb!” The four living creatures said “Amen,” while the elders knelt down and worshiped. (CEV)

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

Child: The writer,  John, saw angels who were praising God. What do you think an angel might look like? What do you imagine an angel’s voice might sound like?

Child: Why do you think Jesus is called the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world?”

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

Lord God, thank you for sending Jesus, your own Son, into our world. Help us to remember how much he loves us, and to share that love with others. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you praise God today! 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 hear your Word. Help us to focus on the story this week, and learn all that you would have us know. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Acts 28:1-9
When we came ashore, we learned that the island was called Malta. The local people were very friendly, and they welcomed us by building a fire, because it was rainy and cold.  After Paul had gathered some wood and had put it on the fire, the heat caused a snake to crawl out, and it bit him on the hand. When the local people saw the snake hanging from Paul’s hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer! He didn’t drown in the sea, but the goddess of justice will kill him anyway.”

Paul shook the snake off into the fire and wasn’t harmed. The people kept thinking that Paul would either swell up or suddenly drop dead. They watched him for a long time, and when nothing happened to him, they changed their minds and said, “This man is a god.”

The governor of the island was named Publius, and he owned some of the land around there. Publius was very friendly and welcomed us into his home for three days. His father was in bed, sick with fever and stomach trouble, and Paul went to visit him. Paul healed the man by praying and placing his hands on him. After this happened, everyone on the island brought their sick people to Paul, and they were all healed. (CEV)

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

Child: What do you imagine it was like on the island of Malta, where Paul and his friends visited? Have you ever traveled somewhere really interesting? When?

Child: Why did the local people think Paul was a murderer, and then a god? Was either idea right? Why or why not?

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

Lord God, be with missionaries and others who travel to far off places. Keep them safe, and keep us safe in all our journeys, as well. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you travel safely through the week! 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, as we listen to your Word today, may we come to know you better. Help us to see that we can always count on you—even during the stormy times. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Acts 27:18-20, 39-44
[Paul and several other prisoners were sailing on a ship with some sailors when a storm hit]. The storm was so fierce that the next day they threw some of the ship’s cargo overboard. Then on the third day, with their bare hands they threw overboard some of the ship’s gear. For several days we could not see either the sun or the stars. A strong wind kept blowing, and we finally gave up all hope of being saved.

Morning came, and the ship’s crew saw a coast that they did not recognize. But they did see a cove with a beach. So they decided to try to run the ship aground on the beach. They cut the anchors loose and let them sink into the sea. At the same time they untied the ropes that were holding the rudders. Next, they raised the sail at the front of the ship and let the wind carry the ship toward the beach. But it ran aground on a sandbank. The front of the ship stuck firmly in the sand, and the rear was being smashed by the force of the waves.

The soldiers decided to kill the prisoners to keep them from swimming away and escaping. But Captain Julius wanted to save Paul’s life, and he did not let the soldiers do what they had planned. Instead, he ordered everyone who could swim to dive into the water and head for shore. Then he told the others to hold on to planks of wood or parts of the ship. At last, everyone safely reached shore. (CEV)

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

Child: Have you ever had to travel during a scary storm, like Paul did? What happened?

Child: Why might the Captain have wanted to save Paul’s life? Do you think God had something to do with that? Why or why not?

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

Lord God, when we are frightened, may we trust in your larger plan. Help us to remember that you are always with us, working for good. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May God give you peace in any storm. 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, guide us and make us into the people you would have us be. As we hear your Word today, help us to grow in faith. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Acts 24:5-16
[A lawyer named Tertullus, and several other leaders, went to the governor to present a case against Paul]: “This man has been found to be a real pest and troublemaker for Jews all over the world. He is also a leader of a group called Nazarenes. When he tried to disgrace the temple, we arrested him. If you question him, you will find out for yourself that our charges are true.” The Jewish crowd spoke up and agreed with what Tertullus had said.

The governor motioned for Paul to speak, and he began: “I know that you have judged the people of our nation for many years, and I am glad to defend myself in your court. It was no more than twelve days ago that I went to worship in Jerusalem. You can find this out easily enough. Never once did the Jews find me arguing with anyone in the temple. I didn’t cause trouble in the Jewish meeting places or in the city itself. There is no way that they can prove these charges that they are now bringing against me.

"I admit that their leaders think that the Lord’s Way which I follow is based on wrong beliefs. But I still worship the same God that my ancestors worshiped. And I believe everything written in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets. I am just as sure as these people are that God will raise from death everyone who is good or evil. And because I am sure, I try my best to have a clear conscience in whatever I do for God or for people.” (CEV)

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

Child: The community leaders wanted Paul to stop talking about Jesus. What does it feel like when a whole group is against you? Has that ever happened to you?

Child: When things go against us, how does trusting in God help us not to lose hope?

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

Lord God, be with those Christians around the world who are treated unfairly or even jailed for their faith. Strengthen them, free them, and let them know that they are not forgotten. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you fearlessly share your faith! Amen.