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, make us wise. Help us to know when to listen, when to speak, and when to be silent. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Listen: Listen carefully as the Bible story for the week is read aloud.

Acts 18:1-11
Paul left Athens and went to Corinth, where he met Aquila, a Jewish man from Pontus. Not long before this, Aquila had come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Emperor Claudius had ordered the Jewish people to leave Rome. Paul went to see Aquila and Priscilla and found out that they were tent makers. Paul was a tent maker too. So he stayed with them, and they worked together.

Every Sabbath, Paul went to the Jewish meeting place. He spoke to Jews and Gentiles and tried to win them over. But after Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, he spent all his time preaching to the Jews about Jesus the Messiah. Finally, they turned against him and insulted him. So he shook the dust from his clothes and told them, “Whatever happens to you will be your own fault! I am not to blame. From now on I am going to preach to the Gentiles.”

Paul then moved into the house of a man named Titius Justus, who worshiped God and lived next door to the Jewish meeting place. Crispus was the leader of the meeting place. He and everyone in his family put their faith in the Lord. Many others in Corinth also heard the message, and all the people who had faith in the Lord were baptized. One night, Paul had a vision, and in it the Lord said, “Don’t be afraid to keep on preaching. Don’t stop! I am with you, and you won’t be harmed. Many people in this city belong to me.” Paul stayed on in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching God’s message to the people. (CEV)

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

Child: What is the most interesting trip you ever took? How did people treat you in that place?

Child: Paul travelled all over, and preached about Jesus wherever he went. Have you ever talked about Jesus to someone you didn’t know well? Why can that be a  hard thing to do?

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

Lord God, it can be hard for us to talk about our faith. Help us to share the good news of your love with others, and to do so bravely.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you trust God to lead you, wherever you go. Amen.

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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 listen when you speak. Give us the faith to believe your Word, and to be changed by it. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Listen: Listen carefully as the Bible story for the week is read aloud.

Acts 17:16-21; 32-34
While Paul was waiting in Athens, he was upset to see all the idols in the city. He went to the Jewish meeting place to speak to the Jews and to anyone who worshiped with them. Day after day he also spoke to everyone he met in the market. Some of them were Epicureans and some were Stoics, and they started arguing with him. People were asking, “What is this know-it-all trying to say?”

Some even said, “Paul must be preaching about foreign gods! That’s what he means when he talks about Jesus and about people rising from death.” They brought Paul before a council called the Areopagus, and said, “Tell us what your new teaching is all about. We have heard you say some strange things, and we want to know what you mean.” More than anything else the people of Athens and the foreigners living there loved to hear and to talk about anything new.

As soon as the people heard Paul say that a man had been raised from death, some of them started laughing. Others said, “We will hear you talk about this some other time.” When Paul left the council meeting, some of the men put their faith in the Lord and went with Paul. One of them was a council member named Dionysius. A woman named Damaris and several others also put their faith in the Lord. (CEV)

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

Child: What is an “idol”? Why was Paul upset when he saw all the idols in Athens?

Child: Do you think we have any idols in our culture today? What are they?

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

Lord God, we can so easily focus on the wrong things in life. Help us to put you first in everything, and to take time to talk to you every day.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you put God first in your life. 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.

Lord God, open our ears to hear your Word, so that as we hear, we may believe; and as we believe, we may grow ever closer to you. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Listen: Listen carefully as the Bible story for the week is read aloud.

Acts 17: 10 -15
That same night the Lord’s followers sent Paul and Silas on to Berea, and after they arrived, they went to the Jewish meeting place. The people in Berea were much nicer than those in Thessalonica, and they gladly accepted the message. Day after day they studied the Scriptures to see if these things were true. Many of them put their faith in the Lord, including some important Greek women and several men.
When the Jewish leaders in Thessalonica heard that Paul had been preaching God’s message in Berea, they went there and caused trouble by turning the crowds against Paul. Right away the followers sent Paul down to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed in Berea. Some men went with Paul as far as Athens, and then returned with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible. (CEV)

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

Child: Paul and Silas were traveling from town to town. Have you ever been on a long cross-country trip? What do you like, or not like, about traveling?

Child:  The word “hospitality” means “welcoming strangers.” Who showed hospitality to Paul and Silas in this story? How do you think that made them feel?

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

Lord God, we ask that you would watch over us, especially when we go to places we have never been before. Guide us like you did for Paul and Silas, so that we would be of service to you wherever we go.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you show hospitality by welcoming others in Jesus’ name. 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.

Lord God, we are so thankful that we can worship you freely, and speak your name openly, in our own homes and churches. Help us to never take that for granted. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Listen: Listen carefully as the Bible story for the week is read aloud.

Acts 16:22-34
The crowd joined in the attack on Paul and Silas. Then the officials tore the clothes off the two men and ordered them to be beaten with a whip. After they had been badly beaten, they were put in jail, and the jailer was told to guard them carefully. The jailer did as he was told. He put them deep inside the jail and chained their feet to heavy blocks of wood.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing praises to God, while the other prisoners listened.  Suddenly a strong earthquake shook the jail to its foundations. The doors opened, and the chains fell from all the prisoners. When the jailer woke up and saw that the doors were open, he thought that the prisoners had escaped. He pulled out his sword and was about to kill himself. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! No one has escaped.” The jailer asked for a torch and went into the jail. He was shaking all over as he knelt down in front of Paul and Silas. After he had led them out of the jail, he asked, “What must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Have faith in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved! This is also true for everyone who lives in your home.” Then Paul and Silas told him and everyone else in his house about the Lord. While it was still night, the jailer took them to a place where he could wash their cuts and bruises. Then he and everyone in his home were baptized. They were very glad that they had put their faith in God. After this, the jailer took Paul and Silas to his home and gave them something to eat. (CEV)

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

Child: What happened when the earthquake shook the land? Why do you think Paul and Silas stayed where they were?

Child:  Have you ever been in a scary storm? What did you do?

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

Lord God, you care about every person you created, including prisoners and jailers. Help us share the good news of your love with anyone who needs to hear it. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May your ears always 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.

Lord God, we thank you for giving us time to pray and read your Word. By your Holy Spirit, open our hearts that we may learn from the Scriptures, and come to trust you more deeply each day, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Listen: Listen carefully as the Bible story for the week is read aloud.

Acts 16:9-15
During the night, Paul had a vision of someone from Macedonia who was standing there and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” After Paul had seen the vision, we began looking for a way to go to Macedonia. We were sure that God had called us to preach the good news there. We sailed straight from Troas to Samothrace, and the next day we arrived in Neapolis. From there we went to Philippi, which is a Roman colony in the first district of Macedonia.

We spent several days in Philippi. Then on the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to a place by the river, where we thought there would be a Jewish meeting place for prayer. We sat down and talked with the women who came. One of them was Lydia, who was from the city of Thyatira and sold expensive purple cloth. She was a worshiper of the Lord God, and he made her willing to accept what Paul was saying. Then after she and her family were baptized, she kept on begging us, “If you think I really do have faith in the Lord, come stay in my home.” Finally, we accepted her invitation. (CEV)

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

Child: Why were Paul and his friends travelling from city to city? What were they doing?

Child: Do you like to visit new place? What are things you enjoy about traveling? What things worry you?

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

Lord God, we know that you walk with us wherever we go. Help us to trust in you. Guide our steps and lead us to be faithful in doing your work in the world. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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

May you always feel the Lord’s presence in your life. 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.

Lord God, you speak to us through the stories of the Bible. Let your Holy Spirit be at work in us as we study your Word, so that we would learn from the example of the people who came before us in faith. Open our hearts and give us the faith to trust in you, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Listen: Listen carefully as the Bible story for the week is read aloud.

Acts 14:8-18
In Lystra there was a man who had been born with crippled feet and had never been able to walk. The man was listening to Paul speak, when Paul saw that he had faith in Jesus and could be healed. So he looked straight at the man and shouted, “Stand up!” The man jumped up and started walking around. When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they yelled out in the language of Lycaonia, “The gods have turned into humans and have come down to us!”  The people then gave Barnabas the name Zeus, and they gave Paul the name Hermes, because he did the talking.

The temple of Zeus was near the entrance to the city. Its priest and the crowds wanted to offer a sacrifice to Barnabas and Paul. So the priest brought some bulls and flowers to the city gates. When the two apostles found out about this, they tore their clothes in horror and ran to the crowd, shouting: “Why are you doing this? We are humans just like you. Please give up all this foolishness. Turn to the living God, who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything in them. In times past, God let each nation go its own way. But he showed that he was there by the good things he did. God sends rain from heaven and makes your crops grow. He gives food to you and makes your hearts glad.”  Even after Paul and Barnabas had said all this, they could hardly keep the people from offering a sacrifice to them. (CEV)

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

Child: What was wrong with the man Paul and Barnabus met in that town?

Child:  Who did the people think Paul and Barnabus were? Why? Were the people right or wrong?

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

Lord God, you do amazing things every day. But sometimes we don’t even recognize that it is you at work in our lives. Make us to be thankful for all you do, seen and unseen. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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

May you keep your eyes open for God at work in your life. 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.

Merciful Father, open our ears to hear your promises and to trust in your grace. Turn our hearts and minds toward you, for you are the source of life and truth. By your Holy Spirit speak to us now as we listen to your Word, through Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Listen: Listen carefully as the Bible story for the week is read aloud.

Acts 13:43-53
Many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God. 44  The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45  But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him.

46  And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. 47  For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” 48  And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. 49  And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region.

50  But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. 51  But they shook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium. 52  And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. (CEV)

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

Child: The Jews were people who knew about God; the Gentiles did not.  Why was it important for Paul and Barnabus to tell both groups about Jesus?

Child: On this day, which group listened to the message and which did not? Why do you think that was?

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

Lord God, you are the ruler of all the nations, and your message is for all people. Give us your Holy Spirit so that we would be able to tell others about you. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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

May the Holy Spirit open your heart to share your faith with others. Amen.