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, we know that you are wise and merciful. Stir up your Holy Spirit in us now, as we learn about the wonderful things you have done. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Matthew 2:9-10
The wise men listened to what the king said and then left. And the star they had seen in the east went on ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. They were thrilled and excited to see the star. (CEV)

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

Child: Why do we all need something to guide us in life? How did God guide the wise men? How does God guide us?

Child: How does God give us the strength to keep going, even when we don’t know what the future will bring? How has God helped you in this way?

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

God of grace, you use everything to glorify Jesus—even natural things like stars in the sky. Help us to be as dedicated to him as the wise men were, who travelled so far from home to meet him. 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 God guide you forward in faith! 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, sometimes we have difficult decisions to make. But we know that you are always with us, helping and guiding us. Thank you for all that you do in our lives. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

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

Matthew 2:7-8
Herod secretly called in the wise men and asked them when they had first seen the star. He told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, let me know. I want to go and worship him too.” (CEV)

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

Child: King Herod was jealous; he was not happy to hear that there was a new king born. Do you think he really wanted to worship baby Jesus, or was he lying?

Child: Why do you think Herod could not figure out where baby Jesus was located? Do you think God had something to do with this? Why or why not?

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

Heavenly Father, we need good rulers all over our world. Raise up leaders who want to serve you, and who will act justly, no matter where they live. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you be brave in doing right! 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 about those who came before us so long ago. Thank you for their courageous examples of faith. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Matthew 2:7-12
Herod secretly called in the wise men and asked them when they had first seen the star. He told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, let me know. I want to go and worship him too.”

The wise men listened to what the king said and then left. And the star they had seen in the east went on ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.  They were thrilled and excited to see the star.

When the men went into the house and saw the child with Mary, his mother, they knelt down and worshiped him. They took out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh and gave them to him. Later they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, and they went back home by another road. (CEV)

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

Child: The wise men were people who studied the stars. What do you know about stars? Is there anything you can tell me?

Child: Why do you think the wise men left their homes? What had they seen? What do you think they expected to find at the end of their journey?

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

Heavenly Father, you guide us every day, just as you did for the wise men. Lead us in the year ahead, and be with those who feel lost and alone at this time of year. Help them realize that you love them. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you follow where God leads you! 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, as the year draws to a close, bless each person here. Walk beside us in the New Year, and guide us, so that we may lead lives that are pleasing 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 40:5
You, Lord God, have done many wonderful things, and you have planned marvelous things for us. No one is like you! I would never be able to tell all you have done. (CEV)

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

Child: Why is it so helpful to know that we can trust and rely on God?

Child: God has planned marvelous things for us, even though we do not yet know what they are! What are some of your hopes and dreams for the New Year?

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

Lord God, thank you for being involved in our lives, and for watching over us. We praise you, and love you! Help us to serve you today, and in the year to come. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you be blessed in the New Year! 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, as we continue to study our Bible story, we ask that you would be present with us. Let your Holy Spirit lead us, and help us learn all that you would have us know. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 2:16-20
They hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and they saw the baby lying on a bed of hay. When the shepherds saw Jesus, they told his parents what the angel had said about him. Everyone listened and was surprised. But Mary kept thinking about all this and wondering what it meant. As the shepherds returned to their sheep, they were praising God and saying wonderful things about him. Everything they had seen and heard was just as the angel had said. (CEV)

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

Child: Do you think Mary was surprised by all that the shepherds told her about Jesus? What do you imagine she thought of it all?

Child: Artists throughout history have painted little Jesus in many different ways. What do you imagine Jesus looked like as a baby?

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

Dear Lord, please bless new mothers like Mary, who are so full of hopes and dreams for their babies. Give them strength, and help them trust you as they raise their little ones. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

May you be thankful for the gift of life! 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 we study the Catechism today, may we have a deeper understanding of all that you do for us, and may we come to love and trust you more. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

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

Every day [God] provides abundantly for all the needs of my life... He does this purely out of fatherly and divine goodness and mercy, though I do not deserve it. Therefore I ought to thank, praise, serve, and obey him. This is most certainly true! (Luther’s Small Catechism)

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

Child: What’s the difference between a “want” and a “need?” What are some of the ways that God gives us all that we need in life, even when we don’t get everything we may want?

Child: Has God ever met a need for you in an unexpected way? Tell us about that.

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

Heavenly Father, we are so thankful for all that you do for us. When we get caught up in “wants,” help us to count our blessings. We love you! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you realize that God is with you, helping you always! 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, speak to us through our Bible story today. Let your Holy Spirit be at work in us, drawing us ever closer to you as we learn more about your work in the world. 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 shepherds watched their flocks by night
They saw a most amazing sight!
An angel, sent from God above,
Appeared to them, and spoke with love.

“I bring good tidings of great joy!
For just tonight, a baby boy
Has come to earth for everyone!
He is the Savior—God’s own son!”

More angels soon appeared, as well,
To praise the Lord, clear as a bell.
And when they’d gone, the shepherds ran
To see this child in Bethlehem!

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

Child: Why does our world need a Savior? What does Jesus save us from?

Child: Angels told the shepherds about Jesus, and we can do the same for people in our time. Is there anyone you know who has not heard the story of Jesus? How could we share that good news with them?

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

Holy God, you care about us so much that you sent your own Son to save us. We are so grateful that you did not leave us alone in our sin, but broke into our world with hope. Thank you for loving us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you rejoice, because Jesus came for you!  Amen.