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, stir up your Holy Spirit in us and open our hearts and minds as we read more from our Bible story today. Help us to learn from Zacchaeus, and to realize that we can always turn to you and start again. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 19:8-9
Later that day Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “I will give half of my property to the poor. And I will now pay back four times as much to everyone I have ever cheated.” Jesus said to Zacchaeus, “Today you and your family have been saved, because you are a true son of Abraham.”  (CEV)

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

Child: Do you think it was hard for Zacchaeus to change his ways? Why or why not?

Child: Jesus compared Zacchaeus to Abraham, partly because Abraham trusted God and acted on that trust. How did Zacchaeus show his trust in God?

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

Dear Lord, teach us to be generous people, as you are generous. When we fall short and make mistakes, please turn us around and show us the way forward. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

May you trust God with everything! 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, we want to trust you more, and to follow where you lead. Be present as we study the Small Catechism today, and help us to grow in our understanding of how you would like us to live. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

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

We should fear and love God so that we do not plot to take our neighbors’ possessions, inheritance, or home, or obtain them through deceptive means, but assist and serve our neighbors in keeping what is theirs. (Luther’s Small Catechism)

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

Child: Why shouldn’t we take things that don’t belong to us?

Child: God wants us to look out for our neighbors and treat them well. What is one nice or helpful thing that we could do for the other people in our lives?

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

Heavenly Father, you want us to be good neighbors and to treat those around us with kindness and respect. Help us to do this each day, so that we may serve you as we serve them. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you treat others fairly and well! 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, we are blessed because of your great kindness to us. As we read our lesson today, stir up your Holy Spirit, and help us to see the many ways you show compassion for your people. 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.

Zacchaeus was a tiny man
And yet he had a giant plan
For he was certain he would see
the Lord, by climbing up a tree!

Up there, he overlooked the crowd
And grinned when Jesus said out loud,
“Zacchaeus, you come down, okay?
I’m visiting your home today!”

So, feeling eager as could be,
Zacchaeus shimmied down that tree.
And from that day, a change began;
Zacchaeus was a better man.

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

Child: Why do you think Zacchaeus became a better man after meeting Jesus? What changed for him?

Child: If Jesus announced that he was visiting our home today, what would we do to get ready for him? What foods would we serve him?

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

Holy God, you care about every person, big or small. May we welcome you into our lives, as Zacchaeus did so long ago, and may we, too, be changed for the better! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May Jesus make a difference in your life!  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 us as we discuss our Bible story today. Open our minds and our hearts, so that we might see the many ways you show mercy and kindness to those who need it most. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 9:5-7
When Jesus got there, he looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry down! I want to stay with you today.” Zacchaeus hurried down and gladly welcomed Jesus. Everyone who saw this started grumbling, “This man Zacchaeus is a sinner! And Jesus is going home to eat with him.” (CEV)

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

Child: People judged Zacchaeus and thought they knew what was in his heart. Have you ever felt judged by others? When?

Child: Tell us about a time when you judged someone else unfairly. What did you learn about the person that later made you think differently?

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

God of grace, we have done nothing to deserve your mercy, yet you come to us anyway. Thank you for your love! Help us to reach out to those who need to know about you. 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 see others as God sees them! 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 today, so that as we read your Word, we may grow to love you more! Draw us ever closer to you. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 19:1-4
Jesus was going through Jericho, where a man named Zacchaeus lived. He was in charge of collecting taxes and was very rich. Jesus was heading his way, and Zacchaeus wanted to see what he was like. But Zacchaeus was a short man and could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree. (CEV)

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

Child: What are “taxes?” Why do you think people in Jesus’ time disliked tax collectors?

Child: Have you ever had trouble seeing over a crowd? When? What did you do about it?

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

Heavenly Father, you look out at your people, and you see where we suffer and are weak. Thank you for helping us in our struggles and for caring about us as you did for Zacchaeus. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you always look to Jesus! 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 read our Bible story today, may we see how you care for all people. Be with us now, and help us to 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.

Luke 19:1-9
Jesus was going through Jericho, where a man named Zacchaeus lived. He was in charge of collecting taxes and was very rich. Jesus was heading his way, and Zacchaeus wanted to see what he was like. But Zacchaeus was a short man and could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree. When Jesus got there, he looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry down! I want to stay with you today.” Zacchaeus hurried down and gladly welcomed Jesus. Everyone who saw this started grumbling, “This man Zacchaeus is a sinner! And Jesus is going home to eat with him.”

Later that day Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “I will give half of my property to the poor. And I will now pay back four times as much to everyone I have ever cheated.” Jesus said to Zacchaeus, “Today you and your family have been saved, because you are a true son of Abraham. (CEV)

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

Child: Did you ever climb a tall tree when you were small? What could you see from up there?

Child: What did the people in his town think of Zacchaeus?  Why do you think he would want to see Jesus? Do you think that is unusual? Why or why not?

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

Heavenly Father, not one of us is perfect, and we long for a relationship with you. Thank you for sending Jesus to reach out to all of us who need your love and forgiveness. In his holy name we pray. Amen.

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

May you receive God’s love and forgiveness! 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, it is good to have this time together. Turn our hearts to you now, as we settle in to hear your Word. Bless each person here, and bless the week ahead. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

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

Psalm 123: 1-2
Our Lord and our God, I turn my eyes to you, on your throne in heaven. Servants look to their master, but we will look to you, until you have mercy on us. (CEV)

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

Child: How is God like a king? How can we best serve God, our heavenly ruler?

Child: What does the word “mercy” mean? What are some of the ways that God has mercy on us?

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

Lord God, thank you for watching over us and caring for us each day. Please forgive us when we go astray, and lead us back onto your path. Have mercy on us, always. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you serve God in all you do! Amen.