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, help us to understand more about who Jesus was, and about who we are in relation to him.  Be with us now as we study and learn. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

John 12:1-8
Six days before Passover Jesus went back to Bethany, where he had raised Lazarus from death. A meal had been prepared for Jesus. Martha was doing the serving, and Lazarus himself was there.

Mary took a very expensive bottle of perfume and poured it on Jesus' feet. She wiped them with her hair, and the sweet smell of the perfume filled the house. A disciple named Judas Iscariot was there. He was the one who was going to betray Jesus, and he asked, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor?” Judas did not really care about the poor. He asked this because he carried the moneybag and sometimes would steal from it.

Jesus replied, “Leave her alone! She has kept this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor with you, but you won’t always have me.” (CEV)

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

Child: Why do you think Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet? Do you think she would have done this for any guest? Why or why not?

Child: To “betray” someone means to be disloyal, or to turn a friend over to an enemy. From reading this story, what was Judas most concerned about? How might this have tempted him to betray Jesus?

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

Heavenly Father, we want to be like Mary, and to serve you with all that we have. Help us to follow her example, so that we may value our relationship with you above earthly things. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you put Jesus first in your life! 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, thank you for this Sabbath day, and for everyone in our family, both near and far. Be with us as we study our psalm now. Help us to learn from it and turn 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 25:6-18
I am lonely and troubled. Show that you care and have pity on me. My awful worries keep growing. Rescue me from sadness. See my troubles and misery and forgive my sins. (CEV)

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

Child: What are some of the things that you worry about? How does your faith help you deal with your fears?

Child: When you feel sad, what do you do to cheer yourself up? How can helping others make you feel better, yourself?

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

Lord God, no matter how lonely or troubled we feel, we are never truly alone. Help us to trust you with all our worries, big and small, for you care for us and love us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you pray—and let God worry! 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! Be with us now, as we finish our study of the Prodigal Son, and help us learn to trust you more. You are our true, heavenly Father, and we are so grateful for you! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 15:20-24
The younger son got up and started back to his father. But when he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt sorry for him. He ran to his son and hugged and kissed him. The son said, “Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you. I am no longer good enough to be called your son.”

But his father said to the servants, “Hurry and bring the best clothes and put them on him. Give him a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. Get the best calf and prepare it, so we can eat and celebrate. This son of mine was dead, but has now come back to life. He was lost and has now been found.” And they began to celebrate. (CEV)

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

Child: Have you ever expected to be punished, and been forgiven, instead? Have you ever forgiven someone else when you could have punished them?

Child: How is the father in this story like God, our Heavenly Father?

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

Dear Lord, no matter how far we go astray, you are always waiting for us with open arms like the loving father in today’s story. Thank you for never giving up on us. Help us to reach out to others who need to hear this good news. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

May you never forget that God is a loving Father! 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, thank you for being with us as we study the Small Catechism today. Please help us to understand it better, and to use it as a guide in our daily lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

We know we have not earned, nor do we deserve, those things for which we pray. But we ask that he would grant us all things through grace, even though we sin every day and deserve nothing but punishment. (Luther’s Small Catechism)

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

Child: What do you pray for regularly? Have your prayers changed much as you have grown older?

Child: “Grace” refers to a gift from God, freely given and undeserved. What are some of the gifts God has given us that we have not earned?

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

Heavenly Father, you know and meet our every need. Thank you for providing for us, and for blessing us with family and friends who love us, as well. We love you! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you thank God for your blessings! 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, stir up your Holy Spirit in us today, and turn our hearts to you. Help us to see the many ways you care for us, even when we least deserve it. 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.

There was a tale that Jesus told
About a son who was quite bold,
And in this tale, the foolish son
Just took dad’s money on the run!

The young man wasted every cent,
And soon his money all was spent.
He wished that he could go back home
Since he was hungry and alone.

But when the father saw his boy,
He hugged and welcomed him with joy.
The father said to those around:
“My son was lost and now he’s found!”

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

Child: Have you ever felt homesick and alone? When?

Child: If you were the young man in the story, would you have been surprised by your father’s welcome? Why or why not?

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

Holy God, sometimes we get homesick, and feel very alone. But we know that you are always there for us, as close as a prayer. Thank you for loving us, no matter what. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you realize that you are never alone!  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, you are kind and merciful. As we read and discuss our Bible story today, be present with us. Please draw us closer to you and to one another while we learn together. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 15:15-19
He went to work for a man in that country, and the man sent him out to take care of his pigs. He would have been glad to eat what the pigs were eating, but no one gave him a thing. Finally, he came to his senses and said, “My father’s workers have plenty to eat, and here I am, starving to death!  I will go to my father and say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you.  I am no longer good enough to be called your son. Treat me like one of your workers.’” (CEV)

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

Child: What do pigs eat? How would their food have been different from what the younger son was used to eating?

Child: Why do you think the younger son felt he had sinned against both God and his father? How can confessing our sins actually bring us closer to God?

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

God of grace, it is hard to face our weaknesses, and to admit when we’ve done wrong. Yet you are a God of forgiveness! Help us to turn to you when we have made bad decisions, and to trust you with everything. 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 look to God for mercy and help! 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, be with us as we study today, and teach us all you would like us to know. Open our minds, so that we can learn from the Prodigal Son as we read our story now. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 15:11-14
Jesus also told them another story: Once a man had two sons. The younger son said to his father, “Give me my share of the property.” So the father divided his property between his two sons.  Not long after that, the younger son packed up everything he owned and left for a foreign country, where he wasted all his money in wild living. He had spent everything, when a bad famine spread through that whole land. Soon he had nothing to eat. (CEV)

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

Child: Have you ever wanted to escape from your normal routine and explore new places, like the younger son did? How did you handle that?

Child: Have you ever been truly hungry and had nothing to eat? What do you think that would feel like?

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

Heavenly Father, sometimes we are tempted to think only of ourselves, and of our own wants and desires. Help us to see the big picture, and to look to you for direction in all we do. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you think of others, and not only of yourself! Amen.