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.

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, we are so thankful for all you have done for us! As we talk about our Bible lesson today, help us to understand more about your son, Jesus, and about his miraculous work. In his holy name we pray. Amen.

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

Matthew 4: 23
Jesus went all over Galilee, teaching in the Jewish meeting places and preaching the good news about God’s kingdom. He also healed every kind of disease and sickness. (CEV)

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

Child: Jesus healed many people during his earthly ministry. What are some sicknesses that you would like to see healed in our day? Who is ill and in need of our prayers today?

Child: How are we already a part of God’s kingdom right now in faith? Why is that “good news” to know?

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

Dear Lord, we long for your kingdom. Inspire faith in us, so that we may believe your Word and live good and holy lives here on earth. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

May you live a life of faith! 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, today as we study Luther’s Small Catechism, please help us to learn all that you would have us know. Stir up your Holy Spirit in us, so that we may grow ever closer to you. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

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

The Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.  (Luther’s Small Catechism)

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

Child: Who is the Holy Spirit? Why do you think the Bible calls the Holy Spirit our “Helper?”

Child: The Holy Spirit leads us to Jesus, and always points the way to him. When have you felt the Holy Spirit guiding you or strengthening your faith?

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

Heavenly Father, as we live and make decisions each day, we need help and guidance. May your Holy Spirit be with us, leading us ever closer to you! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May the Holy Spirit always be your help and guide! 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, you are our loving Father. Thank you for making us your children, and for caring for us as you do. Be with us today, and help us to learn all that we can as we study and talk. 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.

As Jesus walked along the Sea
He called out, “Come and follow me!”
Two fishermen who heard his voice
Dropped all their nets and made a choice.

Soon Andrew, Peter, James and John
Decided they’d be counted on
To talk and pray with people, too,
For that’s what they’d been called to do.

They did not ask where they would go.
They trusted Jesus; he would know.
They fished for people now, instead,
And followed Jesus where he led.

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

Child: Do you think it would be harder to fish for fish, or for people? Why?

Child: What does it mean to follow Jesus, in our own time? How can each of us do that in our daily lives?

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

Holy God, we want to be followers of Jesus, but sometimes it’s hard to know how best to do that. Show us the way. Help us to do the things you want us to do, so that we may make a difference in this world. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May God lead you, and help you make good choices!  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, every day, you reach out to us and show us mercy and kindness. As we study our Bible lesson now and learn more about Jesus and his disciples, help us to grow deeper in our own faith. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Matthew 4: 21-22
Jesus walked on until he saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat with their father, mending their nets. Jesus asked them to come with him too. Right away they left the boat and their father and went with Jesus. (CEV)

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

Child: Jesus invited James and John to follow him. What are some ways that we can reach out to people, in our time, and invite them to follow Jesus?

Child: If Jesus called you to be one of his early disciples, what would be the most exciting part of that for you?

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

God of grace, we want the whole world to know about Jesus! Please help us as we look for ways to share our faith with others. 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 tell someone about Jesus today! 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 as we study your Word today. Lead us, guide us, and help us to grow into the people you want us to be. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

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

Matthew 4: 18-20
While Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw two brothers. One was Simon, also known as Peter, and the other was Andrew. They were fishermen, and they were casting their net into the lake. Jesus said to them, “Come with me! I will teach you how to bring in people instead of fish.” Right then the two brothers dropped their nets and went with him. (CEV)

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

Child: Have you ever spent an entire day fishing? What was the best and worst part about that? What might it be like to fish as your day-to-day job?

Child: By dropping their nets and following Jesus, what hardships do you think the fishermen would have faced? Do you think friends and family understood their decision? Why or why not?

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

Heavenly Father, sometimes people don’t understand why we follow Jesus. They may not know why we make certain decisions, and might even tease us for our faith. Help us to be brave, anyway, like those fishermen from long ago. Make us strong. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you be strong in your faith! Amen.