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, on this most exciting of nights, help us to be calm and patient. Be with us as we settle down now, and fill our hearts with your peace. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 2:6-7
[Mary] was soon going to have a baby, and while they were there, she gave birth to her first-born son. She dressed him in baby clothes and laid him on a bed of hay, because there was no room for them in the inn. (CEV)

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

Child: Have you ever lied down on a pile of hay, like baby Jesus did? What does hay feel like? Would it make a comfortable bed, in your opinion?

Child: In Jesus’ time, having no room at an inn meant you had to sleep outside. What would we do, in our time, if we went to an inn and it was full?

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

Dear Lord, please watch over babies today, no matter where in the world they are born. Let them be cherished and loved for the miracle that they are. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

May you sleep well tonight and have good dreams! 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 serve you and live good lives. As we study the Catechism today, teach us how to do just that. 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 our neighbors no bodily harm nor cause them any suffering, but help and befriend them in every need.  (Luther’s Small Catechism)

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

Child: When Luther talks about “our neighbors,” who does he mean? Why should our love for God affect how we treat our neighbor?

Child: Can you think of some people who are in need (of food, clothing, friendship, etc.) this season? What might we, as a family, do to reach out to them?

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

Heavenly Father, please be with those who are poor and in need of basic things right now. Inspire people to reach out and help them in whatever ways they can. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you do what you can for those in need! 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, no matter where we are, you are there. Thank you for being with us now and for working with us as we learn more about our Bible story. 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.

A grand decree went out one day
And this is what it had to say:
“The Caesar’s census has begun.
It’s time to number everyone!”

Young Joseph said to Mary, then,
“We’ll travel back to Bethlehem.”
And though her baby soon was due,
They had to make the trip, they knew.

But after they arrived, they found
There were no rooms to rent in town.
So out among the cows and sheep
She rocked her baby fast asleep.

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

Child: What is a “census?” Do governments take a census in our day?

Child: Mary gave birth to Jesus outside, near the animals. Have you ever slept outside? What was your most (and least) favorite part about that?

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

Holy God, be with those who must sleep outside tonight, and who have no roof over their heads. Keep them safe and warm. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you show kindness to travelers!  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, as we listen and talk about our Bible story today, may we grow ever closer to you. Thank you for your care and mercy in our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 2:4-5
So Joseph had to leave Nazareth in Galilee and go to Bethlehem in Judea. Long ago Bethlehem had been King David’s hometown, and Joseph went there because he was from David’s family. Mary was engaged to Joseph and traveled with him to Bethlehem.  (CEV)

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

Child: King David was one of Joseph’s ancestors. Who are some of our ancestors? Can you tell us a story about any of them?

Child: What do you think Joseph was most nervous about for the journey to Bethlehem? What do you think was the scariest part of it for Mary?

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

God of grace, bless those who are engaged to be married. Give them all that they need for their life’s journey, so they can be strong like Mary and Joseph. 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 bless you in all that you do today! Amen.

TuesdayTuesday: 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, thank you for this day, and for being with us now as we study. We love you and are so grateful for the many ways you help your people. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 2:1-3
About that time Emperor Augustus gave orders for the names of all the people to be listed in record books. These first records were made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to go to their own hometown to be listed. (CEV)

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

Child: Why do you think the emperor wanted a list of everyone in his land? Do you think it is a good idea to count everyone? Why or why not?

Child: If you had to travel to your hometown to be counted, how far would that be? Would it be easy or difficult for you to leave everything and make that trip? Why?

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

Heavenly Father, please guide the leaders in our world so they make good decisions. We ask that you bless our nation, and help us to live in a way that pleases you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you be strong and brave! 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, we ask you to be with us now as we settle in to hear your Word. Help us to better understand the amazing story of how your Son came down to earth. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Luke 2:1-7
About that time Emperor Augustus gave orders for the names of all the people to be listed in record books. These first records were made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to go to their own hometown to be listed. So Joseph had to leave Nazareth in Galilee and go to Bethlehem in Judea. Long ago Bethlehem had been King David’s hometown, and Joseph went there because he was from David’s family.

Mary was engaged to Joseph and traveled with him to Bethlehem. She was soon going to have a baby, and while they were there, she gave birth to her first-born son. She dressed him in baby clothes and laid him on a bed of hay, because there was no room for them in the inn. (CEV)

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

Child: It probably took Mary and Joseph nearly a week (or maybe more) to walk to Bethlehem. What do you think the hardest part of that journey might have been?

Child: It’s about 90 miles between Nazareth and Bethlehem. What is the farthest distance you have ever walked? If our family was going on a long journey on foot, what are some things we might take with us?

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

Heavenly Father, be with those who are travelling today. Please protect them and keep them safe, as you did for Mary and Joseph so long ago. 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, thank you for this special day of rest. May we be thankful for it, and use it to grow 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.

Psalm 113:7-9
God lifts the poor and needy from dust and ashes, and he lets them take part in ruling his people. When a wife has no children, he blesses her with some, and she is happy. Shout praises to the Lord! (CEV)

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

Child: Not all women give birth to children. What are some of the different ways God can bless those childless women with children? Do you know anyone who adopted a child? Tell us about that.

Child: The writer of Psalm 113 tells us to, “Shout praises to the Lord.” What are some of the things you can praise God for, right now? Let’s go around the room and list them.

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

Lord God, thank you for blessing us with this family. May we never take these dear people for granted. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you praise God today! Amen.