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.

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, as you did for Elizabeth so long ago. Help us to follow where you lead, today and always. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 1:43-45
[Elizabeth said,] “Why should the mother of my Lord come to me? As soon as I heard your greeting, my baby became happy and moved within me. The Lord has blessed you because you believed that he will keep his promise.”  (CEV)

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

Child: Why do you think Elizabeth’s baby became happy and started to move around? Have you ever seen a happy baby? How does a baby show joy?

Child: According to Elizabeth, why was God pleased with Mary? Do you believe that God keeps his promises?

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

Dear Lord, we want to have faith like Mary did. Help us with this, and make us into the people that you would have us be. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

May you believe God’s promises! 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, help us to understand more about your will as we study Luther’s Small Catechism today. Thank you for all that you do for us. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

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

The good and gracious will of God is done indeed without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it will also be done among us.  (Luther’s Small Catechism)

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

Child: Luther says that God’s will is “good” and “gracious.” How can remembering that help us when we are worried about something?

Child: If God’s will is done even without our prayer, why is it still important to pray to God? Has God ever answered one of your prayers even before you thought to ask for something?

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

Heavenly Father, we know that we can completely trust you. Help us to grow deeper in faith as we learn more about you each day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you trust in God’s good will for your life! 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, bless those gathered here today, as we talk and pray together. In our daily lives, help us to show kindness to each person we meet. 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.

Mary told the angel, “Yes;
I’m God’s servant; I’ve been blessed.
I will carry God’s own son.
I will bear the Chosen One.”

Then she left and went to tell
Someone who would listen well;
‘Twas her older cousin, who
Soon would have a baby, too!

“Mary,” said her cousin dear,
“I’m so glad to see you here!
God has blessed you; this I know,
For my babe has told me so.”

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

Child: Mary must have liked Elizabeth, since she went to tell her about Jesus. Who was the first person you told when you found out you would have me as a baby? How did you tell them, and how did they respond?

Child: Elizabeth welcomed Mary to her home with kindness. What are some ways we can welcome people who come to our home, school, and church?

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

Holy God, thank you for the people who care for us, and who are happy when we have good news! May we rejoice with others when they have good news to share, as well. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you welcome others with kindness!  Amen.