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.

Heavenly Father, be with us now as we settle in and prepare to read our Bible story. Quiet our minds and our hearts, so that we might learn what you want to teach us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 6:27-38
[Jesus said] This is what I say to all who will listen to me: Love your enemies, and be good to everyone who hates you. Ask God to bless anyone who curses you, and pray for everyone who is cruel to you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, don’t stop that person from slapping you on the other cheek. If someone wants to take your coat, don’t try to keep back your shirt. Give to everyone who asks and don’t ask people to return what they have taken from you. Treat others just as you want to be treated.

If you love only someone who loves you, will God praise you for that? Even sinners love people who love them. If you are kind only to someone who is kind to you, will God be pleased with you for that? Even sinners are kind to people who are kind to them. If you lend money only to someone you think will pay you back, will God be pleased with you for that? Even sinners lend to sinners because they think they will get it all back.

But love your enemies and be good to them. Lend without expecting to be paid back. Then you will get a great reward, and you will be the true children of God in heaven. He is good even to people who are unthankful and cruel. Have pity on others, just as your Father has pity on you. (CEV)

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

Child: What is an “enemy?” Have you ever felt like someone was your enemy?

Child: When have you been kind to someone who was mean to you? What did you do?

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

Holy God, no one likes to have enemies. When people treat us badly, we feel angry and sad. Help us to see where our enemies are suffering, so that we might understand them better. Guide our actions, so that we can treat them with love as you would do. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you show kindness even to your enemies. 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 so thankful that you lovingly watch over us. Help us to care for others who may be struggling with heavy burdens this season. 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, who was young and sweet,
Was, indeed, surprised to meet
Someone who appeared at night;
‘Twas an angel, filled with light!

“Do not be afraid, Dear One,
For in time you’ll have a son!
God is happy with you, too,
That’s why he sent me to you.”

“How can this all be?” She said.
“I’m not married; I’m not wed.”
“God will make a way, somehow,”
Said the angel, “Trust him now.”

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

Child: Why do you think the angel told Mary not to be afraid? Do you think the angel’s words helped Mary feel better? Why or why not?

Child: Mary was going to have to trust God with her future. Why? How does trusting God with the future help us deal with all the uncertain things in life?

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

Holy God, thank you for sending your Son into our world, which so needed a Savior. And thank you for Mary and Joseph, who received him in true faith. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you know how much God cares for 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.

Lord God, on this Sabbath day, we ask you to be with us and to guide us in our prayer and in our study. Help us to grow in faith and in love for one another as we reflect on what hear in the Bible. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, we pray. Amen.

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

Psalm 37:3-4
Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (CEV)

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

Child: Why can we confidently trust in the Lord? How can this help us to do good?

Child: Tell us about a time in your life when you struggled to trust God. How did God help you get through that hard time?

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

Almighty God, no matter what is going on around us, we need not fear, because you are in control. We know that you are a God of love and that you want what is best for us. Help us to trust you more each day. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

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

May you trust the Lord and do good 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.

Lord God, another weekend is upon us, and we are grateful for it! Help us to rest and appreciate this time together, and guide us as we read your Word now. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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

James 2:17-18
Faith that doesn’t lead us to do good deeds is all alone and dead! Suppose someone disagrees and says, “It is possible to have faith without doing kind deeds.” I would answer, “Prove that you have faith without doing kind deeds, and I will prove that I have faith by doing them.” (CEV)

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

Child: When has someone treated you with kindness? Do you see how God might have used that person to reach out to you?

Child: What is one kind deed that you can remember doing? What led you to do it?

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

Heavenly Father, thank you for all that you do for us, and for giving us faith. Stir up your Holy Spirit in us so that we will see the needs around us. Show us how to best serve others, and strengthen our faith in the process. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

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

May you show and receive kindness today. 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.

Heavenly Father, you are good and loving and worthy of our trust. Be with us today as we study the Small Catechism, and help us learn how to trust you even more! We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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

God indeed gives daily bread to all, even unbelievers, without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that he would help us to recognize this so that we would receive our daily bread with thanksgiving. (Luther's Small Catechism)

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

Child: When Luther talks about “daily bread,” what does he mean? Is he only speaking about bread or other things, too?

Child: Why is it good to realize that everything we have comes from God? How can that help us to live with more thankfulness?

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

Holy God, we have so much to be thankful for! Yet it can be easy for us to overlook this, and to focus only on what we lack. Help us to see the many ways that you bless us each day. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

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

May you see the many ways God has blessed you. 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.

Almighty Father, thank you for this time together. Please help us to focus so that we can learn from our discussion. May your Holy Spirit be with us, guiding and inspiring all that we say and do. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention as the Bible story is read in the form of a rhyme.

A man named James had this to say
To those who lived the Christian way:
“You claim your faith is real to you
But does it impact what you do?

When have you fed the poor, the sick?
Or looked beyond your own small clique?
When have you clothed a child who’s cold?
Or brought a meal to someone old?

These good, kind acts show faith and love
And point to Jesus Christ above.
So don’t sit back and simply wait
Go out and serve! It’s not too late!

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

Child: Have you ever served in a soup kitchen, or done other work to help the poor? What was that like?

Child: Who is someone who seems lonely or in need of help? What is one thing we could do to make life a little better for that person?

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

Lord God, there is so much need in our world. Sometimes, it can seem almost overwhelming. Help us to see those areas where we can make a real difference in our community, and give us the strength and creativity to do just that. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you go in peace and serve the Lord! 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.

Holy Father, you show us mercy all the time. Thank you for this day, with its blessings and challenges. Be with us as we read and discuss our Bible story, and help us to learn how to be merciful to others. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

James 2:15-17
If you know someone who doesn’t have any clothes or food, you shouldn’t just say, “I hope all goes well for you. I hope you will be warm and have plenty to eat.” What good is it to say this, unless you do something to help? Faith that doesn’t lead us to do good deeds is all alone and dead! (CEV)

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

Child: Have you ever been hungry or cold? How did you feel when you got the things you needed?

Child: What are some groups that reach out to the poor here in our area? How might we help them in their good work?

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

Lord God, just as you are merciful to us, we want to show mercy to others—especially those who need it most. Help us see where we can best be of help, and bless those people and organizations whose very mission it is to serve the poor. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you use your gifts to make a difference in this world! Amen.