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, we come here today to know you better. Speak to us now as we read from your Word. By the power of your Holy Spirit, help us to learn and grow in faith, trusting in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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

Luke 24:13-20; 26-32
That same day two of Jesus' disciples were going to the village of Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. As they were talking and thinking about what had happened, Jesus came near and started walking along beside them. But they did not know who he was. Jesus asked them, “What were you talking about as you walked along?” The two of them stood there looking sad and gloomy. Then the one named Cleopas asked Jesus, “Are you the only person from Jerusalem who didn’t know what was happening there these last few days?”

“What do you mean?” Jesus asked. They answered: "Those things that happened to Jesus from Nazareth. By what he did and said he showed that he was a powerful prophet, who pleased God and all the people. Then the chief priests and our leaders had him arrested and sentenced to die on a cross.” [Jesus asked,] “Didn’t you know that the Messiah would have to suffer before he was given his glory?” Jesus then explained everything written about himself in the Scriptures, beginning with the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets.

When the two of them came near the village where they were going, Jesus seemed to be going farther. They begged him, “Stay with us! It’s already late, and the sun is going down.” So Jesus went into the house to stay with them. After Jesus sat down to eat, he took some bread. He blessed it and broke it. Then he gave it to them. At once they knew who he was, but he disappeared. They said to each other, “When he talked with us along the road and explained the Scriptures to us, didn’t it warm our hearts?” (CEV)

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

Child: Why do you think the two disciples didn't know this was Jesus?  Have you ever been feeling so bad that you weren't paying attention to the things around you?

Child: When was a time in your life when you recognized that Jesus was with you when you needed him?

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

Holy God, open our eyes so that we can see that Jesus is with us always, no matter where we walk. In his holy name we pray. Amen.

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

May the Lord show himself to you and remind you of his love and mercy! 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, as we begin this new week, remind us that you are in control, and that we can trust you with everything. Be with us now as we learn more about Jesus and the amazing story of his resurrection. In his holy name we pray. Amen.

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

John 20:11-18
Mary Magdalene stood crying outside the tomb. She was still weeping, when she stooped down and saw two angels inside. They were dressed in white and were sitting where Jesus' body had been. One was at the head and the other was at the foot. The angels asked Mary, “Why are you crying?” She answered, “They have taken away my Lord’s body! I don’t know where they have put him.”

As soon as Mary said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there. But she did not know who he was. Jesus asked her, “Why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener and said, “Sir, if you have taken his body away, please tell me, so I can go and get him.” Then Jesus said to her, “Mary!”

She turned and said to him, “Rabboni.” The Aramaic word “Rabboni” means “Teacher.” Jesus told her, “Don’t hold on to me! I have not yet gone to the Father. But tell my disciples that I am going to the one who is my Father and my God, as well as your Father and your God.” Mary Magdalene then went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord. She also told them what he had said to her. (CEV)

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

Child: How would you feel if you were with Mary and saw angels in the tomb? What would you do?

Child: Mary was very upset and didn’t recognize Jesus. Have you ever been so overwhelmed that you could not think clearly? When?

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

Heavenly Father, when all hope seemed lost you raised Jesus from the dead. Even in that darkest hour, you were working for good — and you continue to do so today. Thank you for never giving up on your people! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you trust that God is working for good, even now! 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, as Holy Week begins, we ask you to be with us. Help us to understand all that Jesus did for us, even to giving his very life. Thank you for your love, and for never giving up on us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 22:13-25
Pilate called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people. He told them, “You brought Jesus to me and said he was a troublemaker. But I have questioned him here in front of you, and I have not found him guilty of anything that you say he has done. Herod didn’t find him guilty either and sent him back. This man doesn’t deserve to be put to death! I will just have him beaten with a whip and set free.”

But the whole crowd shouted, “Kill Jesus! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was in jail because he had started a riot in the city and had murdered someone. Pilate wanted to set Jesus free, so he spoke again to the crowds. But they kept shouting, “Nail him to a cross! Nail him to a cross!”

Pilate spoke to them a third time, “But what crime has he done? I have not found him guilty of anything for which he should be put to death. I will have him beaten with a whip and set free.” The people kept on shouting as loud as they could for Jesus to be put to death. Finally, Pilate gave in. He freed the man who was in jail for rioting and murder, because he was the one the crowd wanted to be set free. Then Pilate handed Jesus over for them to do what they wanted with him. (CEV)

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

Child: What is a “troublemaker?” Does that word describe Jesus? Why or why not?

Child: Have you or someone you love ever been labeled unfairly? How can it help to know that the same thing happened to Jesus?

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

Heavenly Father, you sent your Son to save us from our sin. May we never take this for granted, and may we turn to him when we face our own trials and griefs. For no one understands suffering more than he does. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you remember that God is with you always! 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, as we start another week of work and school, lead us forward. Help us to learn from Jesus as we read our Bible story. Open our minds and hearts so that we may come to understand how very much he loved us — and loves us still. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 22:14-22
When the time came for Jesus and the apostles to eat, he said to them, “I have very much wanted to eat this Passover meal with you before I suffer. I tell you that I will not eat another Passover meal until it is finally eaten in God’s kingdom.”

Jesus took a cup of wine in his hands and gave thanks to God. Then he told the apostles, “Take this wine and share it with each other. I tell you that I will not drink any more wine until God’s kingdom comes.”
Jesus took some bread in his hands and gave thanks for it. He broke the bread and handed it to his apostles. Then he said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Eat this as a way of remembering me!”

After the meal he took another cup of wine in his hands. Then he said, “This is my blood. It is poured out for you, and with it God makes his new agreement. The one who will betray me is here at the table with me! The Son of Man will die in the way that has been decided for him, but it will be terrible for the one who betrays him!” (CEV)

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

Child: Jewish people have a Passover meal to remember when God “passed over” their homes and saved their first-born sons. What do Christians remember when we have the Holy Communion meal?

Child: How old were you when you first had Holy Communion? What did you think about it back then? What do you understand about it now? (If you haven’t yet begun receiving Communion, what do you think it is about?)

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

Heavenly Father, you loved us even when were most un-loveable. When we receive Holy Communion, help us to remember this, and to thankfully receive the forgiveness you so feely offer. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you remember how much Jesus loves you! 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, as we learn about the very first Palm Sunday, may we understand more about who Jesus was—the true King of Kings! Be with us now as we read our story, and give us lasting faith. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 19:28-38
When Jesus had finished saying all this, he went on toward Jerusalem. As he was getting near Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples on ahead. He told them, “Go into the next village, where you will find a young donkey that has never been ridden. Untie the donkey and bring it here. If anyone asks why you are doing that, just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

They went off and found everything just as Jesus had said. While they were untying the donkey, its owners asked, “Why are you doing that?” They answered, “The Lord needs it.” Then they led the donkey to Jesus. They put some of their clothes on its back and helped Jesus get on.

And as he rode along, the people spread clothes on the road in front of him. When Jesus was starting down the Mount of Olives, his large crowd of disciples was happy and praised God because of all the miracles they had seen. They shouted, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory to God.” (CEV)

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

Child: Which is bigger, a donkey or a horse? Have you ever ridden on an animal’s back? If so, what was it like? Do you guess why the disciples put clothes on the donkey for Jesus to sit on?

Child: The disciples did what Jesus asked, even though they didn’t know what would happen. Do you think this would have been hard for them? Why or why not?

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

Heavenly Father, like the disciples, we want to listen to you and follow your commands. This can be hard for us, especially when we face uncertainties or don’t understand your plan. Please give us the faith and courage we need. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you daily serve the Lord! 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, 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.

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, be with us now as we read our Bible story. Help us to understand how much you love us, and show us how to extend that love to others. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Luke 15:11-24
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. 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.’”

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: This story is often called, The Prodigal Son. A “prodigal” is someone who spends money very foolishly. Have you ever wasted money, and later learned a lesson from that?

Child: If you were the older son, how would you have felt about your younger brother’s behavior?

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

Heavenly Father, we all make bad choices at times, and we often come to regret those. Help us to learn the lessons we need to learn, so that we can grow into the people you want us to be. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you always know where you belong! Amen.