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, speak to us through our Bible story today. Let your Holy Spirit be at work in us, drawing us ever closer to you as we learn more about your work in the world. 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.

While shepherds watched their flocks by night
They saw a most amazing sight!
An angel, sent from God above,
Appeared to them, and spoke with love.

“I bring good tidings of great joy!
For just tonight, a baby boy
Has come to earth for everyone!
He is the Savior—God’s own son!”

More angels soon appeared, as well,
To praise the Lord, clear as a bell.
And when they’d gone, the shepherds ran
To see this child in Bethlehem!

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

Child: Why does our world need a Savior? What does Jesus save us from?

Child: Angels told the shepherds about Jesus, and we can do the same for people in our time. Is there anyone you know who has not heard the story of Jesus? How could we share that good news with them?

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

Holy God, you care about us so much that you sent your own Son to save us. We are so grateful that you did not leave us alone in our sin, but broke into our world with hope. Thank you for loving us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you rejoice, because Jesus came for 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Holy God, thank you for watching over us each day! Help us to understand how much you love us as we settle down now to study your Word. 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.

At the start of everything
There weren’t any birds to sing
And there were no flowers, or
Animals to growl and roar.

But, our loving God was there
For he’s always everywhere;
And The Word was with him, too,
Speaking life, so pure and true.

Even though the world was dark,
With the Word of God, a spark
Of such blazing, shining light
Broke into the deepest night!

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

Child: Would you have liked to be there at the beginning of time, when all was dark, and there were no birds or flowers? Why or why not? What would you most like to see God create?

Child: How did God make so many things out of nothing? Of all the animals God made, which one is your favorite? Why?

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

Holy God, it is amazing to us that you created this whole beautiful world. You spoke, and life began! May we never forget this, or take our lives for granted. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you be thankful for all you have!  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.

Holy God, we love you! Be with us now, and open our hearts to understand your Word as we study it. 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.

Because God loves both me and you,
He will, in time, make all things new.
Our God will live with us, you know,
And many blessings he’ll bestow.

This earth and heaven, sky and sea,
Will fade into eternity.
With tears and trouble wiped away,
The Lord will make a brand new day!

So now be patient and be strong,
Bad things can only last so long,
As it began so shall it end,
The Lord will make all new again!

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

Child: Why do you think God wants to make all things new? If you could make something new, what would it be?

Child: What blessings would you most like to receive from God? How can you best share your blessings with others?

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

Holy God, thank you for the gifts of earth, sky and sea! We look forward to the day when you will make them, and all things, new. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May God bless you today and always!  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.

Holy God, you want us to rely on you, above all. Stir up your Spirit in us now, so that our faith may grow ever stronger. 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.

Up in heaven was a war.
Who was fighting, and what for?
It was angels, sure enough,
And a dragon, mean and tough!

Satan, that old dragon, stood,
Michael fought for God and good;
Then a voice boomed from above,
“Christ has won with truth and love!”

Satan and his angels fell
Down from heaven, towards hell;
He may pester, but won’t win
For our Lord defeated him!

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

Child: Are there ever times when God’s people have to stand up against evil here on earth? When?

Child: Tell about a time when you tried to protect someone else from being hurt?  Why is it important to fight for what is right?

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

Holy God, thank you for sending your Son into the world to save us from sin, death and the devil! May we never take this gift for granted. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you remember that you are God’s beloved child!  Amen.