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.

Lord God, we thank you for giving us time to pray and read your Word. By your Holy Spirit, open our hearts that we may learn from the Scriptures, and come to trust you more deeply each day, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Listen: Listen carefully as the Bible story for the week is read aloud.

Acts 16:9-15
During the night, Paul had a vision of someone from Macedonia who was standing there and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” After Paul had seen the vision, we began looking for a way to go to Macedonia. We were sure that God had called us to preach the good news there. We sailed straight from Troas to Samothrace, and the next day we arrived in Neapolis. From there we went to Philippi, which is a Roman colony in the first district of Macedonia.

We spent several days in Philippi. Then on the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to a place by the river, where we thought there would be a Jewish meeting place for prayer. We sat down and talked with the women who came. One of them was Lydia, who was from the city of Thyatira and sold expensive purple cloth. She was a worshiper of the Lord God, and he made her willing to accept what Paul was saying. Then after she and her family were baptized, she kept on begging us, “If you think I really do have faith in the Lord, come stay in my home.” Finally, we accepted her invitation. (CEV)

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

Child: Why were Paul and his friends travelling from city to city? What were they doing?

Child: Do you like to visit new place? What are things you enjoy about traveling? What things worry you?

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

Lord God, we know that you walk with us wherever we go. Help us to trust in you. Guide our steps and lead us to be faithful in doing your work in the world. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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

May you always feel the Lord’s presence 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.

Lord God, you speak to us through the stories of the Bible. Let your Holy Spirit be at work in us as we study your Word, so that we would learn from the example of the people who came before us in faith. Open our hearts and give us the faith to trust in you, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Listen: Listen carefully as the Bible story for the week is read aloud.

Acts 14:8-18
In Lystra there was a man who had been born with crippled feet and had never been able to walk. The man was listening to Paul speak, when Paul saw that he had faith in Jesus and could be healed. So he looked straight at the man and shouted, “Stand up!” The man jumped up and started walking around. When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they yelled out in the language of Lycaonia, “The gods have turned into humans and have come down to us!”  The people then gave Barnabas the name Zeus, and they gave Paul the name Hermes, because he did the talking.

The temple of Zeus was near the entrance to the city. Its priest and the crowds wanted to offer a sacrifice to Barnabas and Paul. So the priest brought some bulls and flowers to the city gates. When the two apostles found out about this, they tore their clothes in horror and ran to the crowd, shouting: “Why are you doing this? We are humans just like you. Please give up all this foolishness. Turn to the living God, who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything in them. In times past, God let each nation go its own way. But he showed that he was there by the good things he did. God sends rain from heaven and makes your crops grow. He gives food to you and makes your hearts glad.”  Even after Paul and Barnabas had said all this, they could hardly keep the people from offering a sacrifice to them. (CEV)

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

Child: What was wrong with the man Paul and Barnabus met in that town?

Child:  Who did the people think Paul and Barnabus were? Why? Were the people right or wrong?

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

Lord God, you do amazing things every day. But sometimes we don’t even recognize that it is you at work in our lives. Make us to be thankful for all you do, seen and unseen. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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

May you keep your eyes open for God at work 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.

Merciful Father, open our ears to hear your promises and to trust in your grace. Turn our hearts and minds toward you, for you are the source of life and truth. By your Holy Spirit speak to us now as we listen to your Word, through Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Listen: Listen carefully as the Bible story for the week is read aloud.

Acts 13:43-53
Many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God. 44  The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45  But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him.  46  And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. 47  For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” 48  And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. 49  And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region.

50  But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. 51  But they shook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium. 52  And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. (CEV)

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

Child: The Jews were people who knew about God; the Gentiles did not.  Why was it important for Paul and Barnabus to tell both groups about Jesus?

Child: On this day, which group listened to the message and which did not? Why do you think that was?

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

Lord God, you are the ruler of all the nations, and your message is for all people. Give us your Holy Spirit so that we would be able to tell others about you. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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

May the Holy Spirit open your heart to share your faith with others. 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.

Merciful Father, open our ears to hear your promises and to trust in your grace. Turn our hearts and minds toward you, for you are the source of all goodness, comfort, and salvation. By your Holy Spirit speak to us now as we listen to your Word, through Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Listen: Listen carefully as the Bible story for the week is read aloud.

Acts 12:6-16
6 The night before Peter was to be put on trial, he was asleep and bound by two chains. A soldier was guarding him on each side, and two other soldiers were guarding the entrance to the jail. 7 Suddenly an angel from the Lord appeared, and light flashed around in the cell. The angel poked Peter in the side and woke him up. Then he said, “Quick! Get up!”  The chains fell off his hands, 8 and the angel said, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” Peter did what he was told. Then the angel said, “Now put on your coat and follow me.” 9 Peter left with the angel, but he thought everything was only a dream. 10 They went past the two groups of soldiers, and when they came to the iron gate to the city, it opened by itself. They went out and were going along the street, when all at once the angel disappeared.

11 Peter now realized what had happened, and he said, “I am certain that the Lord sent his angel to rescue me from Herod and from everything the Jewish leaders planned to do to me.” 12 Then Peter went to the house of Mary the mother of John whose other name was Mark. Many of the Lord’s followers had come together there and were praying. 13 Peter knocked on the gate, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer. 14 When she heard Peter’s voice, she was too excited to open the gate. She ran back into the house and said that Peter was standing there. 15 “You are crazy!” everyone told her. But she kept saying that it was Peter. Then they said, “It must be his angel.” 16 But Peter kept on knocking, until finally they opened the gate. They saw him and were completely amazed. (CEV)

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

Child: Peter had not done anything wrong. People had put him in jail because he taught others about Jesus. Have you ever been punished, even though you didn’t do anything wrong?

Child: Did God forget about Peter in jail? What did God do for him?

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

Lord, sometimes life is not fair. But we know that you are the one who has the power to make things right. Help us to trust in you, even when things are not going well for us. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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

May the hope of God our Father grant you peace and security all your days. 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.

Lord God, you speak to us through the stories of the Bible. Let your Holy Spirit be at work in us as we study your Word, so that we would learn from the example of the people who came before us in faith. Open our hearts and give us the faith to trust in you, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Listen: Listen carefully as the Bible story for the week is read aloud.

Acts 10:9-19, 34-36, 47-48
Peter went up on the roof of the house to pray 10 and became very hungry. While the food was being prepared, he fell sound asleep and had a vision. 11 He saw heaven open, and something came down like a huge sheet held up by its four corners. 12 In it were all kinds of animals, snakes, and birds. 13 A voice said to him, “Peter, get up! Kill these and eat them.” 14 But Peter said, “Lord, I can’t do that! I’ve never eaten anything that is unclean and not fit to eat.” 15 The voice spoke to him again, “When God says that something can be used for food, don’t say it isn’t fit to eat.”16 This happened three times before the sheet was suddenly taken back to heaven.

17 Peter was still wondering what all of this meant, when the men sent by Cornelius came and stood at the gate. They had found their way to Simon’s house 18 and were asking if Simon Peter was staying there. 19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Holy Spirit said to him, “Three men are here looking for you. 20 Hurry down and go with them. Don’t worry, I sent them.” …

34 Peter then said: “Now I am certain that God treats all people alike. 35 God is pleased with everyone who worships him and does right, no matter what nation they come from. 36 This is the same message that God gave to the people of Israel, when he sent Jesus Christ, the Lord of all, to offer peace to them … Peter said, 47 “These Gentiles have been given the Holy Spirit, just as we have! I am certain that no one would dare stop us from baptizing them.” 48 Peter ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and they asked him to stay on for a few days. (CEV)

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

Child: Have you ever had a strange dream and didn’t know what it was about?

Child: What do you think God was telling Peter in this story?

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

Lord, we don’t always know what you want us to do. As we come to you to pray and read the Bible, show us what you would have us do. Guide us to serve your will and not our own. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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

May the Lord guide you by the truth of his Word. 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.

Lord God, you speak to us through the stories of the Bible. Let your Holy Spirit be at work in us, so that we would learn from the example of the people who came before us in faith, that we, too, would trust and believe in you, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Listen: Listen carefully as the Bible story for the week is read aloud.

Acts 9:1-8
Saul kept on threatening to kill the Lord’s followers. He even went to the high priest 2 and asked for letters to the Jewish leaders in Damascus. He did this because he wanted to arrest and take to Jerusalem any man or woman who had accepted the Lord’s Way. 3 When Saul had almost reached Damascus, a bright light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice that said, “Saul! Saul! Why are you so cruel to me?”

5 “Who are you?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus,” the Lord answered. “I am the one you are so cruel to. 6 Now get up and go into the city, where you will be told what to do.” 7 The men with Saul stood there speechless. They had heard the voice, but they had not seen anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, and when he opened his eyes, he could not see a thing. Someone then led him by the hand to Damascus, 9 and for three days he was blind and did not eat or drink. (CEV)

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

Child: Like Saul, have you ever felt certain about something, but later found out that you were wrong?

Child: Why didn’t Jesus just leave Saul to do what he wanted? Why did Jesus stop him?

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

Lord, sometimes we get ideas in our head that are just wrong. We thank you for coming to us to show us our sin and to change our ways. Help us when we need to learn hard lessons. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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

May Jesus show you the right path and lead 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.

Lord God, speak to us through the stories of the Bible. Let your Holy Spirit be at work in us, so that we would learn from the example of the people who came before us in faith, that we, too, would trust and believe in you, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Listen: Listen carefully as the Bible story for the week is read aloud.

Acts 8:26-39
26 The Lord’s angel said to Philip, “Go south along the desert road that leads from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So Philip left. An important Ethiopian official happened to be going along that road in his chariot. He was the chief treasurer for Candace, the Queen of Ethiopia. The official had gone to Jerusalem to worship 28 and was now on his way home. He was sitting in his chariot, reading the book of the prophet Isaiah.

29 The Spirit told Philip to catch up with the chariot. 30 Philip ran up close and heard the man reading aloud from the book of Isaiah. Philip asked him, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 The official answered, “How can I understand unless someone helps me?” He then invited Philip to come up and sit beside him. 32 The man was reading the passage that said, “He was led like a sheep on its way to be killed. He was silent as a lamb whose wool is being cut off, and he did not say a word. 33 He was treated like a nobody and did not receive a fair trial. How can he have children, if his life  is snatched away?”

34 The official said to Philip, “Tell me, was the prophet talking about himself or about someone else?” 35 So Philip began at this place in the Scriptures and explained the good news about Jesus. 36-37 As they were going along the road, they came to a place where there was some water. The official said, “Look! Here is some water. Why can’t I be baptized?” 38 He ordered the chariot to stop. Then they both went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. 39 After they had come out of the water, the Lord’s Spirit took Philip away. The official never saw him again, but he was very happy as he went on his way. (CEV)

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

Child: Did Philip and the Ethiopian know each other? What was something they had in common?

Child: Why is it important to read the Bible?  What does the Bible teach us?

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

Lord, we come in contact with many different people each day. Allow us to see these as opportunities to do good and help others, so that our faith may shine to others. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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

May Jesus shine through you to everyone you meet. Amen.