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, may we learn from it and be changed for the better. Open our hearts, so that we understand what it means to truly love our neighbor. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Luke 10:30-37 [Jesus told this story about a Good Samaritan]:

As a man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, robbers attacked him and grabbed everything he had. They beat him up and ran off, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road. But when he saw the man, he walked by on the other side. Later a temple helper came to the same place. But when he saw the man who had been beaten up, he also went by on the other side.

A man from Samaria then came traveling along that road. When he saw the man, he felt sorry for him and went over to him. He treated his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put him on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next morning he gave the innkeeper two silver coins and said, “Please take care of the man. If you spend more than this on him, I will pay you when I return.”

Then Jesus asked, “Which one of these three people was a real neighbor to the man who was beaten up by robbers?” The teacher answered, “The one who showed pity.” Jesus said, “Go and do the same!” (CEV)

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

Child: Why do you think this story is known as “The Good Samaritan?” What did the Samaritan do that was good?

Child: In those days, Samaritans and Jews did not get along. Do you think the hurt man (who was probably Jewish) was surprised by what the Samaritan did for him? Why or why not?

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

Heavenly Father, we thank you for people like the Good Samaritan, who look beyond themselves and reach out to others. Help us to do the same, and to see where we can make a positive impact in this world. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you be a good neighbor! 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 the new school week begins, we thank you for guiding us forward. Be with us now, as we study our Bible story, and help us to understand it more fully. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Matthew 17:1-8
Six days later Jesus took Peter and the brothers James and John with him. They went up on a very high mountain where they could be alone. There in front of the disciples, Jesus was completely changed. His face was shining like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.

All at once Moses and Elijah were there talking with Jesus. So Peter said to him, “Lord, it is good for us to be here! Let us make three shelters, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

While Peter was still speaking, the shadow of a bright cloud passed over them. From the cloud a voice said, “This is my own dear Son, and I am pleased with him. Listen to what he says!” When the disciples heard the voice, they were so afraid that they fell flat on the ground. But Jesus came over and touched them. He said, “Get up and don’t be afraid!” When they opened their eyes, they saw only Jesus. (CEV)

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

Child: This Bible story is called the Transfiguration – which means “to change appearance.” In what ways did Jesus’ appearance change when he was up on the mountain?

Child: Have you ever been to the top of a high mountain before? When? What might be different on a mountain top, compared to the ground below?

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

Heavenly Father, you have every reason to be pleased with your Son, Jesus. Like the disciples, we want to listen to what he says, and to follow him, too. Please help us to do this each day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you listen to Jesus! 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, thank you for this day, and for this time when we can be together and learn about those who came before us. Be with us while we hear our Bible story. As we listen, help us to grow in faith and understanding. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

John 2:1-12
Three days later Mary, the mother of Jesus, was at a wedding feast in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited and were there. When the wine was all gone, Mary said to Jesus, “They don’t have any more wine.” Jesus replied, “Mother, my time hasn’t yet come: You must not tell me what to do.” Mary then said to the servants, “Do whatever Jesus tells you to do.”

At the feast there were six stone water jars that were used by the people for washing themselves in the way that their religion said they must. Each jar held about twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus told the servants to fill them to the top with water. Then after the jars had been filled, he said, “Now take some water and give it to the man in charge of the feast.” The servants did as Jesus told them, and the man in charge drank some of the water that had now turned into wine. He did not know where the wine had come from, but the servants did. He called the bridegroom over and said, “The best wine is always served first. Then after the guests have had plenty, the other wine is served. But you have kept the best until last!”

This was Jesus' first miracle, and he did it in the village of Cana in Galilee. There Jesus showed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him. After this, he went with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples to the town of Capernaum, where they stayed for a few days. (CEV)

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

Child: What is a “miracle?” Why was it a miracle when Jesus turned water into wine?

Child: What was the most memorable wedding you ever attended? Tell us about it.

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

Heavenly Father, Jesus did amazing things during his time on earth. As we learn more about him each week through our Bible stories, help us to see that he is truly the Son of God. In his holy name we pray. Amen.

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

May you put your faith in Jesus! 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, may we see how you care for all people. Be with us now, and help us to learn all that you would have us know. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Luke 19:1-9
Jesus was going through Jericho, where a man named Zacchaeus lived. He was in charge of collecting taxes and was very rich. Jesus was heading his way, and Zacchaeus wanted to see what he was like. But Zacchaeus was a short man and could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree. When Jesus got there, he looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry down! I want to stay with you today.” Zacchaeus hurried down and gladly welcomed Jesus. Everyone who saw this started grumbling, “This man Zacchaeus is a sinner! And Jesus is going home to eat with him.”

Later that day Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “I will give half of my property to the poor. And I will now pay back four times as much to everyone I have ever cheated.” Jesus said to Zacchaeus, “Today you and your family have been saved, because you are a true son of Abraham. (CEV)

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

Child: Did you ever climb a tall tree when you were small? What could you see from up there?

Child: What did the people in his town think of Zacchaeus?  Why do you think he would want to see Jesus? Do you think that is unusual? Why or why not?

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

Heavenly Father, not one of us is perfect, and we long for a relationship with you. Thank you for sending Jesus to reach out to all of us who need your love and forgiveness. In his holy name we pray. Amen.

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

May you receive God’s love and forgiveness! 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 today, and inspire us as we learn what it means to follow Jesus. Help us to trust him enough that we can go wherever he leads us, just like his disciples did long ago. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Matthew 4:18-23
While Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw two brothers. One was Simon, also known as Peter, and the other was Andrew. They were fishermen, and they were casting their net into the lake. Jesus said to them, “Come with me! I will teach you how to bring in people instead of fish.” Right then the two brothers dropped their nets and went with him.

Jesus walked on until he saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat with their father, mending their nets. Jesus asked them to come with him too. Right away they left the boat and their father and went with Jesus.  Jesus went all over Galilee, teaching in the Jewish meeting places and preaching the good news about God’s kingdom. He also healed every kind of disease and sickness. (CEV)

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

Child: Jesus said to the fishermen, “I will teach you to bring in people instead of fish.” How might working with Jesus be similar to fishing?

Child: Why do you think the fishermen followed Jesus “right away?” What would cause you to do that, if you were with them?

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

Heavenly Father, Peter, Andrew, James and John knew that Jesus was someone very special, and that his work was the most important thing they could do. Help us to see this, in our own lives, and to be brave in following him. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you follow Jesus all of 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.

O God, be with us today as we learn about Jesus and his time in the desert. Open our minds and our hearts, so that we may understand more about your Son, and all that he faced during his years here on earth. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Matthew 4:1-11
The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert, so that the devil could test him. After Jesus had gone without eating for forty days and nights, he was very hungry. Then the devil came to him and said, “If you are God’s Son, tell these stones to turn into bread.” Jesus answered, “The Scriptures say: ‘No one can live only on food. People need every word that God has spoken.’”

Next, the devil took Jesus to the holy city and had him stand on the highest part of the temple. The devil said, “If you are God’s Son, jump off. The Scriptures say: ‘God will give his angels orders about you. They will catch you in their arms, and you won’t hurt your feet on the stones.’” Jesus answered, “The Scriptures also say, ‘Don’t try to test the Lord your God!’”

Finally, the devil took Jesus up on a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms on earth and their power. The devil said to him, “I will give all this to you, if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus answered, “Go away Satan! The Scriptures say: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’” Then the devil left Jesus, and angels came to help him. (CEV)

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

Child: What does it mean to be “tested?” What is the hardest test that you ever faced?

Child: Can you tell us what a desert is like? Why might the desert have been a particularly hard place for Jesus to be tested?

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

Heavenly Father, it is comforting to know that Jesus faced times of testing while he was on earth, and that he understands when we do, too. Help us to look to you, and to the Bible, for strength when we need it most. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you know that God is with you during any test you face! 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, thank you for the Holy Bible, where we can hear stories about those who have gone before us in the faith. Be with us as we learn today. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Matthew 3:13-17
Jesus left Galilee and went to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. But John kept objecting and said, “I ought to be baptized by you. Why have you come to me?” Jesus answered, “For now this is how it should be, because we must do all that God wants us to do.” Then John agreed.

So Jesus was baptized. And as soon as he came out of the water, the sky opened, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down on him like a dove. Then a voice from heaven said, “This is my own dear Son, and I am pleased with him.” (CEV)

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

Child: Why do you think John wanted to be baptized by Jesus, instead of the other way around?

Child: Why did you want me to be baptized? What is your favorite memory from my baptism?

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

Heavenly Father, through baptism, you make us your children. Thank you for caring so much about us, and for bringing us into the family of faith! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

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