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Tuesday: Struggle

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 God, be with us today as we read and pray and study your Word. Please help us in any area where we struggle, and inspire us to face our challenges in a faithful and healthy way. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

Acts 1:14-16
The apostles often met together and prayed with a single purpose in mind. The women and Mary the mother of Jesus would meet with them, and so would his brothers. One day there were about one hundred twenty of the Lord’s followers meeting together, and Peter stood up to speak to them. He said: My friends, long ago by the power of the Holy Spirit, David said something about Judas, and what he said has now happened. Judas was one of us and had worked with us, but he brought the mob to arrest Jesus. (CEV)

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

Child: What does it mean to pray with a single purpose in mind? When have you done this, yourself?

Child: Why is it helpful to meet with others and pray together?

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

Lord, when there is a big decision to make or a problem to overcome, we can feel alone and frightened. Thank you for giving us friends who are willing to pray with us and for us. Thank you for our family of faith all around the world. Please bless and guide us always. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you turn to God when you are struggling. 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.

Heavenly Father, as this new week begins, open our hearts and minds. Help us to understand our Bible story so that we, too, may be faithful followers of Jesus. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

Acts 1:14-16, 20-26
The apostles often met together and prayed with a single purpose in mind. The women and Mary the mother of Jesus would meet with them, and so would his brothers. One day there were about one hundred twenty of the Lord’s followers meeting together, and Peter stood up to speak to them. He said: My friends, long ago by the power of the Holy Spirit, David said something about Judas, and what he said has now happened. Judas was one of us and had worked with us, but he brought the mob to arrest Jesus.

In the book of Psalms it says, “Leave his house empty, and don’t let anyone live there.” It also says, “Let someone else have his job.” So we need someone else to help us tell others that Jesus has been raised from death. He must also be one of the men who was with us from the very beginning. He must have been with us from the time the Lord Jesus was baptized by John until the day he was taken to heaven.

Two men were suggested: One of them was Joseph Barsabbas, known as Justus, and the other was Matthias. Then they all prayed, “Lord, you know what everyone is like! Show us the one you have chosen to be an apostle and to serve in place of Judas, who got what he deserved.” They drew names, and Matthias was chosen to join the group of the eleven apostles. (CEV)

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

Child: Judas was one of Jesus’ disciples, but then he brought a mob to arrest Jesus. How did Jesus’ followers handle being betrayed by Judas?

Child: Has someone ever betrayed you or really let you down? How did you move on from that disappointment?

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

Dear Jesus, you understand what it feels like to be betrayed by a friend, as that’s what happened to you with Judas. Help us to forgive those who hurt us, too. Show us how to let go and move forward in faith like the disciples did in today’s story. In your holy name we pray. Amen.

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

May let go of grudges, and move forward in faith. 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, the Bible continually speaks to us of your loving protection. May our voices be lifted up to praise your name for all the goodness you have shown to us, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Listen:  Listen carefully as these verses from the Bible are read aloud.

Psalm 19:14-16
The Lord says, “If you love me and truly know who I am, I will rescue you and keep you safe. When you are in trouble, call out to me. I will answer and be there to protect and honor you. You will live a long life and see my saving power.” (CEV)

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

Child: Can you tell me a time when God protected you from danger or harm?

Child: Does God hear me when I call out to him in prayer?  How do I know?

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

Lord God, even though bad things happen in our lives, we trust that you love us and will always be with us, even in times of trial. Help us see the ways in which you shelter and protect us so that we would not be afraid when trouble comes. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

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

May the Lord watch over you and protect you this day and always. 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.

Loving God, through the power of your Spirit you call us to new life in Christ. You generously shower us with your love and forgiveness so that we may rest assured of our place with you forever. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

Listen: Listen carefully to this reminder from Luther’s Small Catechism.

In this Christian church, [the Holy Spirit] daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers. At the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true! (Luther's Small Catechism)

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

Child: Do you believe that God has given us life?

Child: Do you believe that God will raise us back to life again someday, even after we are dead?

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

Holy God, you have created us and given us birth. In the resurrection of Jesus, you have given us the promise of eternal life. Help us to remember that because we belong to Jesus, we never have to fear death. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

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

Because of God’s great love for you, he sent Jesus to save you from the power of sin, death, and the devil. 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.

Lord God, grant us your Holy Spirit so that we might hear your word and trust in your promises for your whole creation. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Listen: Listen carefully as these verses from the Bible are read aloud.

Acts 1:9-11
After Jesus had said this and while they were watching, he was taken up into a cloud. They could not see him, but as he went up, they kept looking up into the sky. Suddenly two men dressed in white clothes were standing there beside them. They said, “Why are you men from Galilee standing here and looking up into the sky? Jesus has been taken to heaven. But he will come back in the same way that you have seen him go.” (CEV)

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

Child: If you had been there with the apostles when Jesus ascended into heaven, do you think you would have kept looking up into the sky for him? Why or why not?

Child: What does this Scripture tell us about how Jesus will return?

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

God, you are the God of the past, present, and future. All things are in your hands. Give us the faith to trust in your promises, even when we cannot see. Amen.

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

May God almighty watch over you and keep in you in his grace. 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, Jesus promised his followers that he would return to earth again someday. Encourage us in our faith as we live in the here and now, patiently waiting for your Son’s return. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Listen:  Listen carefully as the Bible story is read in the form of a rhyme.

When Jesus died and rose to life
   his friends still feared there'd be more strife.
They wanted to know the where and how:
   Will you fix all things right now?

But Jesus told them they must wait;
   The Spirit was coming, and would not be late.
Christ then surprised his closest friends

   When with the clouds he did ascend!

As up to heaven, Jesus rose,
   two angels came in snow-white clothes.
They told them all, “Christ will someday
   Come back to earth in this same way!”

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

Child: Jesus promised that he would return again. Does anyone know when this will happen?

Child: What does it mean for us to wait for his return? How should we act in the meantime?

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

Loving God, as we wait for the last day when Jesus will return, help us to be hard at work. Grant us patience in our waiting, and the boldness to tell others about his love. In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen.

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

May the Lord our God give you grace and peace as we await Jesus’ return. 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.

Gracious God, you give us the knowledge and faith we need to do your will. Empower us by your Holy Spirit that we may follow Jesus in faith. In his name we pray. Amen.

Listen:  Listen carefully as these verses from the Bible are read aloud.

Acts 1:7-8
Jesus said to them, “You don’t need to know the time of those events that only the Father controls. But the Holy Spirit will come upon you and give you power. Then you will tell everyone about me in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and everywhere in the world.” (CEV)

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

Child: Why did the apostles need the power of God’s Holy Spirit to be able to share Jesus with the world?

Child: Can you tell me a time when you felt the power of the Holy Spirit? How did it help you?

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

Loving God, you give us the gift of your Holy Spirit so that we will have the words we need to share Christ’s love with the world. Grant us the confidence to share this life-giving Word with all we meet. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May the Holy Spirit empower you to speak boldly on behalf of Christ today and always. Amen.