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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.

Holy Father, you show us mercy all the time. Thank you for this day, with its blessings and challenges. Be with us as we read and discuss our Bible story, and help us to learn how to be merciful to others. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

James 2:15-17
If you know someone who doesn’t have any clothes or food, you shouldn’t just say, “I hope all goes well for you. I hope you will be warm and have plenty to eat.” What good is it to say this, unless you do something to help? Faith that doesn’t lead us to do good deeds is all alone and dead! (CEV)

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

Child: Have you ever been hungry or cold? How did you feel when you got the things you needed?

Child: What are some groups that reach out to the poor here in our area? How might we help them in their good work?

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

Lord God, just as you are merciful to us, we want to show mercy to others—especially those who need it most. Help us see where we can best be of help, and bless those people and organizations whose very mission it is to serve the poor. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you use your gifts to make a difference in this world! Amen.

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, you know what we need to learn -- even when we aren’t aware of our need. Please be with us as we study our Bible story today, and teach us to what it means to live out our faith in the world. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

James 2:14
James wrote to people of the Church:
My friends, what good is it to say you have faith, when you don’t do anything to show that you really do have faith? Can that kind of faith save you? (CEV)

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

Child: Why do you think James wrote to the people of the Church, asking them to show that their faith mattered? What do you think he was noticing in the people around him?

Child: Can you give some examples of how our faith affects the way we live?

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

Lord, it can be easy to call ourselves Christians, but sometimes we forget what that means. Strengthen our faith, and give us the courage and energy we need to reach out to others and make a difference in their lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you treat others with kindness. 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 unfolds, open our hearts and minds so we can learn from our Bible story and develop true faith. May your Holy Spirit guide us as we study, and help us to live good lives that are pleasing to you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

James 2:14-18
James wrote to people of the Church:
My friends, what good is it to say you have faith, when you don’t do anything to show that you really do have faith? Can that kind of faith save you? If you know someone who doesn’t have any clothes or food, you shouldn’t just say, “I hope all goes well for you. I hope you will be warm and have plenty to eat.” What good is it to say this, unless you do something to help? Faith that doesn’t lead us to do good deeds is all alone and dead!

Suppose someone disagrees and says, “It is possible to have faith without doing kind deeds.” I would answer, “Prove that you have faith without doing kind deeds, and I will prove that I have faith by doing them.” (CEV)

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

Child: What does it mean to have faith in Jesus? Who gives us this faith?

Child: How can our love of God inspire us to do good things for others?

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

Holy God, we want to reach out and help others but sometimes we don’t know how to best do that. Inspire us and lead us, so that we might make a difference in this world for your good purpose. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you serve God by helping your neighbor! 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, it is good to spend this time together! We ask that you would be with us as we study. Let your Holy Spirit guide our thinking, and open our minds to truly understand your Word. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, we pray. Amen.

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

Psalm 25:20-21
Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you. (CEV)

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

Child: A “refuge” is a shelter or safe place. What does it mean for us to find our refuge in God? How might doing that give us courage?

Child: The writer of this psalm talks about waiting for God. When have you waited for God to act? What happened?

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

Almighty God, we praise you, for you are mighty and powerful, and you look upon us with kindness. Thank you for being our shelter in the storm. Please continue help and guide us all our days. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

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

May God give you true and lasting peace. 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.

Lord God, thank you for this beautiful day. No matter the weather, every day you give us is a gift and every moment spent with you is a blessing. Help us to see the many ways you care for us as we study your Word today. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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

2 Timothy 1:7-8
God’s Spirit doesn’t make cowards out of us. The Spirit gives us power, love, and self-control. Don’t be ashamed to speak for our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, just because I am in jail for serving him. Use the power that comes from God and join with me in suffering for telling the good news. (CEV)

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

Child: A “coward” is someone who is very afraid to stand up for what is right. What does Paul mean when he says that “God’s Spirit doesn’t make cowards out of us?”

Child: Tell us about a time when you were afraid to do something. How did God help you face your fear?

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

Heavenly Father, all of us feel afraid at times. Yet you don’t want us to be controlled by our fears. Give us strength to do your work in the world with a peaceful heart. Thank you for loving us no matter how anxious we may be. 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 feel afraid. 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.

Heavenly Father, we want to grow closer to you and deeper in our Christian faith. As we read and discuss Luther’s Catechism today, help us come to trust you ever more. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention to this reminder from Luther’s Small Catechism.

We pray in this petition that God would guard and protect us from this, that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or lead us into false belief, despair, and other great and shameful sins, but pray that when we are tempted in these ways, we may finally prevail and gain the victory. (Luther's Small Catechism)

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

Child: What is a “false belief?” What are some false beliefs that people hold today?

Child: To be in despair means to lose hope. How can our faith in God keep us from giving up or losing hope?

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

Holy God, there are many things in this world that can lead us astray or steal our joy. Yet you want a better life for us. Help us to trust you with all our hearts, and to turn to you when we are confused or struggling. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

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

May you trust the Lord your God with all your heart. 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, you give us all that we need each day. We are so grateful! As we turn our hearts and minds to our Bible story now, please help us to focus and listen well. Teach us what we need to know. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention as the Bible story is read in the form of a rhyme.

“You are like a child to me,”
Paul declared to Timothy.
“Every day I pray for you,
Asking God to bless you, too.”

“Your grandmother and your mom
Had great faith—and passed it on!
Now you share that faith as well,
And with that, you will excel!”

“Don’t be frightened or afraid
For the Lord will give you aid.
Speak the truth in love each day;
God will help you all the way!”

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

Child: What does it mean to “speak the truth in love?” Do you think that is easy or hard to do? Why?

Child: In this Bible story, Paul is trying to encourage Timothy. When have you tried to help someone else be brave? What happened?

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

Lord God, you shower us with compassion, and invite us to share that kindness with others. Help us to be an encourager, as Paul was to Timothy. Give us the right words, so that we can make a difference in someone else’s life. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you lift up those around you. Amen.