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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, you speak to us through the words of the Bible. But we don’t always understand. May your Holy Spirit be at work through people in our lives who can guide us and teach us your Word, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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

Acts 8:29-33
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?”

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

Child: Have you ever felt like you didn’t understand what you read in the Bible?  How does God use other people to help and guide us?

Child: Who is someone that has helped you understand more about God?

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

Lord God, we need your Spirit to give us guidance and understanding. Help us not to be discouraged by questions we may have, but be inspired to dig more deeply into your Word so that it may lead us to a greater trust in your promise, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

May the Holy Spirit grant you wisdom and understanding. 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.

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, we praise and glorify your name because you are faithful to your people throughout all generations. Teach us by the Scriptures to trust in you and follow your ways, through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Amen.

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

Psalm 117
All of you nations, come praise the Lord! Let everyone praise him. His love for us is wonderful; his faithfulness never ends. Shout praises to the Lord!  (CEV)

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

Child: What are some particular times when God has shown his faithfulness to you?

Child: Is God faithful to us even when we fall short of being faithful? How do you know?

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

Lord God, your love for us is incredible and never ending. You have promised to never let us go, Pour out your Spirit upon us so that we might be faithful to you in all that we say and do. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

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

May the steadfast love of God be with you 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 Lord, you are generous with your gifts in our lives, especially the gift of forgiveness and mercy. Help us to be merciful to others and hold fast to your light and life. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

Listen: Listen carefully 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: Why does it often seem that, in this world, evil is more powerful than good? Does that ever make you feel discouraged?

Child: How does God’s promise give you encouragement to face the struggles of life?

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

Holy God, we trust and believe that you are in control, and that evil will not win in the end. Help us to trust in your promise, so that we can live with confidence and hope. Help us to share that hope with others, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

May God’s generosity make you a source of hope for others. 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, you promised your disciples that you were preparing a place for them. Help us to trust your promise of eternal life and that you will come and get us and take us home with you when we die, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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

Acts 7:59-60
As Stephen was being stoned to death, he called out, “Lord Jesus, please welcome me!” He knelt down and shouted, “Lord, don’t blame them for what they have done.” Then he died. (CEV)

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

Child: What did Stephen mean when he asked Jesus to welcome him? How do we know that Jesus will never let us go?

Child: Do you believe that we are in God’s care, even when we die? Why is that important to know?

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

Lord Jesus, you are the one who conquered death and rose again. Help us to trust that because we believe in you, even death is not the end for us. In your holy name we pray. Amen.

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

Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ: not even life or death.

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 live in a world where people often do bad things. Sometimes it is others, and sometimes it is us. We pray that when we sin against others, you would forgive us. When someone sins against us, we ask that you would give us the ability to forgive them, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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

Stephen, full of strength and grace,
With a smile on his face,
Healed and did amazing signs
In the name of Christ, divine.

Some who heard what Stephen said,
Twisted all his words, instead.
And they stirred up others, who
Planned to capture Stephen, too!

Soon they stoned this godly man
(as was in their evil plan),
But despite their shouts and calls,
Stephen still forgave them all.

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

Child: How is what happened in this story to Stephen similar to what happened to Jesus at the end of his life?

Child: When the mean people threw rocks at Stephen, why did Stephen forgive them?

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

Holy God, we know that Jesus himself suffered to do what was right, and he calls us to do the same. Help us to be brave as you are brave, and help us to forgive as you forgive us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May the Holy Spirit give you the strength to forgive in Jesus’ name. 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.

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 would trust and believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Acts 6:8-10
God gave Stephen the power to work great miracles and wonders among the people. But some Jews from Cyrene and Alexandria were members of a group who called themselves “Free Men.” They started arguing with Stephen. Some others from Cilicia and Asia also argued with him. But they were no match for Stephen, who spoke with the great wisdom that the Spirit gave him. (CEV)

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

Child: Was there ever a time when you were afraid to stand up for what you believe?

Child:  What gave Stephen the strength to be bold and faithful?

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

Holy God, it is not always easy to stand up for our faith in you. Many people like to argue and tell us we are wrong. Give us the bravery to speak the truth, even when other people don’t want to hear it. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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

May God give you the strength to remain faithful, no matter what. Amen.