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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, speak to us as we hear the Christmas story today. Teach us, so that we may learn from the example of those who came before us. Give us the courage to share our faith with others, as they 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.

Luke 2:8-20
That night in the fields near Bethlehem some shepherds were guarding their sheep. All at once an angel came down to them from the Lord, and the brightness of the Lord’s glory flashed around them. The shepherds were frightened. But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. This very day in King David’s hometown a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. You will know who he is, because you will find him dressed in baby clothes and lying on a bed of hay.”

Suddenly many other angels came down from heaven and joined in praising God. They said: “Praise God in heaven! Peace on earth to everyone who pleases God.” After the angels had left and gone back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see what the Lord has told us about.” They hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and they saw the baby lying on a bed of hay. When the shepherds saw Jesus, they told his parents what the angel had said about him. Everyone listened and was surprised. But Mary kept thinking about all this and wondering what it meant. As the shepherds returned to their sheep, they were praising God and saying wonderful things about him. Everything they had seen and heard was just as the angel had said. (CEV)

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

Child: What is your favorite part of the Christmas story? If you were with the shepherds on that special night, what would you have done after seeing the angels?

Child: What do you think went through Mary’s mind when the shepherds showed up? What might have been most surprising about them?

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

Heavenly Father, on this beautiful Christmas Day, we thank you for the most precious gift of your Son, Jesus. Like the shepherds, may we, too, tell others about how wonderful he is! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you tell others about Jesus! 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 your holy name! Thank you for this day, the first in a new week. Be with us now as we study our Psalm, and lead us to do your will today and every day. 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 16:1-3
Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the LORD, "You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you." As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight. (CEV)

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

Child: To take “refuge” means to stay safe and sheltered. How is God our refuge? In what ways does God protect us each day?

Child: What do you think the psalmist means when he says to God, “I have no good apart from you?”

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

Almighty God, every good thing that we have comes from you. Thank you for watching over us and giving us all that we need. Help us to look out for others, and to share our blessings with them in whatever way we can. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

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

May God watch over you today 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.

Lord God, it is good to be together again! Stir up your Holy Spirit in each one of us, and inspire us to live lives that bring glory to you. 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.

Acts 1:23-26
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: When have you had to make a big decision in your life? Did you pray about it, and if so, how did that help?

Child: The disciples moved forward after being let down by Judas. What can we learn from how they handled their situation?

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

Heavenly Father, it can be hard to forgive after being hurt by someone. Yet you want what is good for us and will help us move forward in faith. Give us strength like the disciples had, and use our lives for your good purpose. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

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

May you move forward each day in faith! 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, as our school and work week comes to an end, we thank you for guiding us through them. Be with us now as we study our catechism, 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 to this reminder from Luther’s Small Catechism.

God's will is done when he hinders and defeats every evil scheme and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful self, which would prevent us from keeping his name holy and would oppose the coming of his kingdom. And his will is done when he strengthens our faith and keeps us firm in his Word as long as we live. This is his gracious and good will. (Luther's Small Catechism)

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

Child: Why can we feel confident that God’s will for us is good? How can this help us to be free from worry?

Child: What do you think it means to be firm in the Word? How might this help you in daily life?

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

Holy God, we know that you are good, and that you want what is best for us. Help us to trust you more each day, and to look to your holy Word for guidance when we feel lost or confused. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

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

May you know that God is good and can be relied upon! 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, thank you for this day, and for this quiet time with you. Be with us as we study and pray, and show us how you want us to live. 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.

Long ago, one quiet day,
Christ’s apostles met to pray.
Mary and some others there
Joined them in their common prayer.

Judas had betrayed them all
Bringing sorrow, shock and gall.
Now they prayed that God would send
One on whom they could depend.

Good Matthias was the man
Chosen by God’s sovereign plan.
He knew Jesus, and he knew
How to share the gospel, too.

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

Child: The apostles used to meet as a group to pray. Who are some people that you pray with regularly? Are there others that you could invite to join you?

Child: Matthias was someone the disciples could trust. Why is it important to have people you can trust in your life? How can you tell if someone is trustworthy?

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

Lord Jesus, thank you for your love and kindness. We are so grateful for the many good people in our lives who point the way to you. Be with us always, and make us into trustworthy people like Matthias. In your holy name we pray. Amen.

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

May you be someone that others can trust. 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.

Holy Father, we are so thankful that you love us and watch over us each day. Stir up your Holy Spirit in us now, so that we might grow in faith as we study and learn from our Bible story. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

Acts 1:16, 20-22
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. (CEV)

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

Child: By letting someone else have Judas’ job, the disciples were moving on and choosing to trust again. Why might this have been hard for them?

Child: If you had to choose someone to replace Judas, what traits would you look for in that person? Why?

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

Lord God, thank you for our family, and for surrounding us with people who want to follow you. Help us to be wise in choosing friends, just as the disciples were. Make us into the people you want us to be. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you make wise choices! 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, 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.