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, help us to understand more about who Jesus was, and about who we are in relation to him.  Be with us now as we study and learn. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

John 12:1-8
Six days before Passover Jesus went back to Bethany, where he had raised Lazarus from death. A meal had been prepared for Jesus. Martha was doing the serving, and Lazarus himself was there.

Mary took a very expensive bottle of perfume and poured it on Jesus' feet. She wiped them with her hair, and the sweet smell of the perfume filled the house. A disciple named Judas Iscariot was there. He was the one who was going to betray Jesus, and he asked, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor?” Judas did not really care about the poor. He asked this because he carried the moneybag and sometimes would steal from it.

Jesus replied, “Leave her alone! She has kept this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor with you, but you won’t always have me.” (CEV)

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

Child: Why do you think Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet? Do you think she would have done this for any guest? Why or why not?

Child: To “betray” someone means to be disloyal, or to turn a friend over to an enemy. From reading this story, what was Judas most concerned about? How might this have tempted him to betray Jesus?

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

Heavenly Father, we want to be like Mary, and to serve you with all that we have. Help us to follow her example, so that we may value our relationship with you above earthly things. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you put Jesus first in your life! 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 now as we read our Bible story. Help us to understand how much you love us, and show us how to extend that love to others. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Luke 15:11-24
Jesus also told them another story: Once a man had two sons.  The younger son said to his father, “Give me my share of the property.” So the father divided his property between his two sons. Not long after that, the younger son packed up everything he owned and left for a foreign country, where he wasted all his money in wild living. He had spent everything, when a bad famine spread through that whole land. Soon he had nothing to eat. He went to work for a man in that country, and the man sent him out to take care of his pigs. He would have been glad to eat what the pigs were eating, but no one gave him a thing. Finally, he came to his senses and said, “My father’s workers have plenty to eat, and here I am, starving to death! I will go to my father and say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you. I am no longer good enough to be called your son. Treat me like one of your workers.’”

The younger son got up and started back to his father. But when he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt sorry for him. He ran to his son and hugged and kissed him.  The son said, “Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you. I am no longer good enough to be called your son.” But his father said to the servants, “Hurry and bring the best clothes and put them on him. Give him a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. Get the best calf and prepare it, so we can eat and celebrate. This son of mine was dead, but has now come back to life. He was lost and has now been found.” And they began to celebrate. (CEV)

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

Child: This story is often called, The Prodigal Son. A “prodigal” is someone who spends money very foolishly. Have you ever wasted money, and later learned a lesson from that?

Child: If you were the older son, how would you have felt about your younger brother’s behavior?

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

Heavenly Father, we all make bad choices at times, and we often come to regret those. Help us to learn the lessons we need to learn, so that we can grow 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 always know where you belong! 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 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.

Heavenly Father, be with us now as we settle in and prepare to read our Bible story. Quiet our minds and our hearts, so that we might learn what you want to teach us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 6:27-38
[Jesus said] This is what I say to all who will listen to me: Love your enemies, and be good to everyone who hates you. Ask God to bless anyone who curses you, and pray for everyone who is cruel to you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, don’t stop that person from slapping you on the other cheek. If someone wants to take your coat, don’t try to keep back your shirt. Give to everyone who asks and don’t ask people to return what they have taken from you. Treat others just as you want to be treated.

If you love only someone who loves you, will God praise you for that? Even sinners love people who love them. If you are kind only to someone who is kind to you, will God be pleased with you for that? Even sinners are kind to people who are kind to them. If you lend money only to someone you think will pay you back, will God be pleased with you for that? Even sinners lend to sinners because they think they will get it all back.

But love your enemies and be good to them. Lend without expecting to be paid back. Then you will get a great reward, and you will be the true children of God in heaven. He is good even to people who are unthankful and cruel. Have pity on others, just as your Father has pity on you. (CEV)

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

Child: What is an “enemy?” Have you ever felt like someone was your enemy?

Child: When have you been kind to someone who was mean to you? What did you do?

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

Holy God, no one likes to have enemies. When people treat us badly, we feel angry and sad. Help us to see where our enemies are suffering, so that we might understand them better. Guide our actions, so that we can treat them with love as you would do. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you show kindness even to your enemies. 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.