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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.

Dear God, we are blessed because of your great kindness to us. As we read our lesson today, stir up your Holy Spirit, and help us to see the many ways you show compassion for your people. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

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

Zacchaeus was a tiny man
And yet he had a giant plan
For he was certain he would see
the Lord, by climbing up a tree!

Up there, he overlooked the crowd
And grinned when Jesus said out loud,
“Zacchaeus, you come down, okay?
I’m visiting your home today!”

So, feeling eager as could be,
Zacchaeus shimmied down that tree.
And from that day, a change began;
Zacchaeus was a better man.

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

Child: Why do you think Zacchaeus became a better man after meeting Jesus? What changed for him?

Child: If Jesus announced that he was visiting our home today, what would we do to get ready for him? What foods would we serve him?

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

Holy God, you care about every person, big or small. May we welcome you into our lives, as Zacchaeus did so long ago, and may we, too, be changed for the better! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May Jesus make a difference in your life!  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.

Dear God, you are our loving Father. Thank you for making us your children, and for caring for us as you do. Be with us today, and help us to learn all that we can as we study and talk. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

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

As Jesus walked along the Sea
He called out, “Come and follow me!”
Two fishermen who heard his voice
Dropped all their nets and made a choice.

Soon Andrew, Peter, James and John
Decided they’d be counted on
To talk and pray with people, too,
For that’s what they’d been called to do.

They did not ask where they would go.
They trusted Jesus; he would know.
They fished for people now, instead,
And followed Jesus where he led.

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

Child: Do you think it would be harder to fish for fish, or for people? Why?

Child: What does it mean to follow Jesus, in our own time? How can each of us do that in our daily lives?

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

Holy God, we want to be followers of Jesus, but sometimes it’s hard to know how best to do that. Show us the way. Help us to do the things you want us to do, so that we may make a difference in this world. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May God lead you, and help you make good choices!  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.

Dear God, every day, you watch over us. We may not see you, but you are there, caring for us. Be with us now as we talk and study and help us to learn all that you would have us know. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

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

While in the desert Jesus prayed;
He ate no food for forty days.
That’s when the devil came and tried
To tempt the Lord with pleasant lies.

The devil promised lots of things:
Like food and safety, wealth of kings,
But Jesus would not go along.
With all the things he knew were wrong.

“Be gone!” yelled Jesus, “Let me be.
Your tempting will not work with me!”
The devil could not beat the Lord
For Jesus stood upon God’s Word.

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

Child: The devil offered Jesus things he wanted or needed—food, safety, money. Do you think it might have been hard for Jesus to say “no” to these things? Would it have been hard for you?

Child: Do you think the devil was surprised that Jesus turned him away? Have you ever surprised anyone by going against something bad that you were being pressured to do?

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

Holy God, it can be hard to turn away from things that tempt us. Jesus understands this, as he had to do that, himself. Help us to make good decisions, and to look to you for guidance. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you look to God for guidance!  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.

Dear God, we are blessed by your kindness and compassion for us! Stir up your Holy Spirit in us now, so that we might learn more about you as we listen to our Bible story. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

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

John the Baptist lived outside
Wearing skins and camel hides;
Many people knew his name
For his ways had brought him fame!

But he was a faithful guy
And when Jesus Christ stopped by
John said, “You have come here, too?
I should be baptized by you!”

But John baptized Christ instead;
Pouring water on his head,
God’s voice spoke: “This is my Son,
My beloved Chosen One.”

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

Child: What do you think it would be like to live outside all the time, like John the Baptist? What would be your favorite (and least favorite) part of that?

Child: How do you imagine John felt when he heard God’s voice boom down from heaven?

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

Holy God, it is amazing that you sent your own Son to us! Thank you for caring about our world, and for reaching out to us through Jesus, our Savior. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you listen to God’s Word!  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.

Dear God, speak to us through our Bible story today. Let your Holy Spirit be at work in us, drawing us ever closer to you as we learn more about your work in the world. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

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

While shepherds watched their flocks by night
They saw a most amazing sight!
An angel, sent from God above,
Appeared to them, and spoke with love.

“I bring good tidings of great joy!
For just tonight, a baby boy
Has come to earth for everyone!
He is the Savior—God’s own son!”

More angels soon appeared, as well,
To praise the Lord, clear as a bell.
And when they’d gone, the shepherds ran
To see this child in Bethlehem!

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

Child: Why does our world need a Savior? What does Jesus save us from?

Child: Angels told the shepherds about Jesus, and we can do the same for people in our time. Is there anyone you know who has not heard the story of Jesus? How could we share that good news with them?

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

Holy God, you care about us so much that you sent your own Son to save us. We are so grateful that you did not leave us alone in our sin, but broke into our world with hope. Thank you for loving us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you rejoice, because Jesus came for you!  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.

Dear God, no matter where we are, you are there. Thank you for being with us now and for working with us as we learn more about our Bible story. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

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

A grand decree went out one day
And this is what it had to say:
“The Caesar’s census has begun.
It’s time to number everyone!”

Young Joseph said to Mary, then,
“We’ll travel back to Bethlehem.”
And though her baby soon was due,
They had to make the trip, they knew.

But after they arrived, they found
There were no rooms to rent in town.
So out among the cows and sheep
She rocked her baby fast asleep.

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

Child: What is a “census?” Do governments take a census in our day?

Child: Mary gave birth to Jesus outside, near the animals. Have you ever slept outside? What was your most (and least) favorite part about that?

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

Holy God, be with those who must sleep outside tonight, and who have no roof over their heads. Keep them safe and warm. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you show kindness to travelers!  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.

Dear God, bless those gathered here today, as we talk and pray together. In our daily lives, help us to show kindness to each person we meet. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

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

Mary told the angel, “Yes;
I’m God’s servant; I’ve been blessed.
I will carry God’s own son.
I will bear the Chosen One.”

Then she left and went to tell
Someone who would listen well;
‘Twas her older cousin, who
Soon would have a baby, too!

“Mary,” said her cousin dear,
“I’m so glad to see you here!
God has blessed you; this I know,
For my babe has told me so.”

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

Child: Mary must have liked Elizabeth, since she went to tell her about Jesus. Who was the first person you told when you found out you would have me as a baby? How did you tell them, and how did they respond?

Child: Elizabeth welcomed Mary to her home with kindness. What are some ways we can welcome people who come to our home, school, and church?

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

Holy God, thank you for the people who care for us, and who are happy when we have good news! May we rejoice with others when they have good news to share, as well. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you welcome others with kindness!  Amen.