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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.

Lord God, thank you for sending messengers to bring good news into our world. Help us to listen to your Word, and hear it with open ears. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

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

Luke 1:26-29
One month later God sent the angel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth in Galilee with a message for a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to Joseph from the family of King David. The angel greeted Mary and said, “You are truly blessed! The Lord is with you.” Mary was confused by the angel’s words and wondered what they meant. (CEV)

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

Child: How do you imagine Joseph felt when he heard what the angel told Mary? Do you think this was hard for him?

Child: What is it like to be engaged to marry someone, like Mary and Joseph were? Do you think challenges can draw a couple closer together? Why or why not?

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

Heavenly Father, even when we receive unexpected news, you are with us. May we believe this, and learn to walk forward in faith, as Mary and Joseph did so long ago. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you be open to hearing God’s Word! 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.

Lord God, thank you for coming into our world, and for being present with us, even now. Guide us through your Word, and help us to remember what we learn. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

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

John 1:1-5
In the beginning was the one who is called the Word. The Word was with God and was truly God. From the very beginning the Word was with God. And with this Word, God created all things. Nothing was made without the Word. Everything that was created received its life from him, and his life gave light to everyone. The light keeps shining in the dark, and darkness has never put it out. (CEV)

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

Child: How do you think Jesus’ life “gave light to everyone?” In what ways has Jesus made a difference in your life, or given you hope in hard times?

Child: Name as many kinds of light as you can. How do you put each one out? The light of Jesus can never be put out, not even by the darkness! How does knowing this give you courage?

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

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son to bring light into our world! Lead us through any dark times that we face, and help us to be brave. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you face any darkness with courage! 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.

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, no matter what struggles we face, you are always there for us. Help us to realize this, and to trust you more and more as we study your Word. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

2 Timothy 1:2-4
Paul wrote to his friend, Timothy:
Timothy, you are like a dear child to me. I pray that God our Father and our Lord Christ Jesus will be kind and merciful to you and will bless you with peace! Night and day I mention you in my prayers. I am always grateful for you, as I pray to the God my ancestors and I have served with a clear conscience. I remember how you cried, and I want to see you, because that will make me truly happy. (CEV)

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

Child: What do you do when you are upset like Timothy was and want to feel peace? How does God help you with this?

Child: Who in your life are you grateful for? Why?

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

Lord, when people we care about have to go away, we feel sad like Timothy did. But you promise to never leave or forsake us. Thank you for being with us no matter where we are in this life. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May God comfort you when you are lonely. 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, life can be hard sometimes. But no matter what is going on, you always invite us to pause and spend some time with you. Thank you for loving us, even when we feel alone and unlovable. Help us to learn more about you as we study your Word today. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

Galatians 2:11-12
Paul wrote to the Galatians: When Peter came to Antioch, I told him face to face that he was wrong. He used to eat with Gentile followers of the Lord, until James sent some Jewish followers. Peter was afraid of the Jews and soon stopped eating with Gentiles. (CEV)

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

Child: Jews were people who came from a religious background. Gentiles did not. In your own experience, what are some differences (good or bad) you might notice between people who go to church and those who don't?

Child: When have you felt afraid of being seen hanging around with someone else? Did this affect any of your decisions? How?

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

Lord, it can be hard to go against the crowd. But you want us to live in the freedom of the gospel rather than in fear of judgment. Help us to reach out to those who need to hear your Word, and not to worry about what people may say. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you bravely reach out to others! 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 present with us as we study your Word today. Help us to follow you, and to learn how to live out our faith. Thank you for being with us, even in the midst of hardship and struggle. 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.

1 Corinthians 1:10-12
Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth: My dear friends, as a follower of our Lord Jesus Christ, I beg you to get along with each other. Don’t take sides. Always try to agree in what you think. Several people from Chloe’s family have already reported to me that you keep arguing with each other. They have said that some of you claim to follow me, while others claim to follow Apollos or Peter or Christ. (CEV)

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

Child: What’s a good way to solve a disagreement? When have you done that?

Child: Have you ever taken a side in someone else’s argument? Why can that be unhelpful?

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

Lord, it is hard when we argue with the people who are closest to us. Help us notice where others suffer, so that we can more easily be kind to them. May we learn to see people as you see them. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you look to God when you need help! 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.

Lord God, as we hear more about Paul and his adventures, teach us to listen well, and to be thankful for the many good things in our lives. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

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

Acts 28:3-4
After Paul had gathered some wood and had put it on the fire, the heat caused a snake to crawl out, and it bit him on the hand. When the local people saw the snake hanging from Paul’s hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer! He didn’t drown in the sea, but the goddess of justice will kill him anyway.” (CEV)

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

Child: Do you think Paul was frightened when the snake bit him on the hand? Why or why not? What would you have done if you were him?

Child: People turned on Paul and said terrible things about him. What’s the best way to respond when people say bad things about you?

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

Heavenly Father, when times are tough, we know we can always turn to you. Thank you for being our dearest and best friend. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

May you face hard things with faith. Amen.