Daily Devos: Revealed


Dear Jesus, we thank you for being our light in the darkness, our friend on the road, our leader and guide.  Help us to come and follow you, all the way to the cross and beyond.  In your name we pray, Amen.




BIBLE STORY:  Matthew 17:1-9 (NRSV)

1Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. 2And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. 3Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” 6When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. 7But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” 8And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.

  9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”


  • Have you ever been up on a mountain or gone camping?  What was that experience like?
  • Why do you think Jesus chose these three friends to see this vision?  Why do you think Jesus chose to reveal himself in this way?
  • Are you good at listening or not?  Why or why not?  Why do you think God asks the disciples to “Listen to him”? How do we listen for God?

Daily Devos: Salt and Light


Dear Jesus, we thank you for salt and light.  Help us to be flavorful seasoning in the world, and to reflect your light to those we meet.   In your name we pray, Amen.



BIBLE STORY:  Matthew 5:13-20 (NRSV)

     Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.

     “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

     “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.    Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”


  • Why do you think Jesus compares us to salt?  What is food like when you have too much salt?  Too little?  Too much?
  • Why do you think Jesus says that we are the light of the world?  What happens when you turn on a light in a dark room?
  • Who, in your life, needs more salt or light?  In what ways can you be with them?

Children’s Devotion Time: Love Your Enemies

One of the churches in our parish has begun having inter-generational Sunday School once per month.  We call it “Children’s Devotion Time” or “CDT.”  Each child in the class has an older adult who serves as an individual mentor during devotion time.  It includes an opening prayer, a large group Bible Story, an age-appropriate leaflet about the day that they work on in child/adult pairs, a closing prayer, and a simple craft.  It is based on Family God Time, but done at church and for a larger group.  Join us in this new faith formation experiment!

You can learn more about just how we have set this up here: Children’s Devotion Time Instructions

Children’s Devotion Time February 2020:  Love Your Enemies

Opening Prayer: (Lead repeat-after-me style.  You can ask one of the children/youth to do this.)

Dear God,
we thank you
for loving us
all the way
no matter what.
Help us to learn
about your love today.
In Jesus name we pray,

2.  Song:  (Love Will Never Fail by KidSpring:  https://youtu.be/KS5or9cSLnE)

Play the video of the song with motions and ask the learners to sing and move along.  It is a short song, so you might want to try it two or three times.

3.  Read:  Love Your Enemies (Matthew 5:38-48 )

Read this story out loud as a large group in the Spark Story Bible, page 274. 

4.  Answer:  Answer these questions in pairs as you work together to color the coloring page of your choice (I found some appropriate ones here: https://www.housemixblog.com/2017/05/22/11-bible-verses-to-teach-kids-with-printables/):

  • When is it easy to love someone?
  • When is it hard to love some?
  • Tell a story about a time when you found it hard to love someone.

5.  Do:  Use the large heart punch and strips of paper to make 3 hearts for each person in your group.  (Please help those who are not able to read/write well)

  • On one heart, write the name of someone who you love. 
  • On the second heart, write the name of someone who loves you.
  • On the third heart, write the name of someone who you find hard to love.

6.  Pray:  Have each person hold their three hearts in their hands.  Pray this pray repeat-after me prayer (choose one member of your group to lead): 

Dear Jesus,
We thank you
for the people we love
the people who love us
and even for the people we find hard to love.
Open our hearts to love you
one another,
and ourselves.
In your name we pray, Amen.

Use the push pins to attach your hearts to the bulletin board in the East Room.  If you have time, continue with the “Love Is…”craft: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/love-is-stick-craft-instructions.pdf

© 2020 by Pastor Breen Marie Sipes, Tri-Saints Lutheran Parish, Byron and Hardy, Nebraska.  https://familygodtime.wordpress.com Please give credit where credit is due! 

Daily Devos: Jesus Calls The Fishermen

PRAYER:  Dear Jesus, we thank you for being our light in the darkness, our friend on the road, our leader and guide.  Help us to come and follow you, all the way to the cross and beyond.  In your name we pray, Amen.

COLORING SHEET: https://www.activityshelter.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/fish-coloring-page-for-kids.jpg

BIBLE STORY:  Matthew 4:12-23 (NRSV)

12Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. 13He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
15“Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali,
  on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
16the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light,
 and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.”
17From that time Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
  18As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 19And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” 20Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. 22Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
  23Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people.


  • Why do you think Jesus chose fishermen as his first disciples?
  • What do you think it means to “fish for people”?
  • What are some ways that you can to what you are good at while showing people how much God loves them?

Epiphany Party: Large Group Sunday School January 2019


1.  As We Gather:  What was your favorite thing that happened this year?  Write or draw a picture on the paper provided. (scratch paper and markers provided)

2.  Opening Prayer:  Dear God, we thank you for sending the star to the wise men so that they could meet Jesus in person, and bring the good news of his coming to earth to all they met.  Help us to learn more about this story during Sunday School today.

3.  Explain how the day will work and divide students:  On Epiphany, we celebrate the arrival of the Wise Men to meet Jesus.  They had to travel a very long way to get there, so we will be going on our own Epiphany journey today.  After I divide you into small groups, you will travel with your small groups to several learning stations throughout the church.  At each station, you will be told where to go next.  Have a wonderful Epiphany journey today!

(Divide the group into small groups of three or four, depending on how many you have.  I usually have all of the students line up from youngest to oldest.  Then, I find the center of the line and break it in half, leading the second line parallel to the first line so that they youngest is paired with someone in the middle grades, and the middle grades are paired with confirmation students.  After making sure that all of the pairs can get along, I put two pairs together, forming a foursome.  Make sure each person gets a small bag to hold the treasures they will collect during their journey.  Send each foursome to a different station; they will get to visit all of them by the end.)


1.  Chalk the Doorposts:  Meet at the back of the church.

–step tool
–Youtube video “How to Chalk a Doorpost”:   https://youtu.be/qtSIj1QDCmE
–Copy of Epiphany Blessing: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/epiphany-chalking-the-doorpost-card.pdf

One Epiphany tradition is to bless our houses for the New Year.  Which better place to bless than our house of worship?  Find a doorway in the church that has not yet been chalked.  When you are done, it will look like this:

20 + C + M + B + 19

The oldest/tallest person in your group can make the marks while others read the blessing.  It goes like this:

The Three Wise Men,
Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar (C M B),
followed the star to Bethlehem and the child Jesus
two thousande and nineteen years ago (20 19)
May Christ bless our home, (+ +)
and remain with us throughout the new year.

Each person can take a piece of chalk and a copy of this blessing with you as you continue your journey to the library/parlor room.

2.  Movie:  Meet in the library/parlor room.

–Screen and projector, DVD Player
— (already in the DVD player) “The Journey of the Three Wise Men: https://youtu.be/CGmeh6CmDpE
–paper crowns and two-sided tape

Do you know the story of the Wise Men?  Can you picture yourself in the story?  Watch this short video to learn more about the story of Epiphany.

Each person make & take a small paper crown with you as you continue your journey to the room behind the stage.

3.  Star Craft:  Meet in the room behind the stage

— Copies of the star outline https://artfulparent.com/tangle-stars-magic-stix/
–Colored Pencils
–hole punch
–string or ribbon
–copies of the star maze: http://www.biblewise.com/kids/images/fun/the-star-maze.pdf

Follow the directions on the star outline sheet.  You can color both sides!  If you have time, complete the star maze.  Each person take your star and maze with you as you continue your journey to the fellowship hall.

4.  Song:  We Are Marching in the Light of God:  Meet in the Fellowship Hall

            — (already in the dvd player) Youtube Video:  https://youtu.be/0SOWN0_0lrk

            –LED Candles

Practice singing this song together.  You will lead the congregation in this song on the next Sabbath Sunday.

Each person take an LED candle with you to remind you of the message of this song (your mini crown fits over your light).  Continue your journey to the room to the south of the parlor.

5.  The Gifts of the Magi:  Meet in the room to the south of the Parlor

–Gifts of the Magi Cards:  https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/epiphany-room-spray-card.pdf
–Gifts of the Magi Room Spray (I get mine from my local Essential oils supplier)
–Chocolate Coins
–Glue Dots
–Gifts of the Magi Box https://www.churchsupplywarehouse.com/statuary/nativity-sets/gifts-of-the-magi/gfm006.html

Take some time to explore the gifts which the Magi brought to Jesus. 

Gold is a precious metal.  It reminds us that Jesus is our king. 

Frankincense is a kind of tree sap that, when burned, makes a other-worldly smell.  It was used to worship God, because it was believed that the smoke helped to carry our prayers to God.  It reminds us that Jesus is the Son of God. 

Myrrh is a also a kind of tree sap.  It was dried, and crushed, and added to lotion that people would put on bodies after they died.  Its sharp smell was stronger than the smell of death.  It reminds us that Jesus came to earth as a real human, and that he would die for us.

Give each person a card.  Shake up the room spray and spray one squirt onto each card.  Attach a Glue Dot to the center of the card, and then attach one chocolate coin to the Glue Dot.  Take it with you as you continue your journey to the kitchen.

6.  King Cake:  Meet in the kitchen

–cupcakes (one with a dried bean baked inside)
–play crown

Because it was hard to find Jesus with only a star to guide them, some countries celebrate Epiphany with King Cake.  Decorate your cupcakes with frosting and sprinkles, and then eat them.  If you find a dried bean in your cupcake, you found Jesus!  You get to be the king or queen of our Epiphany party!

If you have time, you can decorate your bag with markers and stickers.  Take it with you as you continue your journey to the back of the church.

Daily Devos: Joseph Shows Mercy


Dear God, in this life, people sometimes treat us poorly. Help us to forgive them and show them mercy. Amen



BIBLE STORY OF THE WEEK: Genesis 45:4-15

 Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Come closer to me.’ And they came closer. He said, ‘I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither ploughing nor harvest. God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, “Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. I will provide for you there—since there are five more years of famine to come—so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.” And now your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my own mouth that speaks to you. You must tell my father how greatly I am honored in Egypt, and all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.’ Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, while Benjamin wept upon his neck. And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.


When have people hurt you in your life? How did you know it was time to forgive them? When have you shown mercy to someone even if you were not ready to forgive? When have you been shown mercy by family or friends?

Daily Devos: Blessed Are You

DPrayer of the Week:

Dear God, help us to see you in times when it might feel like you are not there, especially when we are hurt, and when we do not have what we need. Amen

Coloring Page:

Bible Story of the Week: Luke 6:20-21

 Then he looked up at his disciples and said: ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. ‘Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. ‘Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.

Questions of the Week:

What are some things besides money that you could give to someone who is poor or hungry? What are some things you could do for people that do not have all that they need? When are times that you have felt poor or hungry? How did God bless you during those times? Who has been a blessing to you when you have been weeping? What did they do for you?

Daily Devos: Fish for People


Dear God, help us to follow you, to cast out our nets and trust that you will give us a catch. Amen.




When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.’ Simon answered, ‘Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.’When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!’ For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken;and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.’ When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.


If Jesus came to you at “work” where would you be? What are you struggling with there that he would tell you to try again? What are you likely to “catch.” What do you think Jesus means that his disciples will catch people?

Daily Devos: Wedding Miracle


 Dear God, we thank you that show us your power in the middle of celebrations.  Help us to rejoice in the gifts you so freely give.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.




On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.  12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they remained there a few days.


Have you ever been to a wedding?  What was that experience like?  Have you ever been at a party where they ran out of food?  What was that experience like?  Why do you think Jesus decided to help when the wine ran out?  Where do you fit into this story?

Jesus’ Birth A to Z week 9: Flight to Egypt


Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”

16 When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
    wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
    she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.”




Sunday:  Matthew 2:13a

Dear God, help me to listen to you, no matter how you choose to speak to me.  Amen.

Joseph is dreaming again!  Have you been paying attention to your dreams this season?  What do they have to tell you?

Monday:  Matthew 2:13b

Dear Jesus, my time is not always your time.  Help me to follow your lead, even when it interrupts my plans.  Amen.

Have you ever had to get up and go without advance notice?  What was that experience like?

Tuesday:  Matthew 2:13c

Dear God, sometimes unexpected things happen to me.  When I am in the middle of something unexpected, help me to you that you are present with me.  Amen.

What do you think it would have been like to unexpectedly have to move with a two-year-old for Mary and Joseph?  What would it be like for you?

Wednesday:  Matthew 2:14

Dear God, today I pray for those who are traveling because of the threat of war or violence.  Keep them safe on their journey, and help them to know that they are always at home in you.  Amen.

Have you ever traveled to a foreign country?  What was that experience like for you?  If you could travel somewhere, where would you go?

Thursday:  Matthew 2:15

Dear God, today I pray for those who live far from home.  Sustain them as they learn new things, and comfort them when they miss what is familiar.  Amen.

What would it have been like for Mary and Joseph to learn a new language, customs, and even cuisine?  What would it be like for you to do so?

Friday:  Matthew 2:16

Dear Jesus, today I pray for all children in the world, in our country, and in my community whose lives are threatened by violence.  Help me to see this danger and act to bring peace.  Amen.

King Herod’s actions against the children in Bethlehem are similar to Pharaoh’s in Moses’ time.  Why do you think he chose to do this?  Where are there places in this world where something similar is happening, even today?

Saturday:  Matthew 2:17-18

(Pray in your own words for people you know who are sad, mourning, or in pain today.) Have you ever been so sad that you didn’t know if you would ever stop crying?  What was that experience like?  What do you think it would have been like to lose a child to violence?  How can you make a difference in the lives of those who are mourning loss?