DAILY DEVOS: Jesus Rises from the Dead


Risen Christ, we are thankful that you rose from the dead to give us eternal life.  Help us to live as your people of hope, both now and always.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.


BIBLE STORY:  Luke 24:1-12 (NRSV)

1On the first day of the week, at early dawn, [the women] came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they went in, they did not find the body. 4While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. 5The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. 6Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” 8Then they remembered his words, 9and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. 10Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. 11But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.


What gives you hope?  What gives you joy?  When are you at peace?  When was a time that you felt powerful? Why do you seek the living among the dead?


Children’s Devotion Time: Holy Week 2019

Gathering Prayer (Large group, repeat after me style)

Dear Jesus, we thank you for this time to learn more about what happened to you during Holy Week.  Send your Holy Spirit to us, that we may know how much you love us.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

The Story of Holy Week (Do in pairs)

**Learn the story of Holy Week and put together your Holy Week Story Box.

The Story of Holy Week Resource is available here:  http://www.rtcol.com/~kreft/biblestories/docs/Holy%20Week%20Story.pdf

I edited it for length and content, including only pages 1, 3-6, and 8-9 plus copyright information.  I also added circles that indicated which story went to which day of Holy Week, and a condensed paragraph about Good Friday.

Stickers and template for palms is available here: Holy Week Story Box Printables

I printed the palm leaves on green cardstock. I printed the stickers on a full sheet prinatble sticker page.

Palm Sunday

1.  Read the front page of “The Story of Holy Week” (Palm Sunday) with your partner.

2.  Open your box and find 2 green palm papers.  Cut them out along the solid line, and add fringe as indicated in the example.

Maundy Thursday

3.  Read the next three pages of “The Story of Holy Week” (Maundy Thursday) with your partner.

4.  Find the sticker with the white table cloth, loaf of bread, and glass of wine.  Stick the sticker to the lid of the box.

Good Friday

5.  Read the next page of “The Story of Holy Week” (Good Friday) with your partner.

6.  Find the two strips of black paper.  Use a glue stick to stick the strips to the outside bottom of the box in the shape of a cross.

7.  Find the gold pipe cleaner section.  Curve and twist it into a crown of thorns, making sure that it will fit securely onto Jesus’ head.

8.  Find the piece of white cloth.  Set it aside for now.

Easter Sunday

9.  Read the next two pages of “The Story of Holy Week” with your partner.

10.  Find the piece of brown cereal box.  Add a tab to one of the short sides with a piece of tape as indicated in the example.

11.  Find the “Alleluia” sticker.  Stick it to the inside bottom of the box, and then cover it with the cereal box, brown side up.  You are now ready to tell the story of Holy Week with your box and the following song:

Holy Week Story Box (Do as a large group)

**Tell the story with your box, singing the song in between each day of Holy Week.  Here is the Youtube video that accompanies this experience:  https://youtu.be/GwBGwyiQhD0

**Thanks to Building Faith for the idea!  I modified it for our group.  Find the original post here:  https://www.buildfaith.org/holy-week-in-a-box/#gref

Palm Sunday (Jesus with palms)
Were you there when they had a palm parade?
Were you there when they had a palm parade?
Oh, oh, oh, oh. 
Sometimes it causes me
to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they had a palm parade?

Maundy Thursday (Jesus behind altar box)
Were you there when he gave the bread and wine?
Were you there when he gave the bread and wine?
Oh, oh, oh, oh. 
Sometimes it causes me
to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when he gave the bread and wine?

Good Friday (Jesus with crown of thorns next to cross on back of box)
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh, oh, oh, oh.
Sometimes it causes me
to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Good Friday (Wrap Jesus in cloth, close into box)
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Oh, oh, oh, oh.
Sometimes it causes me
to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?

Easter Morning (Open box, Jesus out of box, remove false bottom to reveal Alleluia!)
Were you there when he rose up from the dead?
Were you there when he rose up from the dead?
Oh, oh, oh, oh.
Sometimes it causes me
to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when he rose up from the dead?

Closing Prayer (Large group, repeat after me style)

Dear Jesus, we thank you for loving us so much that you died and rose again.  Help us to follow where you lead, and tell the great news of your love to others.

Now, Lord, remember us in your kingdom, and teach us to pray: (Lord’s Prayer with motions) 

Our Father…

Children’s Devotion Time March 2019: JESUS IS TEMPTED

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:  https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/childrens-devotion-time-instructions.pdf

Large Group Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)

Dear Jesus, we thank you for this time to learn about a time when you were tempted.  Help us to learn to follow you.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Large Group Bible Story:  Luke 4:1-13

Read about Jesus’ Temptation in the Wilderness in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+4%3A1-13&version=ERV

We used “A Tempting Time” from the Whirl Lectionary Story Bible for our resource.  You can purchase your own copy here: https://www.wearesparkhouse.org/store/product/9781451484786/Whirl-Story-Bible-Lectionary-Edition

Pray Dough Mat:

Use the front side of the pray dough mat to retell the story together.  As you tell the story, fill in the shapes with play dough.  Once you have done this, flip the mat over and pray as you use the dough to fill in the same shapes, considering the questions on the mat as you pray.

You can find the mat here: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/cdt-temptation-play-dough-mat-19.pdf

I printed it on cardstock and laminated each one so that they were more durable and reusable.

Here is a link to the laminator I use:  https://www.amazon.com/Xyron-608931028515-624632-Creative-Original/dp/B00X3EZ5VO/

Large Group Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)

Dear Jesus, we thank you that you love us no matter what. Help us to stay near to you, especially in tough times. In your name we pray, Amen.

Activity:  Lenten Pray Place

Supplies needed per learner
purple napkin
clear bowl
decorative sand
red strips of paper
heart paper punch
pipe cleaner
6 black flat-sided marbles (or small stones)


I found this graphic on Pinterest, and thought it would make a great activity to welcome Lent:

I added a tealight to this Pray Place so that we can remember that, even in dark times, Jesus is the Light of the World.  Turning the light on and off helps to begin and end our prayer time.

I could not find the original reference, but the pin attributed it to a pastor named Mary Dawes. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/433753007860838996/

© 2019 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: 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: Baptism of Jesus

BIBLE STORY OF THE WEEK: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 NRSV

 As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

  21Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, 22and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.D




Sunday:  Luke 3:15

Dear Jesus, I am thankful that you are with me, even when I am filled with questions.  Help me to bring all of my questions to you.    Amen.

Have you ever questioned something in your heart?  What was that experience like?  What do you remember about John from earlier in our story?  Why do you think he reappears here?

Monday:  Luke 3:16a

Dear God, I thank you for forgiving my sins, again and again and again.  Help me to lead a life worthy of you.  Amen.

John’s baptism was a simple washing away of current sins.  It was something that people repeated again and again over the course of a lifetime.  How does this differ from what you believe about baptism?

Tuesday:  Luke 3:16b

Dear God, send your Holy Spirit into my life.  Be as close to me as my every breath.  Amen.

What do you think it means to be baptized with the Holy Spirit and with fire?  What is the difference between being washed with water and purified with fire?  In what ways do you think the Holy Spirit is active in you?

Wednesday:  Luke 3:17

Dear Jesus, you take away the sin of the world.  Have mercy on me.  Amen.

John’s statement here mirrors farming practices in Bible times.  Why do you think he compares our lives in God to this practice?  What part of you needs to be shucked away?

Thursday:  Luke 3:21a

Dear Jesus, stir up my faith in you, that I may use the gifts you give to help a hurting world. Amen.

Have you ever been to a worship service where multiple people were baptized or confirmed?  What was that experience like?  What would it have been like to be baptized on the same day as Jesus?

Friday:  Luke 3:21b-22a

Dear God, all of your creation is connected, and we are only a part of the whole.  Help us to widen our gaze, that we may see all the ways in which you show up in our lives.  Amen.

When Jesus was baptized, something different happened.  The heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended like a dove.  Why do you think this happened?  Tell about a time when you experienced the heavens opening (like a big storm), or something from the natural world reminded you of God.

Saturday:  Luke 3:22b

Dear Jesus, I thank you for the gift of baptism.  Help me to claim my identity as “beloved,” and do that which is well-pleasing in your sight.  Amen.

When Jesus was baptized, God spoke out loud.  What do you think it means that in baptism, you are a child of God who is beloved, with whom God is well pleased?

Jesus’ Birth A to Z week 7: Simeon & Anna


After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.  22 When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), 24 and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, 29 “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation, 31which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”

33 And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”36 There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.




Sunday:  Luke 2:21

Dear Jesus, I thank you for placing me into a family.  Help me to learn and to grow, both as a child of my family and as a child of God.  Amen.

One of the important parts of circumcision is that it places a child on the family tree.  Who are some important branches of your family tree for you?  Where would Jesus fit on your family tree?

Monday:  Luke 2:22-24

Dear God, I know that I was born at just the right time.  Help me to see the advantages of my place in my family, and to live according to your Word.  Amen. In the Bible, birth order is often very important.  In what order were you and your siblings (if any) born?  What makes your place in your family special?  Annoying?

Tuesday:  Luke 2:25-27

Dear God, send your Holy Spirit upon me.  Reveal your will to me, and guide my life.  Amen.

This reading mentions that the Holy Spirit rested on Simeon, and that Jesus’ arrival was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit.  Have you ever experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit?  In what ways do you see God’s guidance in your life?

Wednesday:  Luke 2:28-32

Dear Jesus, you came to be a light to the whole world.  Help me to see your light in dark times.  Empower me to reflect your light in those places that need it most.  Amen.

What difference does light make to a dark room?  What kind of a difference do you suppose the light of Christ is making in our dark world?  How are you being called to let your “little light” shine?

Thursday:  Luke 2:33-35

(Offer a prayer in your own words for your children, future children, or children who are dear to you)

What do you think it was like for Mary and Joseph to meet Simeon?  What would it be like to know that, because of your son, your future will sometimes be difficult?  What prayers would you have for your child?

Friday:  Luke 2:36-37

Dear God, I thank you for the wise saints in my life.  Open my ears, that I might absorb their wisdom.  Open my heart, that I might offer what I can to those of older years.  Amen.

What do you think it would have been like to meet Anna?  How do you think she might be different from other older women that you know?  How would she be the same?

Saturday:  Luke 2:38

Dear Jesus, make me patient when I have to wait for something that is dear to my heart.  Help me to wait with hope.  Cast out my impatience and despair.  Amen.

Anna had been waiting for many years for Jesus to arrive on the scene.  What are you waiting for?  When you wait, is it with patience or impatience, despair or hope?  What does God have to do with us while we wait?