Daily Devos: Ascension Sunday 2020

Bible Story: Acts 1:1-11

Luke Writes Another Book

Dear Theophilus,

The first book I wrote was about everything Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day he was carried up into heaven. Before he went, he talked to the apostles he had chosen. With the help of the Holy Spirit, he told them what they should do. This was after his death, but he showed them that he was alive, proving it to them in many ways. The apostles saw Jesus many times during the 40 days after he was raised from death. He spoke to them about God’s kingdom. One time when Jesus was eating with them, he told them not to leave Jerusalem. He said, “Wait here until you receive what the Father promised to send. Remember, I told you about it before. John baptized people with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Jesus Is Carried Up Into Heaven

The apostles were all together. They asked Jesus, “Lord, is this the time for you to give the people of Israel their kingdom again?”

Jesus said to them, “The Father is the only one who has the authority to decide dates and times. They are not for you to know. But the Holy Spirit will come on you and give you power. You will be my witnesses. You will tell people everywhere about me—in Jerusalem, in the rest of Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world.”

After Jesus said this, he was lifted up into the sky. While they were watching, he went into a cloud, and they could not see him. 10 They were staring into the sky where he had gone. Suddenly two men wearing white clothes were standing beside them. 11 They said, “Men from Galilee, why are you standing here looking into the sky? You saw Jesus carried away from you into heaven. He will come back in the same way you saw him go.”

Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International, retrieved from biblegateway.com

Questions: ELCA Book of Faith Devotional Questions

What scares, confuses, or challenges me in this story? What do I have questions about?

What delights me about this story? What is my favorite part, and why?

What stories or memories does this text stir up in me? It might be a time when I had to say goodbye to someone, for example.

What is God up to in this story? What is God calling me to do or to be because of this story?

Prayer

Dear Jesus, we thank you for coming to earth to save us, and for returning to heaven to prepare a place for us. Send us your Holy Spirit, so that we may always follow where you lead. In your name we pray, Amen.

Activity: Lord, I Lift Your Name on High

When we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus, it is a great time to tell the whole story of Jesus; to remember where he has been and where he is going. A great way to do that is through the song “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High” by Rick Founds.

First, download the file with all the symbols you will need to tell the story. You can find the file here: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/ascension-sunday-2020-lord-i-lift-your-name-on-high.pdf

Next, color the symbols and cut them out. You can mount them to popsicle sticks with double-sided tape or glue, if desired.

Then, look up the lyrics to the song. See if you can use your symbols and the words to tell the whole story of Jesus saving the world! You can find a copy of the lyrics here: http://www.divinehymns.com/lyrics/lord-i-lift-your-name-on-high-song-lyrics/

If you want to get your whole body moving, sing and dance along with this video:

A blessed Ascension Sunday to you and yours! If you would like more great ideas on how to celebrate the Ascension at Home, check out this post by buildfaith.org: https://buildfaith.org/celebrating-ascension-day-at-home/

Daily Devos: Outcast

PRAYER: 

Dear God, we are glad that you know everything about us and you love us.  Give us your living water.  In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

COLORING PAGE:

https://sundayschoolzone.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/The-Woman-at-the-Well-Coloring-Page.pdf

BIBLE STORY:  John 4:6-15 NRSV

Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.

A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”

QUESTIONS: 

  • Tell your partner about a time when you were thirsty.  What was that experience like?
  • Jesus knew everything about the woman at the well.  What is something that most people don’t know about you?
  • What do you think it means when Jesus says that he is the living water?  Does it have to do with baptism and the promises of unconditional love, complete forgiveness, and hope for the future?

Daily Devos: Night Visitor

PRAYER: 

Dear Jesus, we thank you that you love the world that you have made.  Help us to be born from above.  In your name we pray, Amen.

COLORING PAGE:

Find it online here: https://craftingthewordofgod.com/2016/02/11/god-so-loved-the-world-coloring-page/

BIBLE STORY:  John 3:1-17 NRSV

There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?

“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

QUESTIONS: 

  • Have you ever been nervous to ask a “dumb” question?  What was that experience like?
  • Have you ever tried to solve a puzzle?  What was that experience like?  How did you figure it out in the end?
  • What do you think that it means that God loves the entire universe?  What does that say about the size of God’s love?

Daily Devos: Tempted

PRAYER: 

Dear Jesus, it is good to know that when we are tempted, we are not alone.  Help us to turn to you when we are tempted to turn away.  In your name we pray, Amen.

COLORING PAGE:

link: https://www.sembagine.com/wp-ontent/uploads/2018/07/jesus_temptation_coloring_page_180021_5.jpg

BIBLE STORY:  Matthew 4:1-11 (NRSV)

Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone,but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written,‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’” Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.

QUESTIONS: 

  • Have you ever been really hungry?  What was that experience like?  How did it feel once you were full?
  • Have you ever been tempted to do something that was dangerous?  Did you do it?  What was that experience like?
  • Have you ever wanted to be in charge?  What was that experience like?  When you were in charge, did you use that power for yourself, or others?
  • What is it like for you to know that Jesus was a real human, who was tempted like we are?  What does it mean to you to know that Jesus resisted temptation so that he could fulfill his plan to save us, and not take the easy way out?

Daily Devos: Revealed

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 PAGE:

https://thehomelyhours.com/2019/08/06/coloring-page-for-the-transfiguration/

https://thehomelyhours.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/transfiguration.coloringpage.pdf

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.”

QUESTIONS: 

  • 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: Heart to Heart

Every once in a great while, I decide that the Gospel for the week is more appropriate for adults than children. Matthew 5:21-37 is one of those times. Instead, I chose to use the same theme of the Love Commandments from Matthew 22:34-40, and will expand upon this during my children’s message this week.

PRAYER: 

Dear Jesus, we thank you for your unconditional love.  Help us to return that love, with all our hearts, souls, and minds.  Teach us how to love our neighbor as ourselves.   In your name we pray, Amen.

COLORING PAGE:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0RweH-3RyI0NmV3TUlFTVRUN1k/edit

BIBLE STORY:  Matthew 22:34-40 (NRSV)

34 When the Pharisees heard that [Jesus] had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35 and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

QUESTIONS: 

  • Have you ever been tested, or asked a question meant to trick you?  What was that experience like?
  • What does Jesus say is the greatest commandment?  What are some ways that you could work on keeping this commandment?
  • What other commandment does Jesus lift up?  What are some ways that you could work on keeping this commandment?

Daily Devos: Salt and Light

PRAYER: 

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.

COLORING PAGE:

https://sermons4kids.com/salt_of_the_earth_colorpg.htm

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.”

QUESTIONS: 

  • 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?

Daily Devos: Blessings of God

PRAYER: 

Dear Jesus, we thank you for all of the ways that you bless us in our lives.  Open our eyes to those who are in need, and help us to recognize your blessings every day. In your name we pray, Amen.

COLORING PAGE

From http://www.biblewise.com/kids/fun/coloring/beatitudes.php

BIBLE STORY:  Matthew 5:1-12 (NRSV)

1When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
  3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
  5“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
  6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
  7“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
  8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
  9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
  10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  11“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

QUESTIONS: 

  • What are some blessings that you have in your life?
  • Why do you think that Jesus calls these unexpected people “blessed”?
  • What are some ways that you can think of to be a blessing to others?

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.

QUESTIONS: 

  • 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?

Daily Devos: Come, Holy Spirit

PENTECOST:  ACTS 2:1-4 (NRSV)

When the day of Pentecost had come, [the apostles] were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. 

  • Why do you think that the Holy Spirit comes in wind, fire, and language?  How do you experience the Holy Spirit?  What is the Spirit stirring up in you?

Holy Spirit, Breath of Life, breathe the fire of your love into us.  Shape us, give us life, make us whole.  Help us to spread the love of Christ to the ends of the earth.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Find a pdf of this devotion here: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/daily-devos-19-come-holy-spirit.pdf