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Pairing Arch Books with the Lectionary — January 2017

Generations of children and parents have spent time together learning about Jesus while reading Arch Books. We’ve paired up Arch Books with both the three-year and historic one-year lectionaries. It’s a great way to prepare children for worship on Sunday, or to reinforce what they’ve learned throughout the week.

Three-Year Series A

January 1, Circumcision and Name of Jesus

Numbers 6:22–27
Psalm 8
Galatians 3:23–29
Luke 2:21

What an awesome responsibility to nurture—to feed, nourish, sustain, maintain, cherish, and provide for these gifts from God. As we provide for their material needs, it is essential that we also take into consideration their spiritual needs. It is indeed the work of the Holy Spirit to plant faith in the hearts of our children and to cause that faith to grow. But it is also an awesome privilege to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit, to hear the splash of baptismal water, and to trust in God’s loving care and direction for our children as they grow. Share stories from the day of your child’s Baptism.

 

January 6, The Epiphany of Our Lord

Isaiah 60:1–6
Psalm 72:1–11 (12–15)
Ephesians 3:1–12
Matthew 2:1–12

 After reading Star of Wonder to your child, point out stars around you: Christmas decorations, designs on wrapping paper, and stars in the night sky. Tell your child that every time we see a star, we can remember the one that led the Wise Men to the Christ Child. Christ is the star of salvation, announced by Old Testament prophets, that brought eternal light into our world. If your child is old enough, sing together an Epiphany hymn such as “As with Gladness Men of Old” or “Songs of Thankfulness and Praise.”

 

January 8, The Baptism of Our Lord

Isaiah 42:1–9
Psalm 29
Romans 6:1–11
Matthew 3:13–17

The devil makes it his business to tempt God’s children to sin. God gives us the power, through Baptism and His Word, to say no to the devil. Talk with your child about times when you have been tempted to sin. Tell your child what you did to fight the temptation and how Jesus helped you. Explain that sometimes you fail in your fight against temptation, and you sin often. Explain how you confess your sins to God, and tell your child how good it is to experience God’s forgiveness. Pray together, thanking God for your victory over sin, death, and Satan.

 

January 15, Second Sunday after the Epiphany

Isaiah 49:1–7
Psalm 40:1–11
1 Corinthians 1:1–9
John 1:29–42a

Everywhere Jesus went, people gathered to hear Him preach and teach. He had many disciples—people who were called to trust in Him as their Savior and who told others about Him. But Jesus chose twelve disciples, the apostles, for a special purpose. Jesus gave the apostles what we call the Great Commission, the task of establishing the Christian Church by teaching and baptizing in the name of the triune God (Matthew 28:18–19). To this day, we continue to follow their example by confessing our faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior from sin, and by declaring the wonders of God, who has “called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

 

January 22, Third Sunday after the Epiphany

Isaiah 9:1–4
Psalm 27:1–9 (10–14)
1 Corinthians 1:10–18
Matthew 4:12–25

The Arch Book Twelve Who Followed Jesus is out of print, but if your church library has a copy, check it out and read it with your child. Point out to your child how, one after another, the disciples Jesus called left everything to follow Him. Explain that Jesus has called each of us too. God’s Holy Spirit helps us to follow Jesus and put Him first in our lives.

 

January 29, Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

Micah 6:1–8
Psalm 15
1 Corinthians 1:18–31
Matthew 5:1–12

There is not an Arch Book that pairs directly with the lectionary readings for this Sunday. Grab your Bible and read Matthew 5:1–12 with your children. Talk with your child about how the Beatitudes express the blessings Jesus’ followers receive because we are connected to Him by faith.

 

One-Year Lectionary

January 1, Circumcision and Name of Jesus

Numbers 6:22–27
Psalm 8
Galatians 3:23–29
Luke 2:21

What an awesome responsibility to nurture—to feed, nourish, sustain, maintain, cherish, and provide for these gifts from God. As we provide for their material needs, it is essential that we also take into consideration their spiritual needs. It is indeed the work of the Holy Spirit to plant faith in the hearts of our children and to cause that faith to grow. But it is also an awesome privilege to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit, to hear the splash of baptismal water, and to trust in God’s loving care and direction for our children as they grow. Share stories from the day of your child’s Baptism.

 

January 6, The Epiphany of Our Lord

Isaiah 60:1–6
Psalm 24
Ephesians 3:1–12
Matthew 2:1–12

After reading Star of Wonder to your child, point out stars around you: Christmas decorations, designs on wrapping paper, and stars in the night sky. Tell your child that every time we see a star, we can remember the one that led the Wise Men to the Christ Child. Christ is the star of salvation, announced by Old Testament prophets, that brought eternal light into our world. If your child is old enough, sing together an Epiphany hymn such as “As with Gladness Men of Old” or “Songs of Thankfulness and Praise.”

  

January 8, First Sunday after the Epiphany or The Baptism of Our Lord

1 Kings 8:6–13 or Joshua 3:1–3, 7–8, 13–17 or Isaiah 42:1–7
Psalm 50:1–15 or Psalm 85
Romans 12:1–5 or 1 Corinthians 1:26–31
Luke 2:41–52 or Matthew 3:13–17

Children love to hear the story of Joshua and the fall of Jericho because it’s fantastical. It’s also one of those Bible accounts that secular historians say is myth. Those who believe God’s Word, however, understand that this true event shows us that God will judge humankind and He will punish the unrighteous. The story doesn’t end there, of course. God’s way is vastly different from man’s. Joshua, his army, and Rahab and her family were saved by faith. Joshua obeyed God’s directions because he had faith. God kept His promise to deliver the children of Israel to the Promised Land, and He will keep His promise to us to deliver us to eternal life with Him through Jesus’ work on the cross for us.

 

Where Is Jesus? includes the first words Jesus speaks in the Bible: “Why were you looking for Me? Did you not know that I must be in My Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49). This account, the only glimpse of Jesus’ childhood we have, draws our attention to His knowledge of the Scriptures and to His obedience to His parents. Second, this account tells us that Jesus, even as a child, always knew and was obedient to His mission. He came to do His Father’s will. His response to Mary also shows us that the people who were closest to Him, here and throughout His earthly ministry, didn’t quite comprehend who He really was. As you read this Arch Book with your child, point out Jesus’ knowledge of the Scriptures and His obedience to God’s will. We can compare His time of learning to our own.

 

January 15, Second Sunday after the Epiphany

Exodus 33:12–23 or Amos 9:11–15
Psalm 67 or Psalm 111
Ephesians 5:22–33 or Romans 12:6–16
John 2:1–11

The Wedding at Cana tells the story of the first recorded miracle of Jesus when He was on earth. The miracle also marked the first time His mother, His disciples, and others saw His divine glory in action. It strengthened their faith and confirmed their belief that He was the Son of God. Because Mary was given faith in Jesus, her Son, she knew to go to Him as the one who could help in time of need. She asked Him to help, and He did. In our faith, we experience miracles every day. He provides for all our needs and wants, even the little things. He gives us families to take care of us, protects us from danger, and makes us well when we are sick. He gives us sunny days and moonlit nights, seasons that change, the wonders of nature, and the list goes on and on. Just as Mary’s and the disciples’ faith grew, ours will grow as well when we see how God works in our lives every day.

Through the gift of faith, we can recognize the most important miracle of all: Jesus’ resurrection and the forgiveness of all our sins—not because we deserve it, but because we are His children and He loves us.

 

January 22, Third Sunday after the Epiphany

2 Kings 5:1–15a
Psalm 110:1–4
Romans 1:8–17 or Romans 12:16–21
Matthew 8:1–13

This wonderful story from the New Testament is an example of a miracle and of God’s awesome power in healing the centurion’s servant. Jesus did not even have to go to the place where the sick man was. All He had to do was say the word and the servant was healed immediately! Remind your children that God does miracles for us and for others today. Our faith is a miracle because it is the gift of the Holy Spirit. Our faith leads us to believe that God’s great power will bring us to salvation through the death and resurrection of His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Eternal life doesn’t depend on what we do, but on what He has done for us.

 

January 29, Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

Jonah 1:1–17
Psalm 96
Romans 8:18–23 or Romans 13:8–10
Matthew 8:23–27

Explain to your child that it’s impossible for human beings to understand how very much God loves us. Even when we turn away from Him and do things that hurt Him, He doesn’t turn away from us. Remind your child that it was God’s love for us that made Him send His own Son, Jesus, to live, die, and rise again so we might be God’s children forever. That’s a lot of love!

 

Just as Jesus calmed the storm, He can calm our worries and fears and help us handle the problems that trouble us. He carried our greatest fear—fear of eternal death—to the cross and won our victory for us. Pray with your child, thanking Jesus for His loving care and forgiveness.

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