Dear Parents,
This week we looked at the story of Mary and Martha from Luke 10:33-42

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Many of us make the same mistake Martha made. We get so busy working, going to school, playing, or watching television that we forget the most important thing. We forget to spend time with Jesus! We must be very careful that we don’t get so busy doing good things that we leave out the best! After all, Jesus is the most important thing!

Dear Jesus, help us to remember that you are the most important thing in our lives. Don’t let us get so busy with other things that we forget to spend time with you. Amen.

Dear Parents,
Zacchaeus was worried. People said Jesus was coming to town. Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus, but so did everyone else! And Zacchaeus was too short to see over the crowd—unless he could find something tall to stand on.

“Trees are tall—maybe a tree would work,” Zacchaeus thought. So he found a tree beside the path Jesus would take through town. He grabbed the lowest branch and pulled himself up, up, up until he found a perfect branch for sitting. He could see everything!

Before long, Zacchaeus could hear the noise of a great crowd of people coming closer. Jesus must be coming! Yes, there he was—with people all around him. But when Jesus got under the tree, he stopped. Zacchaeus held his breath. Why was Jesus stopping?

Jesus looked straight up into the tree. He looked right at Zacchaeus sitting on the branch above him. “Zacchaeus, come down right now!” Jesus said. “I’d like to visit you at your house.”

It didn’t take long at all for Zacchaeus to climb out of that tree. Jesus was coming to his house? How could it be?

Zacchaeus wondered if Jesus knew that he had been a bad person. Sometimes Zacchaeus tricked people and took their money. He kept some of the money for himself. If Jesus knew it, maybe he wouldn’t still love Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus felt very sorry for the wrong things he had done.

But a wonderful thing happened that day. Jesus loved Zacchaeus—even though Zacchaeus had tricked people and done wrong things. That made Zacchaeus very happy—so happy that he gave money back to everyone he had cheated.

It was the best day of Zacchaeus’s life. Jesus loved him!

Today your child learned that Jesus loves us even though we sometimes do wrong things—like Zacchaeus did. Look for opportunities to reinforce Jesus’ love for your child even when he or she does something wrong.

Dear Parents,

Moms who love Jesus want their children to love Jesus too. Dads who love Jesus know that Jesus loves boys and girls very much.

Long ago, when Jesus lived on earth, some moms and dads took their boys and girls to see Jesus. “Maybe Jesus will talk to our children and babies. Maybe Jesus will bless them,” they thought.

But Jesus’ helpers, the disciples, thought Jesus was far too busy to play with children. “Go away! Don’t bother Jesus today. He’s busy teaching the people,” they said.

But Jesus didn’t feel too busy. “Don’t tell the children to go away! I want them to come to me. Don’t you know that boys and girls are an important part of God’s family?” Then Jesus smiled at the children.

They smiled back! And they climbed onto his lap. They listened to his stories. And they knew for sure that Jesus loved them. Everyone had a wonderful time—especially Jesus.

Enjoy this great story about Jesus with your child, then talk about:
• How the children felt when the disciples told them to go away
• How Jesus felt when he saw the disciples pushing the children away
• How the children felt when Jesus encouraged them to come to him
• What you would have said to Jesus if you had been there

Parents,
Below is the story of the Good Samaritan, directly from Luke 10:29-37 (NIV). Who is our neighbor? Anyone and everyone; those close to us and those we don’t even like. We can always show mercy to the people whom God has shown mercy.

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Make a list of people to whom you’ll show God’s love to this week, and brainstorm ways you can do it. Make a point to show love to these people throughout the week.

Focus: Jesus teaches us that we need to treat everyone as our neighbor
Memory Verse: Matthew 6:9-10