G.I.F.T. 9-20-15

 Growing In Faith Together   
 September 20th 2015   

 Today’s Texts: 
 Jeremiah 11:18-20, 
 Psalm 54; 
 James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a; 
 Mark 9:30-37

Gathered by Grace: 
As Jesus prepares his disciples for what is to come, they not only do not "get it," they begin to jockey for position. Jesus is succinct: whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all. He takes a small child gently in his arms and tells his disciples that as you welcome this child, you welcome not only me – but the one who sent me. Across the years, we can hear the sound of grown men gulping.

Discuss in your household or small group: 
* What do you do to avoid things you would rather not know?
* Why do you think the disciples did not understand Jesus’ teaching, verse 32? Why do you suppose they would be afraid to ask him?
* What are you too afraid to ask Jesus?
* When have you been first? When have you been last?     What did you learn about yourself each time?
* What does it mean to you to be "the servant to all"?

Daily Bible Readings:
These readings are related to the Sunday readings. M-W reflect upon the past Sunday’s readings and Th-Sa prepare for the next Sunday.  Try to take time each day to read the assigned Bible passage.

Sunday Mark 9:30-37         Thursday Psalm 19:7-10
Monday John 8:21-38           Friday Acts 12:20-25
Tuesday Psalm 139:13-16 Saturday Matthew 5:13-16
Wednesday Jeremiah 1:4-8 Sunday Mark 9:38-50

NEXT SUNDAY: Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29; Psalm 19:7-14; James 5:13-20; 
Mark 9:38-50
Memory verse: 
Behold, God is my  helper; it is the Lord who sustains my life.  Psalm 54:4

Prayers for this Week: 

For the Week: Show me, O God, who you would have me welcome. 

For Throughout the Day: Keep my heart open in welcome.

A Blessing to Share: May Christ be your strength.

For Mealtime say responsively: God is my helper: the Lord sustains my life.

Fall Meal Prayer:   
We thank the Lord for food and drink,
For appetite and power to think,
For loved ones dear, for home and friends,
For everything the good Lord sends. Amen.

For further reflection:

Devotional Practice
From preacher Barbara Taylor Brown:  
The disciples wanted to know who was greatest, so Jesus showed them: twenty-six inches tall, limited vocabulary, unemployed, zero net worth, nobody. God's agent. The last, the least of all…if we want to welcome God into our lives then there is no one whom we may safely ignore. 
Who do you think Jesus might put in front of you?  
Pray this week for those whom we so easily forget.

Fall Ritual 
 Keep a gratitude journal this fall. Each day, review your list and add one more thing. Think of how many things you will have by Thanksgiving! We tend to fixate on what's going wrong ? ...or might go wrong.  A gratitude journal helps re-direct our thinking to God’s many good gifts.

Scattered to serve:  
Really listening to a child and showing you respect and understand what they are saying is a way of showing that you value him/her. Children grow in their ability to love and to serve in direct proportion to their perception of how well they are “listened to” by adults in their lives. Seek out a child this week and engage the child in a conversation and truly listen.


Weekly Reflection on these texts at gatheredbygrace.org

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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