G.I.F.T. 1-24-16

 Growing In Faith Together  
The heavens declare the glory of God


 January 24, 2016

 Today’s Texts: 
 Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
 Psalm 19
 1 Corinthians 2:12-31a
 Luke 4:14-21

Gathered by Grace
The glory of the Lord is revealed in the reading of scripture. People pay attention. In the words of Isaiah, Jesus states and claims his identity, purpose, and mission: to bring the good news of God -release, recovery, setting free. Gather round. Listen up. Glimpse the glory of God.
                  
Discuss in your household or small group: 
* When Jesus finishes reading the passage, he rolls up the scroll and sits down. What did those in attendance hear? What do you hear?
* When is the year of the Lord's favor? Is the year of the Lord upon you?
* Oppression takes many forms. What might you do to “let the oppressed go free,” for even one such person? 
* How will you share the good news this week?

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 Luke 4:14-21   Thursday Psalm 71:1-6
Monday Jeremiah 36:1-10   Friday 2 Chronicles 34:1-7
Tuesday Jeremiah 36:11-26   Sat       2 Chronicles 35:20-27
Wednesday Jeremiah 36:27-32 Sunday Luke 4:21-30

NEXT SUNDAY: Jeremiah 1:4-10; Psalm 71:1-6; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Luke 4:21-30

Try to memorize:    The joy of the Lord is your strength.
Nehemiah 8:10


Prayers for this Week

For the Week: Help me, O God, to bring evidence of your kingdom to those around me.

Throughout the Day: May I show your good news by what I do.

A Blessing to Share: May the Lord’s teaching revive your soul.

For mealtime say responsively: The heavens declare the glory of God: The sky proclaims its maker’s handiwork.

Epiphany Mealtime Prayer:
Christ our light, shine upon us.  
Refresh us by this meal 
to reflect your love to others. Amen.

For further reflection  

Devotional Practice: 
Collect news stories this week – make notes from TV or the radio, place magazines or newspapers in your devotional area. Focus upon people in situations similar to those described in the Gospel passage – the poor, the captive, the blind, the oppressed. Take time each day to pray for the people you’ve identified. Talk with others about how you might bring God’s good news, release, or sight to someone.

Ritual for the Epiphany Season: 
Place a bowl of water in the center of your meal table. Take a few moments each day – perhaps at a meal, or the beginning or ending of the day - to remember your baptism.  Dip a finger in the water and sign the mark of the cross on your forehead.  Say these words:  “Remember and be thankful – you are a baptized child of God, marked with the cross of Christ forever.”

Scattered to serve 
Since its opening in December this year, Shelter House’s Winter Emergency Shelter has provided a warm place to stay for 95 different people experiencing homelessness. These individuals were out of the cold because people in the community helped. 

You can donate money directly to Shelter House at 429 Southgate Drive in Iowa City or online at www.shelterhouseiowa.org

Current in-kind needs include a vacuum to keep the place clean, and some coffee and cups to keep our staff awake during the overnight hours.


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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