G.I.F.T. 10-23-16

 Growing In Faith Together 
 October 23, 2016

 Today’s Texts:
Jeremiah 14:7-10,19-22 
 Psalm 84:1-7
 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
 Luke 18:9-14

GATHERED BY GRACE 
Genuine repentance and pretentious piety stand in stark contrast in the gospel and all around us. God’s people—"all who have longed for his appearing"—shall be accounted righteous for Jesus’ sake. Our God is merciful to sinners.

Discuss in your household or small group:
* By judging the Pharisee, you become like the Pharisee, but by identifying with the tax collector do you also become like the tax collector? Or do you still end up like the Pharisee?
* Do you know people who, because they are smarter than others believe they are better than them? How many words can you substitute for “smarter” in that sentence?
* What does it mean to you to go home from church "justified"?

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 18:9-14
Monday   Psalm 84:8-10
Tuesday   Daniel 5:13-31
Wednesday   Matthew 21:28-32
Thursday   Psalm 32:6-7
Friday   Psalm 46
Saturday   Ephesians 2:1-10
Sunday   John 8:31-36

NEXT SUNDAY: Jeremiah 31:31–34; Psalm 46; Romans 3:19–28; John 8:31–36

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK

For the Week:  Keep me from contempt of others.

Throughout the Day: Help me keep the faith.

A Blessing to Share:  May we live as one and at peace with each other.

For mealtime say responsively: Fight the good fight:  Keep the faith. 

Autumn Mealtime Prayer:   
God, we thank you for the night
and for the glorious morning light
for rest and food and loving care
and all that makes the world so fair.

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION  

Devotional Practice: 
To be a Pharisee one had to be devout, taking faith seriously and working to live as God would have one live. Tax collectors did, in fact, impoverish others as they enriched themselves.  Both can be, and were, scoundrel or saint in different contexts. Jesus didn’t come to tell bad people to be good people; Jesus came to forgive sin and call us into discipleship. Pray for the scoundrels and saints in your life.
       
Autumn Ritual: 
Our task during this part of the church year is to consider discipleship. Jesus’ teachings get a bit more challenging. For these months, add a small cross near the place you do devotions to remind you of Jesus’ call to take up your cross and follow.  

SCATTERED FOR SERVICE  

Trick-or-treat is not just for kids.  For more than 50 years, Halloween has provided opportunity to gather money for UNICEF, the children’s fund of the UN.  Put a container out at work, or at your book club, or wherever you might find yourself this week. Even just 3 cents can protect and boost one child’s immune system and prevent blindness for a year with Vitamin A capsules. You can pick up a box on the high table near the front door.


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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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