G.I.F.T. 11-27-16

Growing In Faith Together   

November 27, 2016

TODAY’S TEXTS
Isaiah 11:1-10 
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19 
Romans 15:4-13 
Matthew 3:1-12

GATHERED BY GRACE 
The new church year begins with a wake-up call: Christ is coming soon! In today's readings both Paul and Jesus challenge us to wake from sleep, for we know neither the day nor hour of the Lord's coming. Isaiah proclaims the day when God will gather all people on the holy mountain and there will be no more war or suffering.

Discuss in your household or small group: 
* Jesus encourages his followers to “keep watch” as he could return at any time (Matthew 24:42).  What does it mean to “keep watch” for Jesus? 
* Twenty centuries have passed and Jesus has not yet returned. So, what does “watchfulness” mean to us in our time?
* How would you describe yourself as a Christian – nodding off, drowsy, awake, tired? 

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  Matthew 24:36-44
Monday  Psalm 124:6-8
Tuesday  Genesis 9:1-3
Wednesday  Isaiah 54:9-10
Thursday  Isaiah 4:2-6
Friday  Isaiah 30:19-21
Saturday  Isaiah 40:3-5
Sunday  Matthew 3:1-12

Next Sunday: Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Romans 15:4-13; Matthew 3:1-12

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week: Lord, teach me your ways, so that I may walk in your paths.

Throughout the Day: Help me to be alert!

A Blessing to Share: Keep awake for you do not know when the Lord is coming.

For mealtime say responsively: The night is far gone: the day is near.

November Meal Prayer:   
Come, Lord Jesus, be our Guest,
and let your gifts to us be blessed.
Blest be God, who is our Bread.
May all the world be clothed and fed.
Amen

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION  

Devotional Practice: 
Isaiah has a vision of people turning their swords into plowshares and their spears into hooks for cutting off dead branches from trees. He imagines ways of turning weapons into useful tools. What ideas do you have for turning "weapons" into tools for peace…Like the “weapon of prejudice” or the “weapon of revenge” or the “weapon of apathy”? Take time to consider Isaiah's theme of swords into plowshares. Then write your own Advent peace prayer.

Advent Ritual: 
You will need 5 candles for the season. You can use a wreath or simply use the candles. 
Read Isaiah 2:1-5.  The prophet Isaiah describes a future shaped by peace for all nations as they walk in the light of the Lord. We wait in hope for this prophecy to be fulfilled. We light the candle of hope to proclaim that God's light is coming into the world. We will live in the light of hope as we await the coming of the Lord. Light one candle.

SCATTERED TO SERVE
 Donate a new toy to Toys for Tots!

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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