G.I.F.T. 12-4-16

 Growing In Faith Together   

 December 4, 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
As the darkness increases we turn toward the light of Christ's coming. We wait with hope for that day when the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and there will be no more hurt or destruction. We proclaim that in Christ the kingdom of God has come near.

Discuss in your household or small group: 
* The “gifts of the spirit” listed in Isaiah 11:2-3 are those for which we pray at each person’s baptism. What does it mean to you that you have received these gifts?  What difference does this make for you? 
* How do you experience Isaiah’s vision for us here?  When and where do you yearn for this to be especially so? 
* Have you ever experienced the sort of reversals Isaiah offers?  What might it look like if we were all to live as if this is so? 

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 3:1-12
Monday  1 Thessalonians 4:1-12
Tuesday  Isaiah 41:17-20
Wednesday  Psalm 21:1-7
Thursday  Psalm 146:5-10
Friday  2 Peter 3:11-14
Saturday  1 Samuel 2:1-2
Sunday  Matthew 11:2-11

Next Sunday:  Isaiah 35:1-10; Psalm 146:5-10; James 5:7-10; Matthew 11:2-11

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week: 
Open us, O God, to your unfolding vision of peace.

Throughout the Day: 
Stir up my heart to prepare the way for you.

A Blessing to Share: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.

For mealtime say responsively: 
Prepare the way for the Lord: Make straight the paths before him.

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.

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION  

Devotional Practice: 
Isaiah describes the peace that the Messiah will bring by reversing the hostile elements of nature. The prophet dreams of the day when God's reign of justice and peace is established over all creation. Divisions between people seem to be the headlines these days. Take time to consider how you can share in Isaiah's vision by helping enemies to become friends. 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 11:1-10. Today, the prophet Isaiah describes his vision of a new and transformed world - a world where all creatures live together in harmony and peace. We light the candle of peace to proclaim that the Prince of Peace is coming into the world. Light two candles.

SCATTERED TO SERVE
 Is there someone in your church or local community who will not be sharing Christmas with family this year?  Plan to invite them to be part of one of your Christmas celebrations.

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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