G.I.F.T. 4-23-17

 Growing In Faith Together

 April 23, 2017

 TODAY’S TEXTS
 Acts 2:14a, 22-32 
 Psalm 16 
 1 Peter 1:3-9
 John 20:19-31


 GATHERED BY GRACE 
Christ greets fearful disciples with the word of peace and the gift of the Spirit. Thomas’ doubt becomes a stepping stone rather than stumbling block.

Discuss in your household or small group: 
* What do you need to “see” before believing it?
* What is the greatest doubt you feel regarding your religious faith? 
* What makes us, as followers of Jesus, "hide out" today?
* When have you experienced God breathing fresh hope and new life into you?

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 John 20:19-31
Monday 1 Corinthians 15:20-28
Tuesday Jonah 2:1-10
Wednesday 1 Peter 1: 8-9
Thursday Psalm 116:12-15
Friday Luke 14:12-14
Saturday Isaiah 25:6-9
Sunday Luke 24:13-35

Next Sunday: Acts 2:14a, 36-41; Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19; 1 Peter 1:17-23; Luke 24:13-35

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK

For the Week: 
Risen Christ, breathe on me your spirit of new life.

Throughout the Day:  
My heart is glad and my spirit rejoices.

Blessing to Share: Peace be with you!

For mealtime say responsively: Peace be with you: as the Father has sent me, so I send you.

Easter Season Mealtime Prayer:
 Blessing and glory and wisdom 
      and thanksgiving and honor 
  and power and might be to our God 
      forever and ever! Amen!

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION  

Devotional Practice: 
Jesus breathed his Spirit on the disciples in today’s Gospel. Each day this week try a “breath prayer”, a simple prayer that matches your breath. As you inhale think the words “Lord Jesus Christ” and as you exhale “have mercy on me”.  Repeat gently for several breaths. Quiet repetition will empty your mind of distractions and help focus on God.

Easter Season Ritual:
 Easter lasts for 50 days. Start each day with “Christ is risen. Alleluia!” Watch for signs that remind you that Jesus is alive. Jot that in a notebook, or use your phone to take a picture. Give thanks for your experiences. By the end of the 50 days, you will have 50 things that you can share with others that illustrate that Jesus is alive in the world. Share your discoveries; write a brief description on Facebook, or share a photo on Twitter, or Instagram. #findEaster

SCATTERED TO SERVE
Peace is Christ’s gift to, and hope for the community. How do you experience the peace offered by Christ? What are the things that make for peace? Let Christ’s peace guide your actions and interactions with all you encounter this week.

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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