G.I.F.T. 4-9-17

 Growing In Faith Together 
 April 9, 2017

 TODAY’S TEXTS
 Isaiah 50:4-9a
 Psalm 31: 9-16 
 Philippians 2:5-11 
 Matthew 21:1-11



GATHERED BY GRACE 
Palm Sunday is a rather odd day. We wave palms and celebrate as Jesus enters Jerusalem in triumph. We hail him as king of kings and son of David. But the “rest of the story” hangs in the air around us. We remember the ease with which we misinterpret signs and fail to see underlying currents. The parade stirs our hearts, but it’s not yet the final triumph; we must go through Good Friday. There we discover that God is not only present in moments of glory, but even more powerfully in moments of suffering and despair.

Discuss in your household or small group: 
* What motivated those crowds? What were they seeking?
* What motivates you? What do you seek from Jesus? 
* How would you respond if someone said to you, “The Lord has need”?
* What might the Lord need from you 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 Matthew 21:1-11
Monday Matthew 26:14-30
Tuesday Matthew 26:31-46
Wednesday Matthew 26: 47-75
Thursday Matthew 27:1-32
Friday Matthew 27:33-56
Saturday Matthew 27:57-66
Sunday Matthew 28:1-10

Next Sunday: Acts 10:34-43; Ps 118:1-2, 14-24; Col 3:1-4; Matthew 28:1-10/John 20:1-18

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK

For the Week: What wondrous love is this, O my soul!

Throughout the Day: Lamb of God, have mercy on us

Blessing to Share: Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.

For mealtime say responsively: Let every tongue confess: Jesus Christ is Lord.

Mealtime Prayer:
Lord, we gather by your grace
Forgiven much, we seek your face
Fed with these gifts of yours so kind 
Lead us to love all whom we find. Amen.

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION  

Devotional Practice: 
If we skip from Palm Sunday to Easter, without stopping to ponder the cross then we will have misunderstood the whole thing. Take some time each day during the coming week to reflect on the story of Jesus’ passion from the Gospel of Matthew. The Daily Bible Readings (above) break it into segments for you. We will also post a part of the story on the website, on Facebook and Twitter each day with a reflection question or two. Share your thoughts and prayers with others.  Read the daily scripture slowly, pause, and read it again. 

Holy Week Ritual:  
Attend services on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Vigil on Saturday.

SCATTERED TO SERVE
After washing the disciple’s feet, Jesus tells them to do the same to others. Then he says to love one another as he has loved. How can you show your servant’s heart this week?

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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