G.I.F.T. 8-20-17

Growing In Faith Together

August 20, 2017

TODAY’S TEXTS 
Isaiah 56:1, 6-8
Psalm 67
Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32
Matthew 15:10-28

GATHERED BY GRACE 
In Isaiah, we hear that God's house shall be a house of prayer for all people and that God will gather the outcasts of Israel. The Canaanite woman in today's gospel is a Gentile, an outsider, who is unflinching in her request that Jesus heal her daughter. How might our church extend its mission to those on the margins of society?

Discuss in your household or small group: 
* Why would Isaiah 56:6-8 accompany verses 21-28 of this Gospel?
* Jesus consistently taught that his mission was to Israel. Why then did he respond to the Canaanite (Gentile) woman? What might that teach us about our own sense of mission?
* Why didn’t the woman “get the hint” and leave? 
* Take a moment to reflect on an act of mercy for which you cry out to Jesus. Do you expect him to respond?  Why or why not? 

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 15:10-28
Monday Acts 15:1-21
Tuesday  Psalm 87:1-5
Wednesday Matthew 8:5-10
Thursday Psalm 138:4-8
Friday Isaiah 51:1-3
Saturday Ezekiel 36:33-36
Sunday Matthew 16:13-20

Next Sunday: Isaiah 51:1–6; Psalm 138; Romans 12:1–8; Matthew 16:13–20

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week:  
Let the peoples praise you, O God, let all the peoples praise you!

Throughout the Day:
 Lord, have mercy on me!

Blessing to Share: May the light of God’s face shine upon you.

For mealtime say responsively: 
Be glad and sing for joy: God has blessed us!

Summer Mealtime Prayer:   
Thank you for the world so sweet.
Thank you for the food we eat.
Thank you for the birds that sing.
Thank you, God, for everything. Amen

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION  
Devotional Practice: 
God calls us to welcome even those we think don’t deserve it. Think about places you’ve visited in your life. What made you feel welcome? What made you feel not welcome? What does that say about your own treatment of others? Create a prayer based on this experience.

Summer Ritual: 
Place a plant or a picture of a plant near the place where you wake each morning. Look at the plant each morning and pray May I grow in the love of God and share it with everyone.

SCATTERED TO SERVE 
It’s time for Random Acts of Kindness! School is starting up at all the various levels. People’s lives are stressed in this transition time all around town. Many are in new schools or classrooms; most are readjusting to a more regular schedule or routine. Just living in Iowa City when the students come back adds a certain level of stress. 

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation offers ideas for kindness – try them out!  
Share a smile
Let another go first.
Open a door.
Lend a hand.
Forgive mistakes.
Say thanks.


“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless”  – Mother Teresa


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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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