G.I.F.T. 10-15-17

 Growing In Faith Together   

 October 15, 2017


 TODAY’S TEXTS 
 Isaiah 25:1-9
 Psalm 23 
 Philippians 4:1-9 
 Matthew 22:1-14



 GATHERED BY GRACE 
In Isaiah we are given a vision of the great feast to come, when God will wipe away all tears and destroy death forever. In Jesus' parable about a great banquet, those invited do not come, so the invitation is extended to others. Even amid anxiety and hardship we rejoice in the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.
Discuss in your household or small group: 
* What role do you play in fulfilling God’s promise to “wipe away the tears from all faces”? 
* When have you received invitations from God? What excuses have you offered God?
* What does the image of good and bad together at the wedding feast suggest to you about life in the church?
* What are some of the “just, pure, pleasing, commendable, excellent” principles upon which we should focus in our world today?

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 22:1-14
Monday Psalm 34:8-10
Tuesday Amos 9:13-15
Wednesday John 6:25-35
Thursday Psalm 96:1-4
Friday Deuteronomy 17:14-20
Saturday Psalm 96:10-13
Sunday Matthew 22:15-22

Next Sunday:  Isaiah 45:1-7; Psalm 96:1-13; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Matthew 22:15-22

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week: I rejoice in your salvation.

Throughout the Day: Restore my soul.

Blessing to Share: May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

For mealtime say responsively: The Lord is my shepherd: I shall not be in want.

Autumn Mealtime Prayer:   
For food we eat,
for clothes to wear,
for nightly rest 
and daily care
we thank you Loving God. Amen.

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION  

Devotional Practice: 
Focus your devotional time this week on peace. Find a quiet place. Relax your body.  Read again the “blessing to share” on the flip of this sheet. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply and slowly. Mentally visualize peaceful, restful scenes. After perhaps three minutes, reflect on this question: When and how have I experienced “the peace of God which passes all understanding” in my life? End with prayer.

Autumn Ritual: 
As we watch leaves fluttering to the ground in the fall, we are reminded that nature's cycles are mirrored in our lives. Autumn is a time for letting go and to practice getting out of the way and letting Spirit take charge of our lives. Place a symbol of autumn – a leaf, an acorn – in your devotional area. Let it remind you to let go and let God.

SCATTERED TO SERVE 

Let your gentleness be known this week. Take time to listen to someone who is lonely. Speak to a new person at school, at work, or at church. Let someone go ahead of you in line. Let another car merge in front of you, or stop to let a pedestrian cross the street. Send a donation to Lutheran Disaster response – there are so many people who are hurting after storms, earthquakes, and fires.

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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