G.I.F.T 10-8-17

 Growing In Faith Together   
Wild Grapes

 October 8, 2017

 TODAY’S TEXTS 
 Isaiah 5:1-7 
 Psalm 80:7-15 
 Philippians 3:4b-14 
 Matthew 21:33-46


GATHERED BY GRACE 
The readings for this week are sobering words that speak directly to our everyday struggle to hear and live out God's plans for us. We wrestle with our continued inability to live in right relation with one another and the gift of creation. In Philippians, Paul proclaims the joy of knowing Christ as the center of our Christian life.

Discuss in your household or small group: 
* How does the Matthew parable relate to Isaiah 5:1-7?
* Imagine your faith life as the vineyard. What has God planted? What has God pruned?
* What do you think Paul meant by making Christ his own?
* What areas of your life might be claimed by Christ?
* What does it mean for you as a disciple of Christ “to press forward”?

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 21:33-46
Monday 1 Peter 2:4-10
Tuesday Isaiah 27:1-6
Wednesday Psalm 144:1-4
Thursday Psalm 23
Friday Philippians 4:4-9
Saturday Isaiah 25:6-9
Sunday Matthew 22:1-14

Next Sunday: Isaiah 25:1-9; Psalm 23; Philippians 4:1-9; Matthew 22:1-14

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week: I am your vineyard, dear God. Help me to bear fruit.

Throughout the Day: Keep my eyes on the prize, O Lord.

Blessing to Share: May God grant you grace.

For mealtime say responsively: Restore us, O God: Let God’s face shine upon us.

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

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION  

Devotional Practice: Think of specific awards, recognition, trophies you may have received in the past. Read again Paul’s thoughts about all the things that gave him honor and prestige in Philippians 3:4b-8. 
What personal achievements and material things lose their value when compared with your relationship with God? What might God be calling you to “count as loss”? End your reflections 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 
God continues to invite us to be generous. 
Some thoughts: 
Is your Gloria Dei pledge up to date? 
Have you donated to the Crisis Center lately?  
ELCA disaster relief and world hunger programs continue to respond to needs around the world including recovery from the recent hurricanes and earthquakes. 

Examine your relationship with money and possessions. Pay attention to feelings about “holding tight” and “letting go”. Then give.

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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