G.I.F.T. 12-3-17

Growing In Faith Together  
December 3, 2017

TODAY’S TEXTS 
Isaiah 64:1-9 
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 
1 Corinthians 1:3-9 
Mark 13:24-37


GATHERED BY GRACE 
Stir up your power, and come! The plea in Psalm 80:2 has become familiar to us in the Advent prayers. Isaiah wants God to rip the heavens open. Both cry out for an apparently distant, angry God to show up, to save, to restore. Jesus encourages his followers to look forward to the day when he returns in power and glory to end all suffering.

Discuss in your household or small group: 
* Luther spoke of a “hidden God.” When is God “hidden”? How do we handle such times as faithful believers?
* In what situations do you experience the silence of God? (Ps. 80)
* What questions does the image of God as potter raise for you? (Is. 64)
* What would you do if the world were going to end tomorrow? This question has a way of clarifying our values and sharpening our priorities; it's not a bad question to ask as we dash from the festivities of Thanksgiving toward Christmas.

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 Mark 13:24-37
Monday Revelation 15:2-4
Tuesday Micah 4:6-7
Wednesday Micah 5:2-5a
Thursday Psalm 85:8-13
Friday Jeremiah 1:4-8
Saturday Ezekiel 36:24-28
Sunday Mark 1:1-8

Next Sunday: Isaiah 40:1-11; Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13; 2 Peter 3:8-15a; Mark 1:1-8

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week:  Come, O God, and reveal your promise in me.

Throughout the Day:  Stir up your power and come.

Blessing to Share: May you be found ready and alert at Christ's return. 

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

Advent Mealtime Prayer:
Come, Lord Jesus, be our Guest,
     And let thy gifts to us be blessed.
Blest be God, who is our Bread.
     May all the world be clothed and fed.
    

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION  

Devotional Practice 
Light a candle and pray: We light the candle of Hope. Even though the world seems dark and cold, we know that the light of Christ is coming. We proclaim to the world that, in Christ, we have hope. Amen.

Advent Ritual 
Create a Prayer Central for this Advent! Set aside a place where everyone can add prayers graffiti style. Use a large piece of paper, or a notebook, or a white board. Throughout Advent, all in your home can add names of people and places that need prayer, and common themes such as hunger, peace, or love.  Encourage all to contribute ideas.

SCATTERED TO SERVE 
 Have you ever rung bells for the Salvation Army bucket brigade? Gather your family or a group of friends and volunteer for a couple of hours.  Singing carols as you ring makes the time go more quickly....and brings in more bucks!

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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