G.I.F.T. 1-7-18

 Growing In Faith Together 
 January 7, 2018

 TODAY’S TEXTS 
 Isaiah 60:1-6
 Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14 
 Ephesians 3:1-12
 Matthew 2:1-12



 GATHERED BY GRACE 
The word Epiphany means “manifestation”. On January 6, we tell Matthew’s story of the magi from foreign lands who follow the light of a star to see Jesus. Their gifts are symbols: gold, because they honor Jesus as the king; frankincense, because they worship Jesus as divine; and myrrh, because they are readying for his death. On this day we celebrate the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles—that is, to all nations.
Discuss in your household or small group: 
* What was the best gift you received this Christmas?  What was the gift you most enjoyed giving?
* The Wise Men gave gifts of gold, incense and myrrh to young Jesus.  What gifts would you have given him?
* When were times that you felt you were seeking God in your life, and why?
* How is God most often “manifest” in your life? 

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 2:1-12
Monday Isaiah 60:1-3
Tuesday Isaiah 6:1-5
Wednesday John 1:10-18
Thursday Psalm 139:1-4
Friday Psalm 139:13-16
Saturday Acts 13:23-25
Sunday John 1:43-51

Next Sunday: 1 Samuel 3:1-20; Psalm 139; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; John 1:43-51

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week:  May I see the reflection of Christ in all that I meet.

Throughout the Day:  God, shine through me this day.

Blessing to Share: Rejoice, God’s love is revealed.

For mealtime say responsively: 
Arise and shine: For our Light has come!

Mealtime Prayer:
Christ our light, shine upon us.  
Refresh us by this meal 
      to reflect your love to others. Amen
      
FOR FURTHER REFLECTION  

Devotional Practice: 
January 6 is the beginning of the church season of Epiphany. Epiphany means “showing forth” or “making visible”.  The season celebrates Jesus’ revelation to us as the Light of the World.  Traditionally, January 6 is associated with the Magi who followed a star to find the Christ child.
Draw or cut out stars. In your devotional times this week think about ways in which we can be “stars” for Jesus, pointing others to him.  Write these onto the stars. Pray for God’s help to shine as lights for him.

Ritual for the Epiphany Season: 
Place a small bowl of water in the center of your meal table. Take a few moments each day – perhaps at a meal, or the beginning or ending of the day - to remember your baptism.  Dip a finger in the water and sign the mark of the cross on your forehead.  Say: Remember you are a baptized child of God and marked with the cross of Christ forever.

SCATTERED TO SERVE 
 The wise men came from a faraway land to offer their gifts to the small child Jesus.  Make up small Epiphany gifts or cards to give to young children – perhaps at Gloria Dei, a pediatric floor, or a community child care center.


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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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