G.I.F.T. 2-18-18

Growing In Faith 
February 18, 2018

TODAY’S TEXTS 
Genesis 9:8-17 
Psalm 25:1-10 
1 Peter 3:18-22
Mark 1:9-15

GATHERED BY GRACE 
Each year on the first Sunday in Lent we hear about Jesus being tested in the wilderness. Jesus joins us, who are also one way or another, tested in a wilderness. We say Sundays “in” Lent, since when counting the forty days of Lent, we omit the six Sundays, because Sunday is always a celebration of Christ’s resurrection. So, this Sunday we are both in Lent and beyond Lent.
Discuss in your household or small group: 
* Why do you think the Spirit drives Jesus to experience a time of testing immediately after his baptism? 
* How does our baptism equip us for the baffling realities of the wilderness?
* What does "wilderness" feel like in your life? 
* What are your daily temptations?
* What spiritual practices help you to draw close to God?

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 1:9-15
Monday Ephesians 2:1-10
Tuesday Psalm 77
Wednesday Proverbs 30:7-9
Thursday Genesis 16
Friday Romans 4:1-12
Saturday Mark 8:27-30
Sunday Mark 8:31-38

Next Sunday: Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16; Psalm 22:23-31; Romans 4:13-25; Mark 8:31-38

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week: Strengthen me to follow your way 

Throughout the Day:  Lead me in your truth. 

Blessing to Share: May God’s steadfast love be your traveling companion.

For mealtime say responsively: 
Show me your ways, O Lord: teach me your paths. 

Mealtime Prayer: 
      Blessed are you, O God, giver of all.
      You fill our table and 
       give us companions for our journey. 
     Strengthen us through this food we share and
      through the love we have for one another and you. Amen
      
FOR FURTHER REFLECTION  
Devotional Practice: 
Write the words “your path” on a piece of paper and place it in your pocket or wallet. Or make a note on your cell phone, or computer. As you do so, pray “Show me your ways, O Lord. I place this word close to my physical self today as a sign of my longing to follow your path.”

Lenten Ritual: 
Place a rock near where you enter/exit your home. It symbolizes those things in your life that keep you from living and acting the way Jesus wants you to (e.g. being rude or nasty, lying about something we did or did not do, taking something that doesn't belong to us, not helping others). Each day, you can hold the rock and think about something for which you would like to say sorry to God.  Close your reflection with “Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me.”

SCATTERED TO SERVE 
For your Lenten “almsgiving”, try setting aside a set amount of money each day for our water well project with Water to Thrive. If you put aside a quarter each day in Lent you’ll have more than $10 by the time it’s Easter; $1 per day is over $40.

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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