G.I.F.T. 3-11-18

Growing In Faith Together  
March 11, 2018


TODAY’S TEXTS 
Numbers 21:4-9
Psalm 107 1-3, 17-22 
Ephesians 2:1-10 
John 3:14-21



GATHERED BY GRACE 
God is rich in mercy, bringing healing to our lives. The Old Testament promise in today’s reading is to Moses: those who look on the bronze serpent will live. In today's gospel Jesus says he will be lifted up on the cross like the serpent, so that those who look to him in faith will live. The psalm celebrates God’s steadfast love.
Discuss in your household or small group: 
* How do you understand God’s sending of the serpents?
* God does not take the serpents away but provides a means for healing. What does this add to your understanding of steadfast love? 
* How would you define grace? Think of three places where grace might be at work in the world or in your life today.
* In Diary of a Country Priest, the writer George Bernanos’ says “Grace is everywhere.” How have your experienced that? 

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 John 3:14-21
Monday Psalm 107:4-9
Tuesday Numbers 20:9-13
Wednesday John 8:12-20
Thursday Hebrews 4:14-5:4
Friday Psalm 51:10-12
Saturday Jeremiah 31:31-34
Sunday John 12:20-33

Next Sunday: Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 51:1-12; Hebrews 5:5-10; John 12:20-33

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week: Thank you for so loving the world that you sent your Son to save us.

Throughout the Day:  Keep my eyes on the cross.

Blessing to Share: May God’s steadfast love fill you.

For mealtime say responsively: 
Give thanks to God for God is good: God’s steadfast love endures for all time.

Lenten 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: 
Try to engage the news this week by creating a space to meet with God in the midst it. Quiet your heart. Read through a newspaper or online news service. What content captures you?  What issue tugs at your heart?  Do you feel angry or powerless or afraid?  Is there something you want to ignore completely?  Offer your reactions to God. Recognize that anger at injustice or brokenness can turn into self-righteousness and condemnation of others. Ask God for a heart that reflects God’s great love for the world. Choose a story and begin to pray. Place your concerns into God’s loving hands.

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 
To pray with God’s heart means to match prayers with action.  How can you move your prayer from the devotional practice above into your hands and feet and life?


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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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