G.I.F.T. 3-25-18

 Growing In Faith Together 
 Palm Sunday

 TODAY’S TEXTS 
 Isaiah 50:4-9a
 Psalm 31:9-16
 Philippians 2:5-11 
 Mark 11:1-11

 GATHERED BY GRACE 
The last week of Jesus' life began with his triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  The crowd claims that Jesus comes in the name of (that is, under the authority of) YHWH and intends to reestablish the kingdom of David. "Hosanna" is a plea that means "save now". A colt suggests the paradox of a humble king. The other readings demonstrate humility lived out; Christ empties himself of divine power, willingly becoming vulnerable to those who put him to death. 

Discuss in your household or small group: 
How would you react to seeing a world leader on a donkey? What does Jesus’ choice of animal mean to you?
* Lent is almost over. Did you find yourself re-prioritizing your time or energy during Lent? What in your life threatens to undo those priorities?
* What changes can you make to keep your relationship with God a priority?

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 11:1-11
Monday Mark 14:3-9
Tuesday Mark 14:12-25
Wednesday Mark 14:32-42
Thursday Mark 14:53-65
Friday Mark 15:21-36
Saturday Matthew 27:55-66
Sunday Mark 16:1-8

Next Sunday: Acts 10:34-43; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Mark 16:1-8

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week: What wondrous love is this, O my soul!

Throughout the Day:  Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.  

Blessing to Share: Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.

For mealtime, say responsively: 
Let every tongue confess: Jesus Christ is Lord.

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: 
If we skip from Palm Sunday to Easter, without stopping to ponder the cross then we will have misunderstood the whole thing. Take some time each day during the coming week to reflect on the story of Jesus’ passion. You can find the daily readings above. We also will post them on the website and on Facebook each day with a reflection question or two. You could even share your thoughts and prayers on Facebook!  

Holy Week Ritual: Attend Holy Week services. 
Maundy Thursday 12:10 pm & 7:00 pm 
Good Friday 12:10 pm & 7:00 pm 
and join the Vigil on Saturday at 4 pm (casual dress).

SCATTERED TO SERVE 
During the meal Jesus got up, removed his outer garment, and wrapped a towel around his waist. He put some water into a large bowl. Then he began washing his disciples' feet and drying them with the towel he was wearing. 
 - John 13.3-5  
Foot washing was usually carried out by a servant. You can imagine the awkward silence as Jesus picks up the towel, pours the water and proceeds to wash and dry each pair of dirty feet. By washing his disciples’ feet, he is giving them a striking symbol to explain his death and how he wants them- and us - to live in response. 
Who can you find to serve this week? 
What simple act of kindness or service can you offer to others?

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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