G.I.F.T. 4-29-18

 Growing In Faith Together 

 Fifth Sunday of  Easter
 April 29, 2018

 TODAY’S TEXTS 
 Acts 8:26-40 
 Psalm 22:25-31 
 1 John 4:7-21 
 John 15:1-8


GATHERED BY GRACE 

Easter lasts for several more weeks and the meaning of the resurrection continues to unfold. Christ shares his life with us as vine shares life with the branches. The vine and the branches are alive in each other, in the mystery of mutual abiding. When we abide in God, we bear fruit of that love to others, exemplified in the welcome to the Ethiopian eunuch.

Discuss in your household or small group: 
* What does the image of the vine tell us about Jesus?
* Is pruning a positive or negative image for you?
* What unhealthy parts of your life need to be pruned back so your life can be lived more fully? 
* Read 1 John 4:16b. What does it mean to you that you abide in God? How does God abide in you? In Gloria Dei?
* What is the key message of this text?

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 15:1-8
Monday Galatians 5:16-26
Tuesday James 3:17-18
Wednesday John 14:18-21
Thursday Psalm 98:4-6
Friday Isaiah 42:5-9
Saturday Mark 10: 42-45
Sunday John 15:9-17

Next Sunday: Act 10:44-48; Psalm 98; 1 John 5:1-6; John 15:9-17

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK

For the Week: Nourish me with your compassion and prune me with your truth.

Throughout the Day:  Help me abide so I may bear fruit.

Blessing to Share: Abide in God’s love.

For mealtime say responsively: 
Alleluia! Christ is risen: Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Easter Season Mealtime Prayer:   
Blessing and glory and wisdom 
and thanksgiving and honor and power and might 
be to our God forever and ever! Amen!

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION  

Devotional Practice:  
Find a single white candle for your home this Easter season. Light it each day. Read Psalm 22:25-31. Say this prayer: 
May we abide and grown in our faith in Christ. Amen

Easter Season Ritual: 
Sometimes, we hardly believe that the tomb is empty. During this Easter season of 50 days, open your heart to the reality of the resurrection of Jesus. Start each day with “Christ is risen. Alleluia!” Pause throughout your day, while moving from one thing to another, to remember silently (or aloud) that Christ is risen indeed!  At the end of your day pray a word of thanks that even as we died with Jesus in our baptism, so also, we will rise with him in the resurrection.

SCATTERED TO SERVE 

When we are connected to Jesus, we produce spiritual fruit, such as justice, love, joy, and peace. What ways could you nurture the spirit of God’s love in your daily life? Take one step this week to act on that love and fruit.

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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