G.I.F.T. 9-9-18

Growing In Faith Together 

September 9, 2018

TODAY’S TEXTS 
Isaiah 35:4-7a 
Psalm 146 
James 2:1-17
Mark 7:24-37

GATHERED BY GRACE 
James tells us to stop showing favoritism in the assembly yet Jesus seems to show partiality in his first response to the woman in today's gospel. Was he testing her faith or speaking from his human worldview? Either way, God shows no partiality.         -  From SundaysandSeasons.com, ©2011 Augsburg Fortress.

Discuss in your household or small group: 
* Why do you think Jesus was reluctant to heal this little girl? What is your reaction to Jesus’ words to the woman in the Gospel passage? Why do you think changed his mind?
* Who is “under the table” in your life? 
* Thinking of the lesson from James, to what degree do you consider yourself “rich” and to what degree “poor”? 
* In a world where material goods are distributed unfairly, what can Christians do?

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 7:24-37
Monday Hebrews 11:29-12:2
Tuesday Isaiah 38:16-19
Wednesday Matthew 17:14-20
Thursday Psalm 116:1-9
Friday James 2:17-22
Saturday Matthew 21:23-32
Sunday Mark 8:27-38

Next Sunday: Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 116:1-9; James 3:1-12; Mark 8:27-38 

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week: Gracious God, expand my vision. Turn me toward my neighbors.

Throughout the Day: Bring me close to your love every day.

Blessing to Share: Receive God’s abundant grace!

For mealtime say responsively: 
 The Lord opens the eyes of the blind: The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down.

Mealtime Prayer:   
      All here gathered, food from the land,
      all is gift from your gracious hand.
      feed us today; feed all who hunger;
      teach us to feed one another.

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION  
Devotional Practice: 
Our lessons would say that faithful Christians do not show partiality to the rich and powerful of the world, especially at the expense of the poor and weak. Spend time this week reflecting on your tendencies toward partiality. Have you ever acted as if some people deserve healing and help more than others? How do you decide?  End with a prayer.

Autumn Ritual: 
Keep a gratitude journal this fall. Each day, review your list and add one more thing. Think of how many things you will have by Thanksgiving! We tend to fixate on what's going wrong ? or might go wrong.  A gratitude journal helps re-direct our thinking to God’s many good gifts.

SCATTERED TO SERVE 
How well do you hear? 
Take the following hearing test. 
Respond to each with "Often," "Sometimes," or "Rarely." 

1) When a family member asks for my help, I immediately do whatever I can to be of assistance.
2) When I hear someone making insulting remarks about someone who is poor or different, I speak up on behalf of the one being insulted. 
3) When I hear about opportunities to serve the poor or the sick, I get involved in doing what needs to be done. 
4) When I hear on the news about someone or some group that is suffering, I pray for them. 

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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