G.I.F.T. 12-30-18

Growing In Faith Together   
December 30, 2018


TODAY’S TEXTS 
Jeremiah 31:15-17 
Psalm 124 
1 Peter 4:12-19 
Matthew 2:13-18

GATHERED BY GRACE 
As we celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas, our gospel today confronts us with the death of innocent children at the hands of Herod. The birth of Christ does not remove the power of evil from our world. And Christ eventually faces death at the hands of the powerful. Through the promise and hope given by Jesus we can to walk with all the "holy innocents" who have suffered and are presently suffering. 

Discuss in your household or small group: 
Bethlehem was a small town. The number of children killed was probably 20-30, a small number in comparison to the number suffering today through war, genocide, famine, human trafficking, and familial abuse. Why do you think this story was included in the story of Jesus’ birth? What message does it bring to you?
* What powers today are threatened by the coming of Christ?
* What within you does the coming of Christ threaten?

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 Matthew 2:13-18
Monday Psalm 20:1-4
Tuesday Luke 2: 21
Wednesday Psalm 147:12-20
Thursday Psalm 72
Friday Isaiah 6:1-5
Saturday John 1:10-18
Sunday Matthew 2:1-12
Next Sunday: Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12


PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week: Lord Jesus, I put my trust in you.  

Throughout the Day: Thank you for gift of Jesus, our Savior.

Blessing to Share: Go in peace. Christ is with you.

For mealtime say responsively: 
Our help is in the name of the Lord: The maker of heaven and earth.

Christmas Mealtime Prayer:
 Sing this to the tune of “Away in a Manger”
       Be present at our table, Lord.
       Be here and everywhere adored.
       These mercies bless and grant that we,
       May strengthened for Thy service be.                          

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION  
Prayer for New Year’s Eve: 
Stop for a moment on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day to give thanks for the past year and to ask for God’s blessing upon the year to come. 
Eternal God, you have placed us in a world of space and time, and through the events of our lives you bless us with your love. Grant that in the new year we may know your presence, see your love at work, and live in the light of the event that gives us joy forever—the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Christmas Ritual: 
Sing a Christmas carol each day through the twelve days of Christmas season. You might know the words, or look them up online! Don’t know the tune? It’ll be online too!
  December 31 – Sing “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” 
  January 1 – Sing “What Child is This”
  January 2 – Sing “Away in the Manger” 
  January 3 – Sing “Silent Night, Holy Night”
  January 4 – Sing “Angels from the Realms of Glory”
  January 5 – Sing “Your Little Ones Dear Lord”

SCATTERED TO SERVE 
Who has made a positive difference in your life this past year?  Take some time this week to write thank you notes to these people.  Say a prayer of thanks for them, asking God to bless and protect them in the year to come.

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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