G.I.F.T. 9-6-15

 Growing In Faith Together   
 September 6th 2015   

 Today’s Texts: 
 Isaiah 35:4-7a 
 James 2:1-17 
 Psalm 146
 Mark 7:24-37

Gathered by Grace: 
The ability to group or categorize people and to pre-judge people based on that category or group is a very human thing. Both the Gospel and the book of James address this issue today. God’s grace extends to the rich and poor, to Gentile and Jew, and whatever other dichotomy we can come up with!  

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? What 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 Thursday Psalm 116:5-9
Monday Hebrews 11:29-12:2 Friday James 2:17-22
Tuesday Isaiah 38:16-19 Saturday Matthew 21:23-32
Wed         Matthew 17:14-20 Sunday Mark 8:27-38

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

Try to memorize this verse: 
Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God.
                                                                              Isaiah 35:4

Prayers for this Week

For the Week: Gracious God, expand my vision, and turn me toward all my neighbors. 

For Throughout the Day: Compassionate One, bring me close to your love every day.

A 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. 

Meal Prayer:           ABCDEFG thank you,
                                God for feeding me!

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. Do you act as if some people deserve more attention that others? How do you decide?  

Summer Ritual: 
If Labor Day is here, then summer over. Savor one more week! Start each morning with a simple prayer: Lord, show me something incredible. Amen. Then watch to see what the treasure is. When you find it, in your mind add a tag “Made by God”.

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. 

How to Find Us

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

Gathered by grace. Scattered for service.

123 E Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245