Now Is The Time Lent Study

G.I.F.T. 11-8-15

Growing In Faith Together  
November 8, 2015

Today’s Texts:
1 Kings 17:8-16
Psalm 146
Hebrews 9:24-28
Mark 12:38-44

You can read these texts at Oremus Bible Browser

 NOTE: If all these suggestions overwhelm you, just pick one to try out for the week. Maybe read the Bible texts; maybe use the meal prayer; maybe begin the seasonal ritual. This is a smorgasbord of possibilities. Taste what looks good today and leave the others for another day!   -PLZ

Gathered by Grace: In Hebrew, the word widow can mean “one who has no voice” or even “leftover piece”. Today’s lessons show that God has a different view. Jesus commends the poor widow who in his view gave far more than the major donors. She, like the widow of Zarephath who shares her last bit of food with Elijah, does something of great importance: trusts in God’s providence.

Discuss in your household or small group:
* What risks do these widows take? In what ways do their actions express trust in God?
* What risks do you need to take to trust in God?
* More & more scholars see Jesus in this story not praising the widow for donating her last penny; he is pointing to her as a specimen of the exploitation of the poor widows by the Jewish leaders. Where do you see this pattern played out today?
* What message do you take from these texts?

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 12:38-44          Thursday    Psalm 16:7-10
Monday   Deuteronomy 15:11  Friday      Hebrews 10:24-25
Tuesday  1 Timothy 5:1-8        Saturday    Mark 12:1-12
Wednesday Ruth 4:7-22          Sunday      Mark 13:1-8

NEXT SUNDAY: Daniel 12:1-3; Psalm 16; Hebrews 10:11-25; Mark 13:1-8

Memory verse:           The Lord cares for the stranger;
The Lord sustains the orphan and widow.
Psalm 146:9

Prayers for this Week:

For the Week: Help me let go. Take all that I own and all that I am

Throughout the Day: Open my heart so I might more freely give.

A Blessing to Share: May God open your hearts to abundant gifts.

For mealtime say responsively:
God gives justice to those who are oppressed:
The Lord gives food to those who hunger.

November Meal Prayer:  
To God who gives us daily bread
A thankful song we raise,
And pray the one who sends us food
Will fill our hearts with praise. Amen.

For further reflection: 

Devotional Practice:
Squeeze your hands together then open them. What does that feel like? How does the opening of your hands relate to these stories from scripture this week? During your devotional times this week, open and close your hands as you pray for Jesus to open your life to be more giving. Reflect on this quote: The point isn’t that every coin goes into the offering plate, but that every coin is an offering.

Fall Ritual:
Thanksgiving is near the end of this month – how is that gratitude journal coming? If you haven’t started yet, you can still begin. 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: 
  We give not so much because of others’ need to receive, but because we are called to give in response to all that God gives to us. Think about the areas of abundance in your life.
Decide on one food item or recreational activity (e.g. rental of DVDs or movie outing) to forgo this week.  Set aside the money saved to donate to the ELCA Hunger Fund.

Weekly Reflection on these texts at

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