G.I.F.T. 12-13-15 Advent 3

 Growing In Faith Together   

 December 13, 2015

Today’s Texts: 
 Zephaniah 3:14-20
 Isaiah 12:2-6
 Philippians 4:4-7 
 Luke 3:7-18

Gathered by Grace 
The presence of the Lord "in your midst" is cause for singing. The nearness of the Lord in prayer, in every circumstance, is cause for rejoicing. The coming of one "more powerful" than John, even with his winnowing fork in his hand, is good news--and cause for exultation--for us who are being saved.
 -Sundays and Seasons, Augsburg Fortress 2008

Discuss in your household or small group: 
*  How does John the Baptist help you to prepare for this Christmas?
* Jesus is coming to “clear his threshing-floor and …to burn chaff with unquenchable fire.” What parts of your life could use some burning?
* How can Paul’s word, “Do not worry” help us at this busy season? How do you working keep your ultimate focus on the coming of Christ?
* Advent is a season of expectation. What are you expecting from God in your life?

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 Luke 3:7-18 Thursday      Proverbs 8:1-5
Monday Isaiah 11:1-5 Friday      Exodus 6:2-7a
Tuesday Acts 28:23-31 Saturday       Isaiah 11:1-5,10
Wednesday Luke 7:31-35 Sunday      Luke 1:39-45

NEXT SUNDAY: Micah 5:2-5a; Luke 1:46b-55; Hebrews 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-45

Memory verse:             Rejoice in the Lord always;
again I will say, Rejoice.
- Philippians 4:4

Prayers for this Week

For the Week: Stir up my will, Lord God.

Throughout the Day: May the peace that surpasses understanding guard my heart in Christ Jesus. Amen

A Blessing to Share: All flesh shall see the salvation of God.

For mealtime say responsively: Shout aloud and sing for joy: The Holy One is in our midst.

Advent Mealtime Prayer:
Come, Lord Jesus, be our Guest,
And let thy gifts to us be blessed.
Blest be God, who is our Bread.
May all the world be clothed and fed.

For further reflection  

Devotional Practice 
O come, O Dayspring, come and cheer; O sun of justice now draw near. Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadow put to flight.  (ELW 257).

Advent  Ritual
Each morning in Advent read 1st Thessalonians 3:12: May the Lord make you abound in love for one another and for all. Then at some point it your day, abound in love!  Here are some ideas:
December 13: Instead of just thinking it, compliment someone.
December 14: Ask “how are you?”  And mean it.  And listen.
December 15: Help someone do a task they don’t want to do.
December 16: Give something awesome away on craigslist.
December 17: Return a shopping cart for a stranger in the parking lot.
December 18: Pick up litter.
December 19: Fill an expired or about-to-expire parking meter.

Scattered to serve  
Challenge each member of your family to fill a box or bag full of items to give away - gently used clothing, toys, housewares, accessories, etc. Take your box or bag to a Stuff consignment shop and tell them you want it to go on the “SHELTER HOUSE” account. The money raised will support the many services Shelter House offers

Weekly Reflection on these texts at gatheredbygrace.org

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