G.I.F.T. 12-27-15 Christmas 1

  Growing In Faith Together   

  December 27, 2015

 Today’s Texts: 
1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26 
Psalm 148
Colossians 3:12-17
Luke 2:41-52

Gathered by Grace 
On the first Sunday of Christmas we find the boy Samuel and the boy Jesus, both in the temple, both growing in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and humankind. We too have returned to the house of God “to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God,” who has gifted us with a savior. As the festival continues, “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.” It is Christmas, still.                        
-Sundays and Seasons, Augsburg Fortress 2015

Discuss in your household or small group: 
* How do you imagine Jesus as a young child?
* Why do you suspect there are so few childhood stories about Jesus?  
* What do we learn about Jesus and his family, from the fact that they made this pilgrimage every year?
* Jesus stayed in the temple. Why do you think he wanted to be at the temple? Where do you like to talk about faith?
* What aspects of faith do you hold in your heart?

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 2:41-52                 ThursdayPsalm 147: 12-20
Monday Isaiah 54:1-13               Friday John 8:12-20
Tuesday 1 Corinthians 3:10-17 Saturday John 1:1-9
Wednesday James 3:13-18  Sunday John 1:10-18

NEXT SUNDAY: Jeremiah 31:7-14; Psalm 147:12-20; Ephesians 1:3-14; John 1:10-18

Memory verse: 
God is light and
in him there is no darkness at all.

1 John  1:5

Prayers for this Week

For the Week: Source of all wisdom, guide me in your ways.

Throughout the Day: Help me treasure your presence in my heart.

A Blessing to Share: May the word of Christ dwell in you richly. 

For mealtime say responsively: Let them praise the name of the Lord: God’s splendor is over all of the 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 
You can put away the Advent wreath, but keep out the Christmas candle, the Christ candle for the 12 days. It reminds us of the good news of God’s love that comes to us through Jesus. Light the Christ candle and pray: God, we thank you for the gift of Jesus. Amen

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

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