G.I.F.T. 12-6-15 Advent 2

 Growing In Faith Together   
 December 6, 2015

 Today’s Texts: 
 Malachi 3:1-4
 Luke 1:68-79
 Philippians 1:3-11
 Luke 3:1-6

Gathered by Grace 
Forerunners and messengers advance the advent of our God. While John the Baptizer's voice in the wilderness may be the principal focus of the day, Malachi's prophesy could as easily herald the coming Lord Jesus as forerunner of the Lord of hosts.    
 -Sundays and Seasons, Augsburg Fortress 2012

Discuss in your household or small group: 
*  What does the "wilderness" look like today? What is God saying there?
* What does it mean to fill valleys and to make mountains low?
* What does the salvation of God look like personally? What does it look like globally? 
* “Each day, a Christian can, through words and actions, prepare the way for the Lord.” How can we do that?

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 3:1-6 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 3:7-18

NEXT SUNDAY: Zephaniah 3:14-20; Isaiah 12:2-6; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18

Memory verse: In the tender compassion of our God
            the dawn from on high shall break upon us. - Luke1:78
Prayers for this Week 

For the Week: Guide my feet into the way of peace.

Throughout the Day: Stir up my heart to prepare the way for you.

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

For mealtime say responsively: Prepare the way for the Lord: Make straight the paths before him.

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: 
Our hope and expectation, O Jesus, now appear; arise, O Sun so longed for, o’er this benighted sphere. With hearts and hands uplifted, we plead, O Lord, to see the day of earth’s redemption that sets your people free! Amen.                (ELW 244).

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 6: Send a thank you to someone who helped you.
December 7: Pay for the person behind you at the drive-thru.
December 8: Help someone at the grocery store retrieve something out of their reach or difficult for them.
December 9: Purchase a couple extra bags of pet food and bring to a local animal shelter.
December 10: Leave your change in the vending machine for the next person.
December 11: Let someone get ahead of you in line.
December 12: Practice patience.

Scattered to Serve 
Have you ever rung bells for the Salvation Army bucket brigade? Gather your family or a group of friends and volunteer for a couple of hours.  Singing carols as you ring makes the time go more quickly....and brings in more bucks!

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