G.I.F.T. 2-25-18

 Growing In Faith Together
 February 25, 2018

 Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 
 Psalm 22:23-31 
 Romans 4:13-25 
 Mark 8:31-38

 Jesus predicts his death. He calls all of his disciples, including us, to take up our cross and follow him. This is not just any kind of struggle, but costly participation in God’s kingdom unfolding in the world. The other readings liken us to Abraham and Sarah, who are called to have faith in the promises of God. From generation to generation, God is steadfast. No matter how many ages pass or how often we turn away, God remains faithful.

Discuss in your household or small group: 
* What does it mean to be in a covenant relationship with God?
* What promises do you think God has made to you? Are you ok with waiting awhile for that to happen?
*  If someone asked what it’s like to follow Jesus, what would you say?
* What is the hardest thing for you about following Christ?

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 8:31-38
Monday Psalm 105:1-6
Tuesday Hebrews 11:17-19
Wednesday Jeremiah 30:17-20
Thursday Psalm 19:7-10
Friday Exodus 19:9b-14
Saturday Exodus 19:21-25
Sunday John 2:13-22

Next Sunday: Exodus 20:1-17; Psalm 19; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25; John 2:13-22

For the Week: Strengthen me to follow your way. 

Throughout the Day:  Keep my mind on You, O Lord.

Blessing to Share: May God’s steadfast love be your traveling companion.

For mealtime say responsively: 
All the ends of the earth shall remember the Lord: and bow before God.

Lenten Mealtime Prayer: 
Blessed are you, O God, giver of all.
You fill our table and give us companions for our journey.
Strengthen us through this food we share and through the love we have for one another and you. Amen

Devotional Practice: 
When we pick up our cross, there is an automatic shift as we open our hands and spirits to lift the cross.  In order to make room to carry the cross, we put something else down, including hatred, anger, pride and other burdens. Draw a cross on a paper. In each quadrant, write something to let go so you can follow Christ more fully. Sit quietly with open hands on your lap and pray that God will help you let go.

Lenten Ritual: 
Place a rock near where you enter/exit your home. It symbolizes those things in your life that keep you from living and acting the way Jesus wants you to (e.g. being rude or nasty, lying about something we did or did not do, taking something that doesn't belong to us, not helping others). Each day, you can hold the rock and think about something for which you would like to say sorry to God.  Close your reflection with “Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me.”

The community of faith can offer support during difficult times of crisis, illness or grief. Pray for those listed in the prayer list of our bulletin this week. Write notes expressing care, and offering prayer support for one or more of those people listed. 

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