G.I.F.T. 2-24-19

Growing In Faith Together
February 24, 2019

TODAY’S TEXTS 
Gen. 45:3-11, 15 
Ps 37:1-11, 39-40 
1 Cor 15:35-38,42-50 Luke 6:27-38

GATHERED BY GRACE 
Mercy. Mercy. Mercy. Joseph lives it in Egypt. Jesus preaches it in the gospel. The Spirit guides us into merciful lives with the power of forgiveness to reconcile what is divided. Such merciful living is the baptismal blessing of having put on Christ. It is the gift of the life-giving Spirit. It is a reflection of the glory of God revealed in the Christ.
- from Sundays and Seasons, Augsburg Fortress 2018

Discuss in your household or small group: 
* Psalm 37:1-9 tells us not to fret or seek vindication. When is that good advice and when isn’t it?
* How do you understand “Love your enemy”?
* What do you think of “the Golden Rule” as a practical guide to life?
* What differences do you see between judging a person’s character, a person’s behavior, or the practicality of some governmental policy? What judging was Jesus talking about? 

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 6:27-38
Monday Psalm 38:18-22
Tuesday 1 Corinthians 11:17-22
Wednesday Luke 17:1-4
Thursday Psalm 99
Friday Acts 10:1-8
Saturday Deuteronomy 9:15-24
Sunday Luke 9:28-36

Next Sunday: Exodus 34:29-35; Psalm 99; 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2; Luke 9:28-36

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week: May your love shape and shine through all my daily-living.

Throughout the Day: Let love guide my choices.

Blessing to Share: May God give you strength to love.

For mealtime, say responsively: 
 Commit your way to the Lord: And see what God will do.

Epiphany Mealtime Prayer:   
Christ our light, shine upon us.  
Refresh us by this meal 
to reflect your love to others.

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION  
Devotional Practice: 
Think about your understanding of the words “mercy” and “compassion”. Try creating an acrostic expressing your understanding.  Take a blank sheet of paper and write each word down the long edge. Now use each of the letters to begin a word or a short phrase which expresses what each word means to you. Reflect on how you can nurture these attributes in your life so that they become your response in situations of conflict. End your devotional time in prayer.

Epiphany Seasonal Ritual: Place a bowl of water in the center of your meal table. Take a few moments each day – perhaps at a meal, or the beginning or ending of the day - to remember your baptism.  Dip a finger in the water and sign the mark of the cross on your forehead.  Say these words: “Remember and be thankful – you are a baptized child of God, marked with the cross of Christ forever.”

SCATTERED TO SERVE 
Our loose change, noisy Offering is next Sunday. This month the money we collect will go toward building a water well in Ethiopia through the organization Water 2 Thrive. This will conclude the month-long emphasis in our Sunday School.
Bring your change!

If you live out of the area, look into organizations that focus on clean water for those without.

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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