G.I.F.T. 3-31-19

Growing In Faith Together
March 31, 2019


TODAY’S TEXTS 
Joshua 5:9-12
Psalm 32 
2 Cor 5:16-21 
Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32


GATHERED BY GRACE 
"Happy are they whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose sin is put away!" Happy are those for whom the forgiveness of God has "rolled away . . . the disgrace" of former times. Happy are those who have "become the righteousness of God" in the merits of Christ Jesus. Happy is the father at the return of his son. Happy are we that our sins are forgiven for Jesus' sake.

Discuss in your household or small group: 
* Typically, the First Reading is chosen to illuminate the Gospel. What connections do you find between those two readings?
* How are the relationships in the Gospel story shaped by grace?
* How does grace affect the entire community in the story?
* Read the missing verses in the Gospel, 15:3-10. What theme ties these 3 stories together? What do they say about God?

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 15:1-3, 11-32
Monday Luke 9:10-17
Tuesday Leviticus 25:1-19
Wednesday Psalm 53
Thursday Psalm 126
Friday Isaiah 43:1-7
Saturday Isaiah 43:16-21
Sunday John 12:1-8
Next Sunday: Isaiah 43:16-21; Psalm 126; Philippians 3:4b-14; John 12:1-8

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week: Thank you for your super-extravagant love and forgiveness!  

Throughout the Day: Give me grace to practice forgiveness. 

Blessing to Share: God’s embraces you in love.

For mealtime say responsively: 
Be glad you righteous: Rejoice in the Lord!

Lenten Mealtime Prayer:   
Lord, we gather by your grace
Forgiven much, we seek your face
Fed with these gifts of yours so kind.
Lead us to love all whom we find.

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION  
Devotional Practice: 
Re-read Luke 15:11b-32. Reflect on the following questions throughout this week. One way in which I am like the younger son is . . . One way in which I am like the older son is . . . One way I am like the father….One way that I will respond to God’s extravagant grace and mercy to me is . . . One thing for which I need forgiveness or for which I need to forgive another is . . . End your thoughts with a prayer. 

Lenten Ritual:  
Keep concerns and people in your heart and before God this Lent.  Make a list of prayer topics and write each one onto a separate index card. You could also include copies of some traditional prayers. Place the cards into the box. At the start of each week, pull out one or two cards and place these on your fridge or notice board as your prayer topic for the week.

SCATTERED TO SERVE 
Approximately 95% of current prison inmates in Iowa will be reentering society.  The American Bar Association estimates that people returning to their communities after incarceration face nearly 40,000 different barriers to success. 

Learn about InsideOut Reentry, a community-based program, which supports people returning to Johnson County after incarceration. They offer tutoring, life skills classes, mentors, employment readiness, and assistance in finding housing. 

They are organizing a spring mentoring training program and are looking for volunteers. Call 319-338-7996 or check out their website for more information.

Don't live in the area? Find out what happens to people returning to your state or community after incarceration.

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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