G.I.F.T. 1-5-20

Growing In Faith Together  
January 5, 2019

TODAY’S TEXTS 
Isaiah 60:1-6
Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14 
Ephesians 3:1-12
Matthew 2:1-12

GATHERED BY GRACE 
On this day we celebrate the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles —that is, to all nations. The word and sacraments are for us the great epiphany of God's grace and mercy. We go forth to witness to the light that shines brightly in our midst.
Discuss in your household or small group: 
* What was the best gift you received this Christmas?  Why?  What was the gift you most enjoyed giving?
* The Wise Men gave gifts of gold, incense and myrrh (a type of tree sap used as an ointment) to young Jesus.  What gifts would you have given?
* A star in the sky led the Wise Men to Jesus.  How can we be like “stars”, showing others the way to him?

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 Matthew 2:1-12
Monday Psalm 72:10-14
Tuesday Ephesians 3:14-21
Wednesday Ephesians 4:7, 11-16
Thursday Psalm 29
Friday Acts 9:11-19a
Saturday Acts 9:19b-31
Sunday Matthew 3:13-17

Next Sunday: Isaiah 42:1-9; Psalm 29; Acts 10:34-43; Matthew 3:13-17

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week: Make my life a bright star, showing others the way to you.

Throughout the Day: May I always seek Jesus.

Blessing to Share: May the Lord’s face shine upon you and give you peace.

For mealtime say responsively: 
Let us stand up and shine, for our light has come: God’s glory has risen upon us.

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

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION  
Devotional Prayer:  This day and this season celebrates Jesus’ revelation to us as the Light of the World.  The Wise Men followed a star to find the Christ child. Think about ways in which we can be “stars” for Jesus, pointing others to him.  Pray for God’s help to shine as lights for him.

Epiphany Ritual: An annual blessing of homes is associated with Epiphany.  Prepare a mixture of perfumed water (symbolizing the gifts of the wise men), gather a piece of chalk, and light a candle to symbolize Christ.  Go from room to room.  Sprinkle each room with the water and say these words: “Bless this room and all that takes place here (name ways in which the room is used). Light this room and our lives with your presence. Amen.”  
When you have gone all through your home, write this inscription above your entrance door in chalk:
 “20 + C + M + B + 20”.  
The letters C, M and B stand for Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, the names traditionally given to the wise men, and for Christus Mansionem Benedicat, which is Latin for "Christ, bless this home."  20 + 20 is the year. The inscription usually stays there until Pentecost.

SCATTERED TO SERVE 
Going back to the routine after the holidays is tough on everyone. This is a good week to practice some of those “random acts of kindness” to family, friends, and others with whom we come in contact. 

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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