G.I.F.T. 3-22-20

Growing In Faith Together  
March 22, 2020

1 Samuel 16:1-13 
Psalm 23 
Ephesians 5:8-14
John 9:1-41

The gospel for this Sunday is the story of the man born blind healed by Christ. I was blind, but now I see, declares the man. In baptism God opens our eyes to see the truth of who we are: God's beloved sons and daughters. As David was anointed king of Israel, in baptism God anoints our head with oil, and calls us to bear witness to the light of Christ in our daily lives.

Discuss in your household or small group: 
* The Pharisees say, “Surely, we are not blind, are we?” How does that reveal their attitudes about their spirituality? Have you ever had your “blindness” revealed to you?
* In what ways does Jesus give light to your life? 
* What do you think causes people to be blind to Jesus? How can we help them to see?

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 John 9:1-41
Monday Psalm 146:7c-10
Tuesday Isaiah 42:14-21
Wednesday Matthew 9:27-34
Thursday Psalm 130:1-4
Friday Ezekiel 37:1-14
Saturday Romans 8:6-11
Sunday John 11:1-45

Next Sunday: Ezekiel 37:1-14; Psalm 130; Romans 8:6-11; John 11:1-45

For the Week: Healing God, help me see the world through new eyes.

Throughout the Day: Guide me along right pathways, O Lord, my shepherd.

A Blessing to Share: May goodness and mercy follow you today.

For mealtime say responsively: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow us: we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

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. Amen.

Devotional Practice: 
Take a slow, reflective walk around the neighborhood where you live, where you work, or near Gloria Dei. What do you notice that you didn’t before? Consider the healing of the man born blind. What might it have been like to have your eyes opened?  If your eyes were newly opened to the neighborhood through which you walked, where would you see love and where would you see pain? Bring your thoughts to God in prayer.

Lenten Ritual:  
Try this at least 3 times a week: At the end of your day, take a few moments to review your day in the presence of God. 1) Ask to see your day with God’s eyes. 2) Give thanks for the gift of the day. 3) Review your day. 4) Face any mistakes you may have made and give them to God.  5) Look toward the day to come.

COVID 19 has given all of us “new eyes” for our world. We are much more connected than most of us have seen. We are more dependent on the others around us than most of us have seen. Another way to say that is that others are more connected and dependent on us than previously seen. 

Washing hands, staying home, checking on friends and family are ways be responsible for those who are counting on us. And so is supporting services for those who have much less than we do. I cannot imagine how Shelter House is managing this pandemic. I know that CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank have tried to continue their vital services while adding the precautions of social distancing and reducing the possibility of contamination for patrons and volunteers (including purchasing food in bulk rather than accepting in-kind donations at this time)

Both agencies – and so many more – need money to keep their work going. You don’t have to leave your house. You can donate online. You can send a check. You’re your favorite charity’s website and you will find information on how to do so. 
Here are the links for the two places I mentioned. 
CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank

Shelter House

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