G.I.F.T. 3-29-20

Growing In Faith Together
March 29, 2020


TODAY’S TEXTS
Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 130
Romans 8:6-11 
John 11:1-45

GATHERED BY GRACE 
The prophet Ezekiel is led to the site of a terrible battle. Bones lay scattered; death seems to have the final word. Jesus is led to the site of his dear friend’s grave. The people wonder why death was allowed. The witness of these Scriptures invites us to trust that there are no endings that stretch beyond God’s care. Paul writes that to live in Christ is to live with hope in the face of death.

Discuss in your household or small group: 
* When do your “dry bones” times occur? How do you feel?  What is needed to bring those bones together, to renew life?
* What do you think Martha and Mary were thinking, as they waited for Jesus to arrive?
* Imagine Jesus addressing you right now: “Come out of your tomb. Let me unbind you and set you free.” What would he be talking about in your life? 
* How could you help “unbind” someone this week?

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 John 11:1-45
Monday Psalm 143
Tuesday 2 Kings 4:18-37
Wednesday Ephesians 2:1-10
Thursday Psalm 31:9-16
Friday Philippians 1:21-30
Saturday Mark 10:32-34
Sunday Matthew 21:1-11

Next Sunday: Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31: 9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 21:1-11

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week: Breathe life into the dry bones of my life, O Spirit.

Throughout the Day: Unbind me and call me to life.

A Blessing to Share: May God’s breath fill you with life.

For mealtime say responsively: God speaks: New life arises.

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.

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION  
Devotional Practice: 
Choose a day this week to be very intentional about your breathing. Throughout the day, as you choose to be aware of your breath, be mindful of how God continually fills your being with life. At the end of the day, write a prayer to the God who gives you life.

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.

SCATTERED TO SERVE
People need to have symbols of life around us to remind us of hope. Look around outside. Here in Iowa, as winter starts coming to a close, you might see signs of new life like robin’s nest, a crocus or daffodil, or buds on a tree. Many of us in this time of COVID19, living in this state of physical distancing from others may be feeling parched (dry bones) or bound (grave cloths). First, do some self-care and find a symbol of hope or new life around you. Just stop and take that in for a few moments. You could then take a photo and share it with someone you know who is suffering in the isolation. Say a couple of words about what it meant to you. Pray that God will breathe new life into their souls this week.

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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