G.I.F.T. 8-16-20

 Growing In Faith Together
August 16, 2020
We pray for all those affected by the derecho

TODAY’S TEXTS 
Isaiah 56:1, 6-8 
Psalm 67 
Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32 
Matthew 15:10-28
GATHERED BY GRACE  In Isaiah, we hear that God's house shall be a house of prayer for all people and that God will gather the outcasts of Israel. The Canaanite woman in today's gospel is a Gentile, an outsider, who is unflinching in her request that Jesus heal her daughter. How might our church extend its mission to those on the margins of society?
Discuss in your household or small group: 
* Why would Isaiah 56:6-8 accompany verses 21-28 of this Gospel?
* Jesus consistently taught that his mission was to Israel. Why then did he respond to the Canaanite (Gentile) woman? What might that teach us about our own sense of mission?
* Why didn’t the woman “get the hint” and leave? 
* Take a moment to reflect on an act of mercy for which you cry out to Jesus. Do you expect him to respond?  Why or why not? 
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 15:10-28
Monday Acts 15:1-21
Tuesday Psalm 87:1-5
Wednesday Matthew 8:5-10
Thursday Psalm 138:4-8
Friday Isaiah 51:1-3
Saturday Ezekiel 36:33-36
Sunday Matthew 16:13-20
Next Sunday: Isaiah 51:1–6; Psalm 138; Romans 12:1–8; Matthew 16:13–20
PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week:  Let the peoples praise you, O God, let all the peoples praise you!
Throughout the Day:  Lord, have mercy on me!
Blessing to Share: May the light of God’s face shine upon you.
For mealtime say responsively: 
Be glad and sing for joy: God has blessed us!
Summer Mealtime Prayer:   
Thank you for the world so sweet.
Thank you for the food we eat.
Thank you for the birds that sing.
Thank you, God, for everything. Amen
FOR FURTHER REFLECTION  
Devotional Practice: God calls us to welcome even those we think don’t deserve it. Think about places you’ve visited in your life. What made you feel welcome? What made you feel not welcome? What does that say about your own treatment of others? Create a prayer based on this experience.
Summer Ritual: This summer is unlike any other. And school, in some form, will be starting soon. Pay attention to each day. In the midst of it all, we are still called to Love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves. At the end of the day take time to reflect on where you spent your time, what you did with it, and how you felt or experienced it. What things presently occupy your mind and heart? Thank God for the day.
SCATTERED TO SERVE 
A derecho. Didn’t expect that. How was your experience of the derecho last Monday? How are things in your neighborhood? 
It was a not so welcome, and certainly stressful distraction from the pandemic for a little bit. With schools, both UI and the public schools for children and youth, making preparations and announcing plans, COVID19 adds a new level of stress for this annual stressful time in our community. 
The texts for this week lift up God’s expansive love for all people. Be gentle with yourself and those you love, and be extra kind to people with whom you connect in person or on the phone.



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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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