G.I.F.T. 9-27-2020

Growing In Faith Together
September 27, 2020

TODAY’S TEXTS
Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32
Psalm 25:1-9
Philippians 2:1-13
Matthew 21:23-32

GATHERED BY GRACE
In the parable, Jesus invites us to choose between two sons when neither fully does the will of their father; we are all equally in need of God's grace. Ezekiel proclaims God's invitation, "Turn, then, and live". In Philippians, we are reminded of Jesus' act of grace on the cross. In response, we discover a vision of the day in which all creation speaks with a unified voice, declaring Jesus Christ is Lord.

Discuss in your household or small group:
* If Ezekiel were preaching to North American Christians today, what two “transgressions” would be at the top of his hit list?
* Paul advises humility; our culture urges self-assertion. Is there a necessary conflict there? If so, how do we handle it?
* How do you understand “work out your own salvation”? Or “God is at work in you”?
* In the past week, how have you been aware that “it is God who is at work in you”?


DAILY BIBLE READINGS
T
hese 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 21:23-32 
Monday Philippians 1:3-6 
Tuesday Psalm 28:6-9 
Wednesday Matthew 9:2-8 
Thursday Psalm 80:7-15 
Friday Isaiah 5:1-7 
Saturday Jeremiah 6:9-10 
Sunday Matthew 21:33-46 
Next Sunday: Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80:7-15; Philippians 3:4b-14; Matthew 21:33-46

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week: Let the same mind as in Christ Jesus be in me.

Throughout the Day: Show me your ways, O Lord.

Blessing to Share: May God grant you grace.

For mealtime say responsively: To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul: In you, O God, I trust.

Autumn Mealtime Prayer:
For food we eat, 
for clothes to wear, 
for nightly rest 
and daily care 
we thank you Loving God. Amen. 

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION
Devotional Practice: 
On several pieces of paper write this week’s prayer: Let the same mind as in Christ Jesus be in me. Place one near your door where you can see it as you go in and out during the day. Tuck another into your lunch, and/or your organizer, and/or the book you are reading and/or where you carry your cell phone. Each time you run into one of your reminder prayers, stop a moment and acknowledge it. What does it mean to live YOUR life with the mind of Christ?”

Autumn Ritual: 
As we watch leaves fluttering to the ground in the fall, we are reminded that nature's cycles are mirrored in our lives. Autumn is a time for letting go and to practice getting out of the way and letting Spirit take charge of our lives. Place a symbol of autumn – a leaf, an acorn – in your devotional area. Let it remind you to let go and let God.

SCATTERED TO SERVE
During this chaotic and tense cultural environment, we can bring God’s peace to others. Paint some Peace Rocks and put them around in your neighborhood. Find flat stones and give them a coat of non-toxic, craft paint. Let them dry. Paint words, phrases, or images on the rocks with paint pens or thin paint brushes. Use words or phrases of peace, love, joy, short scripture texts or other thoughts that hold special meaning to you. As you paint, think about what God’s peace would feel like or look like. Begin to imagine the possibilities of how these thoughts will promote like-minded thoughts to those who see or receive your Peace Rocks. This intention of love, peace, hope, joy will ripple out into the world. Once words are dry, use clear, acrylic spray for Peace Rocks that will be placed outside and exposed to the weather. Think of places around your neighborhood where your rocks might be noticed. Or give them to people who could use a touch of peace.











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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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