G.I.F.T. 12-20-2020

Growing In Faith Together
December 20, 2020

TODAY’S TEXTS
2 Samuel 7:1-11
Luke 1:46b-55
Romans 16:25-27
Luke 1:26-38

GATHERED BY GRACE
God is active among humans. To Mary, to Paul, to David, assurance of God’s presence is clear. We join them in awe and wonder, rejoicing that God continues to give birth to grace, hope, and new possibilities.
Discuss in your household or small group:
* What extraordinary and grace-filled things have happened in your life?
* How is God calling you to sing new lyrics to Mary’s song?
* Many of us ask with Mary “how can this be?” How does questioning shape your faith?
* How has this unprecedented year changed your perspective on your faith? on Advent/Christmas? How are you keeping centered and focused on the coming of Jesus?


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 1:6-8, 19-28 
Dec 21 Luke 1:46b-55 
Dec 22 Hebrews 8:1-13
Dec 23 1 Samuel 2:1-10 
Dec 24 Luke 2:1-20 
Dec 25 John 1:1-14
Dec 26 Acts 6:8-7:2a, 51-60
Sunday Luke 2:22-40

NEXT SUNDAY: Isaiah 61:10-62:3; Psalm 148; Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 2:22-40

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week: Open my heart to receive your Son.

For Throughout the Day: Come now, Lord Jesus, come.

A Blessing to Share: Rejoice, God’s love is revealed.

For mealtime say: Our hearts are full of hope: The Christ Child is coming.

Advent Mealtime Prayer:
Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest;
And let these gifts to us be blest.
Guide us on the servant’s way;
lead us to your dawning day.

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION
Devotional Practice: Light four candles and pray: We light the candles of Hope, of Peace, of Joy, and of Love. The coming Lord is forever faithful. Christ’s love for us is never-ending. We praise the God who cares deeply for all creation. May we always share the love of Christ.

For Christmas Eve or Christmas Day: Light the four candles and the center Christ Candle and pray: Loving God, we are thankful that the waiting of Advent is over. We rejoice that our hope is fulfilled, and God’s peace has come to earth. We rejoice that today in the city of David a Savior is born. We rejoice that we can fully know God’s love in Jesus Christ. Help us to celebrate today and always that a Savior has been born to us.

Advent Ritual: Finish up your “Prayer Central” for this Advent season! What names of people and places that need prayer, or common themes such as hunger, peace, or healing have shown up through Advent? Be sure to include these concerns in your prayers this Christmas week. Encourage all members of the family to contribute prayers of concern, thanksgiving, and praise.

SCATTERED TO SERVE
Emmanuel, God-With-Us hears the cries of the poor and the sick. Do you know someone that is ill or lonely? Give them a call. Want to reach out to those in need? Donate a sleeping bag to the emergency homeless shelter. Take groceries to a food bank. There are many in economic pain this year. Find a charity and be as generous as you can be.

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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