G.I.F.T. 3-21-2021

Growing In Faith Together 
March 21. 2021

TODAY’S TEXTS
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 51:1-12
Hebrews 5:5-10
John 12:20-33

GATHERED BY GRACE
God promises Jeremiah that a "new covenant" will be made in the future written deep inside, on the very hearts of the people. The church sees this promise fulfilled in Christ, who draws all people to himself when he is lifted up on the cross. God's heart is most clearly seen in the way Jesus shares human suffering.

Discuss in your household or small group:
* What about God is written deep in your heart?
* What do you think Jesus wants us to know about God “in our hearts”?
* What does it mean for individuals that this covenant is with a community of people?
* What examples of 'dying and living' do you think of when you hear Jesus' words about the need for the seed to go into the earth and die? What have you experienced in your own life? What have you witnessed in the life of your community?

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 12:20-33
Monday Psalm 119:9-11
Tuesday Isaiah 44:1-4
Wednesday John 12:33-50
Thursday Psalm 118:26-29
Friday Jeremiah 33:1-9
Saturday Jeremiah 33:10-16
Sunday Mark 11:1-11

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

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week: Inscribe your law in my heart.

Throughout the Day: Keep my eyes on the cross.

Blessing to Share: May the Lord bless and keep you.

For mealtime say responsively:
Restore the joy of salvation: sustain me with your Spirit.

Lenten Mealtime Prayer:
Blessed are you, O God, giver of all.
You fill our table and
give us companions for our journey.
Strengthen us through this food we share and 
through the love we have for one another and you. Amen

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION
Devotional Practice: 
When Jesus was troubled, he prayed to God (John 12:27). Bring the broken-hearted, soul-troubled pieces of your life to God. Bring the broken-hearted, soul-troubled pieces of the world to God. As you breathe in, pray: “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” As you breathe out, pray: “Renew a right spirit within

Lenten Ritual: 
Place a rock near where you enter/exit your home. It symbolizes those things in your life that keep you from living and acting the way Jesus wants you to (e.g. being rude or nasty, lying about something we did or did not do, taking something that doesn't belong to us, not helping others). Each day, you can hold the rock and think about something for which you would like to say sorry to God. Close your reflection with “Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me.”

SCATTERED TO SERVE
Have you ever given blood? Every day, blood donors help patients of all ages: accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those battling cancer. In fact, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.
Gotten out of the habit during the pandemic?
Donor centers are safe environments where staff and donors are screened to be sure they are healthy and well and have not been exposed to the virus to be resent. Masking and social distancing in effect. Donors who have received the COVID-19 vaccination are eligible to donate ALL blood products with no deferral period.

Call one of these Iowa City Blood Centers for more information:
DeGowin Blood Center (319) 356-2058
Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (319) 358-7750

If you live out of the area, check for your community's blood bank.
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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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