G.I.F.T. 12-5-2021

Growing In Faith Together
December 5, 2021

Today’s Texts
Malachi 3:1-4
Luke 1:68-79
Philippians 1:3-11
Luke 3:1-6

GATHERED BY GRACE
Forerunners and messengers advance the advent of our God. While John the Baptizer's voice in the wilderness may be the principal focus of the day, Malachi's prophesy could as easily herald the coming Lord Jesus as forerunner of the Lord of hosts. -Sundays and Seasons, Augsburg Fortress 2012

Discuss in your household or small group:
* What does the "wilderness" look like today? What is God saying there?

* What does it mean to fill valleys and to make mountains low?

* What does the salvation of God look like personally? What does it look like globally?

* “Each day, a Christian can, through words and actions, prepare the way for the Lord.” How can we do that?

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 Luke 3:1-6
Monday Isaiah 11:1-5
Tuesday Acts 28:23-31
Wednesday Luke 7:31-35
Thursday Proverbs 8:1-5
Friday Exodus 6:2-7a
Saturday Isaiah 11:1-5,10
Sunday Luke 3:7-18

NEXT SUNDAY: Zephaniah 3:14-20; Isaiah 12:2-6; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week: Guide my feet into the way of peace.

Throughout the Day: Stir up my heart to prepare the way for you.

A Blessing to Share: All flesh shall see the salvation of God.

For Mealtime say responsively: Prepare the way for the Lord: Make straight the paths before him.

Advent Mealtime Prayer:
Come, Lord Jesus, be our Guest,
And let thy gifts to us be blessed.
Blest be God, who is our Bread.
May all the world be clothed and fed.

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION
Devotional Practice:
Our hope and expectation, O Jesus, now appear; arise, O Sun so longed for, o’er this benighted sphere. With hearts and hands uplifted, we plead, O Lord, to see the day of earth’s redemption that sets your people free! Amen. (ELW 244).

Advent Ritual:
Each morning in Advent read 1st Thessalonians 3:12: May the Lord make you abound in love for one another and for all. Then at some point it your day, abound in love! Here are some ideas: Send a thank you to someone who helped you; purchase a couple extra bags of pet food and bring to a local animal shelter; leave your change in the vending machine for the next person; let someone get ahead of you in line.

SCATTERED TO SERVE
No matter where you are, you can find a shelter for homeless people and that shelter usually has a list of items needed. Our local shelter adds a Winter Emergency Shelter for protection from the cold and snow during our midwestern months. They have an extensive list of needs including clothing (socks are a constant need), hygiene products (travel size shampoo is always useful), food and beverages (our winter shelter asks for individual items that can be prepared in microwave) and medical items (Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, cough drops, and band-aids). Put together a supply and drop it off at your nearest shelter.

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