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Week 3

 

 

 

Monday, March 8

 

Read:  Psalms 71:17-21  O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.  So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to all the generations to come. Your power and your righteousness, O God, reach the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you?

 

You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again.  You will increase my honor, and comfort me once again.

 

Consider:  The psalmist proclaims that for God, the old among us continue to hold a special place in God’s Kingdom, continue to be of value to the gathered community.   Many of our elder neighbors, some who sit in the pews with us, are suffering from lack of proper nutrition and are unable to provide food for themselves.  Most often, they suffer in silence.  How much thought do you give their plight?  What are some concrete steps that your congregation might do to address this reality? 

 

Pray:   For the 11% of the people served by the food bank network who are elderly. 

 

Action:  Make a gift of eleven cents.  Each percentage point represents thousands of our elder neighbors. 

 

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Tuesday, March 9

 

Read:  Leviticus 19:34  Treat the foreigner the same as a native. Love him like one of your own. Remember that you were once foreigners in Egypt. I am GOD, your God.

 

Consider:  In God’s Kingdom we are all brothers and sisters, aliens on a journey together.  We claim this truth, yet so often, turn away from those who look different, speak in a language unlike our own, or eat foods other than the foods we eat.  How does God see our journey?  How might we better embrace those whom we name “stranger?”

 

Pray:  For Manuel whose family shares an apartment with another family to save money. 

 

Action:  Make a gift of 35 cents, one nickel for each percentage point of the “strangers” among us. 

 

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Wednesday, March 10

 

Read:  Psalms 140:12-13    I know that you, GOD, are on the side of victims, that you care for the rights of the poor.  And I know that the righteous personally thank you, that good people are secure in your presence.

 

Consider:  Often, in our American culture, the worth of a person is valued by how well we pay our bills.  Thus, many who struggle mightily, working two and sometimes three jobs, are held in contempt because they lack the financial means to “make it.”  As Christians, what can we do to change this reality?  What can you do personally? 

 

Pray:  For Marie who works two jobs in order to have enough money to purchase food for her family. 

 

Action:  Provide an offering of 20 cents, one dime for each job that Marie works.

 

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Thursday, March 11

 

Read:  John 10:9-10  I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for--will freely go in and out, and find pasture.  A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.

 

Consider:  Jesus claims that he comes in order that the world might have life, and have it more abundantly.  Jesus was not simply talking about life in the sweet by and by.  Abundant life, life that is more and better than they ever dreamed, begins here, on earth as it is in heaven.  What can we do today so that a child  will have a more abundant life? 

 

Pray:  For the child who is 1 out of every 4 children at your local elementary school living in poverty. 

 

Action:  Provide a gift of 25 cents, a quarter for the quarter of impoverished children in our state. 

 

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Friday, March 12

 

Read: Psalms 72:1-4  A Solomon psalm. Give the gift of wise rule to the king, O God, the gift of just rule to the crown prince.  May he judge your people rightly, be honorable to your meek and lowly. Let the mountains give exuberant witness; shape the hills with the contours of right living. Please stand up for the poor, help the children of the needy, come down hard on the cruel tyrants.

 

Consider:  How hard it is to live the life of a statistic.  How can you humanize those little suffering ones around you? 

 

Pray:   For Mack, who is one of the over 1 million people in North Carolina living below the poverty level.

 

Action:  Make an offering of 50 cents, a refill of coffee, more than the cost of providing a meal for someone who is hungry.  (How many people in your state live below the poverty level?)

 

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Saturday, March 13

 

Read: Num 15:15-16  The community has the same rules for you and the foreigner living among you. This is the regular rule for future generations. You and the foreigner are the same before GOD. The same laws and regulations apply to both you and the foreigner who lives with you.

 

Consider:  Citizenship in God’s Kingdom is not restricted to one’s birth, one’s national perspective, or from which family one was bornGod continually makes claim on the life of the foreigner.  This is grace, for we are all foreigners.  Who in your community does not embrace the hungry foreigner?  How might you stand with the hungry foreigner?  How can you bring others to do the same? 

 

Pray:  For Saled who works at a fast food restaurant after school every day to help feed his younger brothers and sisters, serving food which he cannot afford to buy. 

 

Action:  Present a gift of 14 cents, one penny for each one thousand McDonalds in the U.S. 

 

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