Mark 1:14-20 – Follow me and I will make you fish for people

MARK 1:14-20

14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

16As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea — for they were fishermen. 17And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” 18And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you begin to pay attention to your breath, allow the words “Follow me” to cover you.
  • Once you are completely covered with the words “Follow me”, breathe in the words “Follow me” allowing these words to fill you completely from the top of your head, to your fingertips to your toes.
  • As you continue to pay attention to the breath, how is God calling you to follow?
  • How will following God in this way make you fish for people?
  • What is the message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer, the breath, and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, January 21, 2018, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) 
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Psalm 62:5-12
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Mark 1:14-20

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings 
(c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

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Posted in Breathe, Disciples, Faith, Lectionary, Mark, Revised Common Lectionary | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

1 Corinthians 7:29-31- This world is passing away

1 CORINTHIANS 7:29-31

29I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, 30and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, 31and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • As you read the text, consider what in your life has become more important than your discipleship.
  • How has this affected your relationship with God?
  • What is binding you?
  • Offer this to God.
  • Invite God to free you from that which is binding you.
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, January 21, 2018, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) 
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Psalm 62:5-12
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Mark 1:14-20

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings 
(c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Posted in Apostle Paul, Faith, Hope, Humility, Lectionary, Love, Revised Common Lectionary, Wrestling | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 62 – Trust in God at all times

PSALM 62:5-12

5   For God alone my soul waits in silence, 
          for my hope is from him. 
6   He alone is my rock and my salvation, 
          my fortress; I shall not be shaken. 
7   On God rests my deliverance and my honor; 
          my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.

8   Trust in him at all times, O people; 
          pour out your heart before him; 
          God is a refuge for us.                              Selah

9   Those of low estate are but a breath, 
          those of high estate are a delusion; 
     in the balances they go up; 
          they are together lighter than a breath. 
10  Put no confidence in extortion, 
          and set no vain hopes on robbery; 
          if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.

11  Once God has spoken; 
          twice have I heard this: 
     that power belongs to God, 
12       and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord. 
     For you repay to all 
          according to their work.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • As you breathe, notice the hope in your breath.
  • Allow this hope to be carried by your breath throughout your body filling your lungs
  • Filling your arms down to your finger tips
  • Filling your abdomen
  • Down into your legs, your calves, to the tips of your toes.
  • Filling your head, whispering hope into your hears
  • Allow the breath to break the silence.
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • How does this message reflect God’s salvation?
  • Whose voice needs to be silenced so you can continue to hear God’s voice?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • Give thanks to God for this time with the breath and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, January 21, 2018, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) 
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Psalm 62:5-12
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Mark 1:14-20

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings 
(c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Posted in Breathe, Dwelling, Faith, Hope, Lectionary, Psalm, Revised Common Lectionary, Salvation | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jonah 3: 1-5, 10 – God changed.

JONAH 3:1-5, 10

1The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time, saying, 2“Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” 3So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. 4Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth.

10When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • What message is God asking you to proclaim that you have put off?
  • What obstacles are before you?
  • Who is waiting to hear God’s message through you?
  • What will change when this message is shared?
  • Begin your walk toward Nineveh.
  • How is God sustaining you on this journey.
  • Begin to proclaim God’s word.
  • Listen, respond, obey.
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, January 21, 2018, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) 
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Psalm 62:5-12
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Mark 1:14-20

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings 
(c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Posted in Faith, Forgiveness, jonah, Lectionary, Reconciliation, Redeemed, Revised Common Lectionary | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

John 1:43-51 – I saw you under the fig tree

JOHN 1:43-51

43The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” 46Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!”48Nathanael asked him, “Where did you come to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”50Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” 51And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • As you sit, imagine Jesus comes by, recognizes you and calls you to follow.
  • What is your response to Jesus?
  • As these words flow from you, what do you notice in your body?
  • Where do you feel freedom?  Where do you feel bondage?  Take notice of these.
  • Jesus replies to your response.  What does Jesus say?
  • As these words touch you, what do you feel?
  • What truth is spoken in these words?
  • What good comes from Nazareth?
  • How is God glorified in these words and in your response?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, January 14, 2018, the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) 
1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20)
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
John 1:43-51

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings 
(c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Posted in Gospel of John, Grace, Harvest, Hope, Hospitality, Lectionary, Revised Common Lectionary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1 Corinthians 6: Glorify God in your body

12“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13“Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,” and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. 15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, “The two shall be one flesh.” 17But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself. 19Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • Pay attention to your body as you breath.
  • What tension do you feel?
  • Send the breath to this place of tension, inviting the tension to leave your body.  Continue to send the breath to this place until you feel freedom from the tension.
  • Name the freedom you feel?
  • Allow the breath to carry this freedom through your body.
  • Where does the freedom flow?
  • Where is the Holy Spirit in this freedom?
  • What is the Holy Spirit building in the temple within you?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer, reflecting upon the temple of the Holy Spirit within you.  Give thanks for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, January 14, 2018, the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) 
1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20)
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
John 1:43-51

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings 
(c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Posted in 1 Corinthians, Anointing, Blessing, Community, Hope, Humility, Lectionary, Patience, Peace, Perseverance, Potter, Revised Common Lectionary, Transformation, Water | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 139 – Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

PSALM 139:1-6,13-18

1   O LORD, you have searched me and known me.
2   You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
3   You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4   Even before a word is on my tongue,
O LORD, you know it completely.
5   You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6   Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.

13  For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
15       My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16  Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
all the days that were formed for me,
when none of them as yet existed.
17  How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18  I try to count them — they are more than the sand;
I come to the end — I am still with you.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • What word or phrase captures your attention?
  • In your life how does this word or phrase reflect God’s creation of you?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Reflect upon this message as you consider the word of phrase that captures you.
  • Read the Psalm one more time.
  • Is there a call to action?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have gained.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, January 14, 2018, the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) 
1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20)
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
John 1:43-51

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings 
(c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Posted in Art, Beloved, Healing, Lectionary, Love, Prayer, Psalm, Redeemed, Rejoice, Revised Common Lectionary | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1 Samuel 3 – Your Servant Is Listening

1 SAMUEL 3:1-10 (11-20)

1Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.

2At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; 3the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!” 5and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. 6The Lord called again, “Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 7Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. 8The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. 9Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 11Then the Lord said to Samuel, “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle. 12On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13For I have told him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. 14Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be expiated by sacrifice or offering forever.”

15Samuel lay there until morning; then he opened the doors of the house of the Lord. Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. 16But Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” He said, “Here I am.” 17Eli said, “What was it that he told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also, if you hide anything from me of all that he told you.” 18So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. Then he said, “It is the Lord; let him do what seems good to him.”

19As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20And all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was a trustworthy prophet of the Lord.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • God is calling your name.  What name do you hear?
  • When you hear God call your name, what feelings arise?  What senses do you notice?
  • How do you respond?
  • Pray that you are hearing God’s call correctly.
  • Do your desires match God’s desires for you?
  • Hear yourself say, “Here I am, LORD!”
  • How are you ready to respond to God’s call?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below?

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, January 14, 2018, the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) 
1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20)
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
John 1:43-51

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings 
(c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Posted in Creation, Discernment, Draw Near, Hope, Humility, Lectionary, Light, Peace, Revised Common Lectionary, Samuel, Truth | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Epiphany- The Magi Matter

FIRST READING ISAIAH 60:1-6

1   Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
2   For darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the LORD will arise upon you,
and his glory will appear over you.
3   Nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

4   Lift up your eyes and look around;
they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away,
and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms.
5   Then you shall see and be radiant;
your heart shall thrill and rejoice,
because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you,
the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
6   A multitude of camels shall cover you,
the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD.

PSALM PSALM 72:1-7, 10-14

1   Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to a king’s son.
2   May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice.
3   May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness.
4   May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the needy,
and crush the oppressor.
5   May he live while the sun endures,
and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
6   May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth.
7   In his days may righteousness flourish
and peace abound, until the moon is no more.

10  May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles
render him tribute,
may the kings of Sheba and Seba
bring gifts.
11  May all kings fall down before him,
all nations give him service.

12  For he delivers the needy when they call,
the poor and those who have no helper.
13  He has pity on the weak and the needy,
and saves the lives of the needy.
14  From oppression and violence he redeems their life;
and precious is their blood in his sight.

SECOND READING EPHESIANS 3:1-12

1This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles — 2for surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given me for you, 3and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, 4a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. 5In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: 6that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

7Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given me by the working of his power. 8Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, 9and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; 10so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him.

GOSPEL MATTHEW 2:1-12

1In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” 3When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:
6   ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”

7Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” 9When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • You are on a journey to Christ.
  • How far will you travel to get there?
  • You are on a journey for Christ.
  • What grace has been given to you to redeem you?
  • You are on a journey with Christ.
  • What mercy is shown to sustain you?
  • What gifts to you bring for the Christ child?
  • What obstacles do you encounter on the way?
  • How do you overcome the obstacles?
  • What is waiting for you when you arrive?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in journey to the manger and for any new insights that have been revealed.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Saturday, January 6, 2018, the Epiphany of the Lord  (Year B) 
Isaiah 60:1-6
Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14
Ephesians 3:1-12
Matthew 2:1-12

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings 
(c) 2017 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD


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Mark 1:4-11 – The Spirit descended like a dove

Baptism by Jim Janknegt. Used with permission.

MARK 1:4-11

4John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

9In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.11And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • What is hovering over you like a dove landing on its nest?
  • What sound do you hear?
  • What do you feel?
  • What voice do you hear?
  • How do you encounter God in this noise?
  • How do you encounter God in your senses?
  • How do you hear God?
  • Hear these words from God: “With you I am well pleased.”
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below?

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, January 7, 2018, the Baptism of the Lord  (Year B) 
Genesis 1:1-5
Psalm 29:1-11
Acts 19:1-7
Mark 1:4-11

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings 
(c) 2017 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Posted in Creation, Hope, Humility, Lectionary, Light, Mark, Revised Common Lectionary | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment