Advent – Philippians 4:4-7 – Let Your Gentleness Be Known to Everyone

Philippians 4:4-7

4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on your interior space.
  • Notice the gentleness within you.  
  • Where does it live in you?
  • What is the name of the gentleness that lives in you?
  • Embrace gentleness in you. 
  • Do others know gentleness?
  • How would you like to share gentleness with others?
  • Name any fear that comes with this invitation.
  • Pray for the Light in the Manger to guard your heart as you share gentleness with others.
  • Share the good news of this Advent season.  Gentleness brings peace that passes all understanding.
  • Give thanks to God for this time in seeking Gentleness and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 16, 2018, the Third Sunday of Advent (Year C)
Zephaniah 3:14-20
Isaiah 12:2-6
Philippians 4:4-7
Luke 3:7-18

(c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

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Advent – Canticle Isaiah 12:2-6 – I Will Trust and Not Be Afraid

Canticle Isaiah 12:2-6

2Surely God is my salvation;

I will trust, and will not be afraid,

for the LORD GOD is my strength and my might;

he has become my salvation.

3With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4And you will say in that day:

Give thanks to the LORD,

call on his name;

make known his deeds among the nations;

proclaim that his name isexalted.

5Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously;

let this be known in all the earth.

6Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion,

for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on your interior space.
  • Notice the well within you.
  • Describe the well.
  • What is the name of the well?
  • Embrace this well with in you. 
  • Return your focus to your interior space.
  • Name any fear you are experiencing.
  • Love this fear place in you.
  • Let the cool water of the well speak to fear.
  • Hear the good news of this Advent season.  Trust God and do not be afraid.
  • Give thanks to God for this time in seeking Trust and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 16, 2018, the Third Sunday of Advent (Year C)
Zephaniah 3:14-20
Isaiah 12:2-6
Philippians 4:4-7
Luke 3:7-18

(c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

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Advent: Zephaniah 3:14-20 – I Will Bring You Home

Zephaniah 3:14-20

14  Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
15  The LORD has taken away the judgments against you,
he has turned away your enemies.
The king of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
you shall fear disaster no more.
16  On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, O Zion;
do not let your hands grow weak.
17  The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing
18       as on a day of festival.
I will remove disaster from you,
so that you will not bear reproach for it.
19  I will deal with all your oppressors
at that time.
And I will save the lame
and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.
20  At that time I will bring you home,
at the time when I gather you;
for I will make you renowned and praised
among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
before your eyes, says the LORD.

Zephaniah 3:14-20

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on the inward voice.
  • Notice the wilderness part of you.  Where have you been dispersed from your home?
  • Embrace this wilderness part of you.  Name the pain and suffering you have experienced.
  • Love this wilderness place in you.
  • Read these words of good news to this wilderness place within you.
  • Hear the good news of this Advent season.  I will bring you home.
  • Savor this good news of Christ in the manger.
  • Give thanks to God for this time in seeking the Truth and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 16, 2018, the Third Sunday of Advent (Year C)
Zephaniah 3:14-20
Isaiah 12:2-6
Philippians 4:4-7
Luke 3:7-18

(c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

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Advent: Luke 3:1-6 – Prepare the Way of the Lord

Luke 3:1-6

1In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, 2during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, 4as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,

“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:

‘Prepare the way of the Lord,

make his paths straight.

5Every valley shall be filled,

and every mountain and hill shall be made low,

and the crooked shall be made straight,

and the rough ways made smooth;

6and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on the inward voice.
  • Seek the way of the Lord within you.
  • What new life/new creation lives within you?
  • Sit with this new life/new creation.
  • What new life/new creation is Christ calling you to share?
  • Who will receive this new life/new creation?
  • What is Christ’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in seeking the new life/new creation and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 9, 2018, the Second Sunday of Advent (Year C)
Malachi 3:1-4
Canticle of Luke 1:68-79
Philippians 1:3-11
Luke 3:1-6

(c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

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Advent: Philippians 1:3-11 – The Compassion and Love of Jesus

Philippians 1:3-11

3I thank my God every time I remember you, 4constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, 5because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. 6I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. 7It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. 9And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight 10to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, 11having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on the inward voice.
  • Seek the Compassion of the Jesus within you.
  • What Compassion lives within you?
  • Savor this Compassion.
  • What Compassion within you is Christ calling you to share?
  • Who will receive this Compassion?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in seeking Compassion and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 9, 2018, the Second Sunday of Advent (Year C)
Malachi 3:1-4
Canticle of Luke 1:68-79
Philippians 1:3-11
Luke 3:1-6

(c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

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Advent: The Tender Mercy of Our God: Canticle of Luke 1:68-79

68“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,

for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.

69He has raised up a mighty savior for us

in the house of his servant David,

70as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,

71that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of

all who hate us.

72Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,

and has remembered his holy covenant,

73the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,

to grant us 74that we, being rescued from the hands of our

enemies,

might serve him without fear, 75in holiness and righteousness

before him all our days.

76And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;

for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,

77to give knowledge of salvation to his people

by the forgiveness of their sins.

78By the tender mercy of our God,

the dawn from on high will break upon us,

79to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of

death,

to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on the inward voice.
  • Seek the tender mercy of our God within you.
  • What light of Christ lives within you?
  • Savor this light of Christ.
  • What light within you is Christ calling you to share?
  • Who will receive this light?
  • What is Christ’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in seeking the Truth and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 9, 2018, the Second Sunday of Advent (Year C)
Malachi 3:1-4
Canticle of Luke 1:68-79
Philippians 1:3-11
Luke 3:1-6

(c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

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Advent: Malachi 3:1-4 – Prepare the Way Before Me

MALACHI 3:1-41See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight — indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. 2But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; 3he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. 4Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on the inward voice.
  • Seek the truth of the Lord within you.
  • What word of Christ lives within you?
  • Savor this word of Christ.
  • What word of truth within you is Christ calling you to share?
  • Who will receive this word of truth?
  • What is Christ’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in seeking the Truth and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 9, 2018, the Second Sunday of Advent (Year C)
Malachi 3:1-4
Canticle of Luke 1:68-79
Philippians 1:3-11
Luke 3:1-6

(c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

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Advent – Luke 21:25-36 – Be alert at all times

Luke 21:25-36

25“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. 26People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. 28Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

29Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; 30as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. 31So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. 33Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

34“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, 35like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. 36Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before 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 connect with the breath, what signs do you see of Christ coming in the world?
  • What words of Christ never pass away?
  • How does the Word keep you on guard?
  • How does the Word keep the world on guard?
  • How does this prepare you to stand before the Son of Man?
  • 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, December 2, 2018, the First Sunday of Advent (Year C)

  • Jeremiah 33:14-16 
  • Psalm 25:1-10
  • 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
  • Luke 21:25-36

(c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

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Advent: 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 – May God strengthen your hearts in holiness

1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

9How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? 10Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.

11Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. 12And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. 13And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

  • 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 the breath opens your chest and your heart, consider those mentors who have loved you and supported you.
  • Consider those who would cross the miles to sit by your side, to pray for you, to accept that phone call in the middle of the night.
  • They are giving thanks for you always.
  • What strengthening of holiness in your heart do you need today?
  • Be held by these mentors and by God, knowing that your heart is safe and will be filled with love and caring.  For this is the promise of Advent as we await the coming of The Holy One once again.
  • Be held and loved.  Be humble and powerless.
  • Be open to the love of God showering 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, December 2, 2018, the First Sunday of Advent (Year C)

  • Jeremiah 33:14-16 
  • Psalm 25:1-10
  • 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
  • Luke 21:25-36

(c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

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Advent – Psalm 25:1-10 – Lead me in your truth and teach me

Psalm 25:1-10

1To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
2O my God, in you I trust;
do not let me be put to shame;
do not let my enemies exult over me.
3Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
4Make me to know your ways, O LORD;
teach me your paths.
5Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all day long.
6Be mindful of your mercy, O LORD, and of your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
7Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for your goodness’ sake, O LORD!
8Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
10All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.

  • 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.
  • Push back your shoulders, opening your chest.  Lift your chest as high as you can when you inhale.  Feel yourself lifting your soul to God.
  • Continue this exercise opening yourself, lifting your soul to God, and trusting God with your full being.
    Offer your sins and transgression to God whom you trust with your full being.
  • Feel the forgiveness and love showered upon you.
  • God leads and teaches the humble.
  • For those who are truly sorry, in the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.
  • On what path is God leading you today?
  • Are there temptations on the path?
  • How will God steer you away from temptation?
  • What instruction do you hear?
  • What do you need to let go to follow?
  • 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, December 2, 2018, the First Sunday of Advent (Year C)

  • Jeremiah 33:14-16 
  • Psalm 25:1-10
  • 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
  • Luke 21:25-36

(c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

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