Matthew 22:33-36 Praying with Art: Let us kill him and get his inheritance

Jesus Mafa




  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend five minutes in silence paying attention to the breath
  • Spend 3 to 5 minutes in meditation with this piece of art:
  • What draws your attention?
  • Stay with this image that draws your attention?
  • Is there a message for you in this image?
  • Allow yourself to enter the painting and walk around in the scene.
  • Seek your inheritance.
  • What do you see?
  • What do you hear?
  • Who/what is there?
  • Who/what is missing?
  • Is there a message for you in this encounter?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer with this piece of art and to recognize any new freedom you have experienced.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, October 2, 2011,  the Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Exodus 20: 1-4, 7-9, 12-20
Psalm 19: 1-14
Philippians 3:4b-14
Matthew 21:33-46
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Matthew 21:33-46 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone

Matthew 21:33-46

33 “Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. 34 When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. 35 But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. 37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, “They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.’ 39 So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.” 42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes’? 43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. 44 The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.” 45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. 46They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend 5 to 15 minutes in silent meditation using your deep breathing to guide you.
  • What image captures you in this parable?
  • Focus on this image.  Where are you in the image?  in/out? active/passive?
  • Where in this image do you see your inheritance?
  • Do you feel freedom or bondage around this inheritance?
  • Do you need to invite someone or something into the image?  or out of the image?
  • What is God’s message for you in this image?
  • Give thanks to God for grace your inheritance through Jesus Christ and for any new insights you have received today.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, October 2, 2011,  the Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Exodus 20: 1-4, 7-9, 12-20
Psalm 19: 1-14
Philippians 3:4b-14
Matthew 21:33-46
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Philippians 3:4b-14 Christ has made me his own

Philippians 3:4b-14

If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 7 Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11 if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend 5 to 15 minutes in silent meditation using your deep breathing to guide you.
  • As you meditate on the text today, consider the gain you have been given in  Christ Jesus.  What freedom did you find there?
  • Consider the loss you have been given in Christ Jesus.  Did you find freedom in the loss?
  • Is there something binding you from gain given in Christ Jesus?
  • Where is this bound in your body?
  • If you can identify a place, focus on this place.  Ask your body to let go of whatever is binding you to that you can accept that which is given in Christ Jesus.
  • Savor this time of unbinding.
  • Give thanks to God for freedom in gain and in loss and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, October 2, 2011,  the Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Exodus 20: 1-4, 7-9, 12-20
Psalm 19: 1-14
Philippians 3:4b-14
Matthew 21:33-46
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Psalm 19 Clear me from hidden faults

Psalm 19

1 The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. 2 Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. 3 There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; 4 yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun, 5 which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy, and like a strong man runs its course with joy. 6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and nothing is hid from its heat. 7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple; 8 the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes; 9 the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. 12 But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults. 13 Keep back your servant also from the insolent; do not let them have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend 5 to 15 minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the breath.
  • What are your desires?  Write them down if you wish.
  • What life to you see in these desires?
  • What are God’s desires for you?  Write them down next to your desires.
  • What life do you see in God’s desires for you?
  • Are there similarities and/or differences in these lists?
  • Where do your desires and God’s desires for you meet?
  • What message do you hear from God?
  • Give thanks to God for the desires you recognize and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share in the reply box below as you feel led.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, October 2, 2011,  the Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Exodus 20: 1-4, 7-9, 12-20
Psalm 19: 1-14
Philippians 3:4b-14
Matthew 21:33-46
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Exodus 20: 1-21 Moses approached the thick darkness where God was

Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20 (NRSV)

1 And God spoke all these words: 2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt,out of the land of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand [ generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments. 7 “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. 8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. 12″Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. 13 “You shall not murder. 14 “You shall not commit adultery. 15 “You shall not steal.16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. 17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” 18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear.They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” 21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darknesswhere God was.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend 5 to 15 minutes in silent meditation using your deep breathing to guide you.
  • As you consider the text today, notice where there is light around you.
  • Notice where there is darkness around you.
  • Notice God around you everywhere.
  • Approach the darkness.
  • Notice if you are walking with God into this darkness or if God is carrying you.
  • Stand at the threshold of darkness.
  • Bring the light with you as you walk through the door.
  • Focus on God’s presence in the darkness.
  • What message does God have for you?
  • Give thanks for God’s presence in darkness and light and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, October 2, 2011,  the Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Exodus 20: 1-4, 7-9, 12-20
Psalm 19: 1-14
Philippians 3:4b-14
Matthew 21:33-46
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Evangelism Sunday – Being witnesses for Christ

Call to Confession

We are a pilgrim people on a journey, deeper into the heart of God, But we stumble. We fall. Still God calls us to arise! Taking all that weighs us down And hinders us from following him., Jesus says, “Come unto me, all you who are heavy laden And I will give you rest for your soul.” You will run and not be weary, walk and not faint. Trusting in the mercies of the Lord, let us confess our shortcomings before God and one another that we might be relieved of all that gets in the way of walking in the freedom of love.

 

Confession of Sin

God of compassion, you created the world through your communion of love, but we prefer to be gods, living for ourselves. Our sin has misshapen the life you intend for us and twisted our world into pain. We damage creation. We hurt one another. We ignore the ache of others. We despair at our own undoing, and sin holds us tight in its teeth. But you, O Lord, unhinged the jaws of death, that we might know your eternal life now. So we beg you: free us from sin’s grip with your prevailing love, that we might be your witnesses, testifying to your eternal love in all we do. We ask this through Christ our Lord and for his glorious dominion. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon

Who is in a position to condemn?  Only Christ. And Christ was born for us, Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, for anyone who is in Christ is of the New Creation. The old is finished, gone! Behold! New life has begun. Friends, believe the good news: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven!

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend 5 to 15 minutes in meditation paying attention to the breath.
  • Let go of all things you are trying to control.
  • Imagine that God has unhinged the jaws of control upon you.
  • How is God calling you to be a witness?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Consider your faith community.
  • Let go of all things the faith community controls.
  • Imagine that God has unhinged the jaws of control upon your faith community.
  • How is God calling your faith community to be a witness?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for sending God’s son to overcome the jaws of death.  Give thanks to God for the gift of forgiveness.  Give thanks to God for any new insights you have received.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, September 25,  the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Exodus 17:1-7
Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16
Philippians 2:1-13
Matthew 21:23-32
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD.

Matthew 21:31 Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done

Matthew 21:31

 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” 

 

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend 5 to 15 minutes in silent meditation using your deep breathing to guide you.
  • Allow your mind to rest in beauty of the sky.  Let nothing of this world come between you and God.
  • Let go of questions you cannot answer.
  • Begin to repeat to yourself, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.”
  • Use these words to slow your breathing.
  • Allow these words to penetrate you.
  • Where do these words rest.
  • Is there a message in these words?
  • “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.”
  • What is missing from the earth that is in heaven?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • Give thanks for God’s presence and any  new insights you have received today.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, September 25,  the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Exodus 17:1-7
Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16
Philippians 2:1-13
Matthew 21:23-32
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD.

Philippians 2:5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus

Philippians 2:5

5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 

May the Mind of Christ My Savior

Lyricist Kate B. Wilkinson, 1925

May the mind of Christ, my Savior,
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and power controlling
All I do and say.

May the Word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
Only through His power.

May the peace of God my Father
Rule my life in everything,
That I may be calm to comfort
Sick and sorrowing.

May the love of Jesus fill me
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing,
This is victory.

May I run the race before me,
Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus
As I onward go.

May His beauty rest upon me,
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
Seeing only Him.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend 5 to 15 minutes in silent meditation using your deep breathing to guide you.
  • Allow the words of this hymn to sing in your heart.
  • It doesn’t matter if you don’t know the tune.  What tune to you feel in your heart.
  • Allow these lyrics and this tune to enter your mind.
  • What peace do you sense?  Take an inventory of this peace, so that you may call upon it again.
  • Do you have a verse of your own to add to these lyrics?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for Christ Jesus.  Give thanks to God for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, September 25,  the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Exodus 17:1-7
Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16
Philippians 2:1-13
Matthew 21:23-32
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD.

Matthew 21:23-32 Which one is doing the will of the father?

Matthew 21:23-32

23 When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24 Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, “From heaven,’ he will say to us, “Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, “Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 28″What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, “Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 He answered, “I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. 30 The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, “I go, sir’; but he did not go. 31Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend 5 to 15 minutes in silent meditation using your deep breathing to guide you.
  • As you pay attention to your breathing, let go of the responsibilities that are consuming you.
  • As you continue to pay attention to your deep breath, let go of the to do list you have today.  Allow yourself to be a blank slate.
  • Read the scripture again.
  • What do you believe?
  • What message is there for you in this belief?
  • Breath as you focus upon that message.
  • It there a call to action in the message?
  • As you go about your day, be reminded of the message you have received.  Allow God to be in the midst of your schedule today.
  • Give thanks to God for any new insights you have received today.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, September 25,  the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Exodus 17:1-7
Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16
Philippians 2:1-13
Matthew 21:23-32
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD.

Philippians 2:1-13 It is God who is at work in you

Philippians 2:1-13

1 If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2 make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. 5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend 5 to 15 minutes in silent meditation using your deep breathing to guide you.
  • Begin to set aside the cares of the world.  Allow the presence of God to shine inside you.
  • Set aside the cares of your home.  Allow the presence of God to grow inside you.
  • Set aside the cares of your day.  Allow the presence of God to spill out of you.
  • What do you notice spilling out?
  • How will God use you as God’s servant today?
  • Pay attention over the day to the ways God is spilling out of you.
  • What joy can you identify?
  • Where do you notice this in your body?
  • At the end of the day reflect on God’s presence in you and in the world.
  • Give thanks to God for being at work in you and in the world.  Give thanks to God for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, September 25,  the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Exodus 17:1-7
Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16
Philippians 2:1-13
Matthew 21:23-32
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD.