James 3:1-12 From the same mouth come blessing and curse

James 3:1-12

1Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle. 3If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies. 4Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits.

How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! 6And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, 8but no one can tame the tongue-a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. 10From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. 11Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? 12Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.

  • 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.
  • Let go of thoughts and commitments for this time in prayer.  Set them aside, write them down if needed so that you may be as fully present as you can be.
  • Allow the breath to reach all the extremities of your body including your tongue.
  • Allow the breath to cool you tongue.
  • Consider the words that have rolled over your tongue in the past few days.
  • What blessings have been spoken for God?
  • As you remember these blessings, notice if you feel lightness or heaviness; freedom or tension.
  • Do you feel in right relationship with God?
  • Allow your thoughts to go back to your tongue.
  • Consider the words that have rolled over your tongue in the past few days.
  • What curses have been spoken against those made in the likeness of God?
  • As you remember these curses, notice if you feel lightness or heaviness; freedom or tension
  • Do you feel in right relationship with God?
  • What to you need to let go or what do you need to embrace to move toward right relationship with God?
  • Do you hear a call to action from God?
  • 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, September 16, 2012, the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Proverbs 1:20-33
Psalm 19:1-14
James 3:1-12
Mark 8:27

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

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About Lil Smith

My simple life… is not simple at all. Yet it is so simple when I let God lead me. I have been married to Greg for 26 years and we have three wonderful children. My simple life is not simple at all. Yet it is so simple when I let God take control. I followed God’s call to begin seminary at Perkins School of Theology in January 2006. I graduated in May 2011. My life is not simple at all. Yet it is so simple when I listen for God’s call. I began the Degree in the Art of Spiritual Direction at San Francisco Theological Seminary in January 2009. I graduated in May 2011. My life is not simple at all. Yet it is so simple when I listen for God's call. I was ordained in the Presbyterian Church USA and spent three amazing years in Pastoral Ministry at Highland Springs Senior Living in Dallas, TX. My life is not simple at all. Yet it is so simple when I listen for God's call. My passion is the Christian Spiritual Life. As a spiritual director and retreat leader, I am so blessed to hear how God is at work in the world. How is God at work in your life?
This entry was posted in Blessing, Curse, Faith, Lectionary, Revised Common Lectionary, spiritual journey and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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