Isaiah 60 – Bring gold and frankincense

Gold-Frankincense-and-MyrrhIsaiah 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.

  • Light a candle to remember the presence of Christ with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • As you settle into your breath, consider your Advent experience this year.
  • What darkness did you identity?
  • What light does the coming of Christ again shine on the darkness?
  • Sit in this light.
  • Allow this light to be poured over you.
  • Allow this light to penetrate you and reach every inch of you.
  • Notice how the light beckons you to respond.
  • Allow this response to grow in you.
  • What gold and frankincense shall you bring to the Lord?
  • Look for the star to guide you to the Lord.
  • Listen for 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 6, 2013, the Epiphany of the Lord  (Year C)

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 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Luke 2:41-52 – Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor

jesus preaching in the temple 3 days without mary and josephLuke 2:41-52

41Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. 42And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. 43When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” 49He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50But they did not understand what he said to them. 51Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

52And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit ten to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • Let the breathing soothe you, calm you, comfort you.
  • Push back and down your shoulders allowing the breath to fill you fully.
  • Lift your chest as you lift your eyes to God.
  • Feel the love of God showered upon you.
  • Let a project come to mind that you have been growing and nurturing.
  • What anxiety do you carry around this project?
  • Allow God’s love to shine upon this anxiety.
  • Hear these words, “Why were you anxious? Did you not know that I must be in in the midst of this work.?”
  • What thoughts come to mind?
  • What do you notice in your body?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • How does your faith help you grow in wisdom and in years and in God’s favor?
  • 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 30, 2012, the First Sunday after Christmas (Year C)

1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26
Psalm 148
Colossians 3:12-17
Luke 2:41-52

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

Colossians 3:12-17 – Clothe yourselves with love…

mangerColossians 3:12-17

12As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

  • 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 inhale, breathe in compassion.  Let compassion reach every inch of you.
  • As you exhale let go of hatred.
  • As you inhale, breathe in kindness.  Let kindness shine forth from you.
  • As you exhale, let go of jealousy.
  • As you inhale, breathe in humility.  Be part of the world around you.
  • As you exhale, let go of arrogance.
  • As you inhale, breathe in meekness. Be open to the needs of others.
  • As you exhale, let go of the need to control.
  • As you inhale, breathe in patience.  Be open to God.
  • As you exhale, let go of the passing of time.
  • Allow yourself to be completely in this moment with God.
  • What do you need to bear with the world?
  • What does the world need to bear with you?
  • Where do you feel freedom and openness?
  • What help do you need from God?
  • 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 30, 2012, the First Sunday after Christmas (Year C)

1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26
Psalm 148
Colossians 3:12-17
Luke 2:41-52

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

Psalm 148 – Unmerited Joy!

angel announcesPsalm 148

1Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!

2Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his host!

3Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all you shining stars!

4Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!

5Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for he commanded and they were created.
6He established them forever and ever;
he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.

7Praise the Lord from the earth,
you sea monsters and all deeps,
8fire and hail, snow and frost,
stormy wind fulfilling his command!
9Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
10Wild animals and all cattle,
creeping things and flying birds!
11Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
12Young men and women alike,
old and young together!

13Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his glory is above earth and heaven.

14He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his faithful,
for the people of Israel who are close to him.

Praise the Lord!

  • Light a candle to remember the light of Christ with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • As you inhale, think “Praise.”
  • As you exhale, think “God.”
  • Praise……….God.
  • Praise…………..God.
  • Praise………………..God.
  • Allow your breathing to be full, slow, and intentional.
  • Praise…………………….God.
  • Praise God for hope.
  • Praise God for peace.
  • Praise God for all of creation.
  • Praise God for your neighbor.
  • Praise God for you.
  • Let every breath praise God.
  • Let all thoughts and words from your lips praise God.
  • Let God fill every part of you with joy.
  • Feel the Christmas joy in your praise.
  • Rejoice.
  • How does God want you to praise God today?
  • 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 30, 2012, the First Sunday after Christmas (Year C)

1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26
Psalm 148
Colossians 3:12-17
Luke 2:41-52

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

1 Samuel 2: 18-20, 26 – The boy Samuel continued to grow…

Samuelandeli_500_6111 Samuel 2:18-20, 26

18Samuel was ministering before the LORD, a boy wearing a linen ephod. 19His mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year, when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “May the LORD repay you with children by this woman for the gift that she made to the LORD”; and then they would return to their home.

26Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the LORD and with the people.

  • 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.
  • Breathe in the joy of Christmas.  Let go of any darkness that is trying to come back in.
  • Breathe in the peace of Christmas.  Let go of any tension that has hold of you.
  • Breathe in the love of Christmas.  Let go of anything keeping you from Christ.
  • Allow the Christmas joy to pour over you once again.
  • Sit in the Christmas joy.
  • Notice birth and new life again today.
  • Watch the birth and new life grow.
  • Watch the light grow as the news spreads around the earth.
  • How do you feel favor with God?
  • Is there anything keeping you from feeling favor with God?
  • Allow the Christmas love to nurture this place that needs to feel favor with God.
  • What do you need from God?
  • 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 30, 2012, the First Sunday after Christmas (Year C)

1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26
Psalm 148
Colossians 3:12-17
Luke 2:41-52

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


Luke 21:25-36 – Be alert at all times

DSCN1218Luke 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, 2012, the First Sunday of Advent (Year C)

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

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