Luke 24:13-35 – Their eyes were opened

The Disciples of Emmaus by Jesus Mafa

Luke 24:13-35

13Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. 18Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” 19He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. 22Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. 24Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” 25Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” 27Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

28As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. 29But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 32They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” 33That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” 35Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Scan the past few days of your life.
  • What grief do you desire to bring with you as you walk with a friend and Christ today?
  • Let the grief flow as you cry with your companions.
  • Let the questions flow as you wonder with your companions.
  • Let the laments flow as you share with your companions.
  • Let the memories flood back as you remember with your companions.
  • Hear the words of a trusted friend as Christ teaches you again all that has transpired in his life as a gift for you.
  • Invite your companions for a meal.
  • What is it that Jesus reveals to you in the breaking of the bread?
  • What is your message 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, April 30, 2017, the Third Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19
1 Peter 1:17-23
Luke 24:13-35

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

1 Peter 1:17-23 – A lamb without defect or blemish

 1 Peter 1:17-23

17If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile. 18You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. 20He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake. 21Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God.

22Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. 23You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Inhale genuine mutual love.
  • Inhale genuine love.
  • Inhale genuine.
  • Inhale.
  • Notice the breath of genuine mutual love that connects us to God, the earth, and one another.
  • Notice the smell of genuine mutual love that connects us to God, the earth, and one another.
  • Notice the sound of genuine mutual love that connects us to God, the earth, and one another.
  • Notice the gaze of genuine mutual love that connects us to God, the earth, and one another.
  • How do you wish to love one another deeply from the heart?
  • What is your message 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, April 30, 2017, the Third Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19
1 Peter 1:17-23
Luke 24:13-35

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

Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19 – O Lord, I pray, save my life!

Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19

1   I love the LORD, because he has heard
my voice and my supplications.
2   Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
3   The snares of death encompassed me;
the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.
4   Then I called on the name of the LORD:
“O LORD, I pray, save my life!”

12  What shall I return to the LORD
for all his bounty to me?
13  I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the LORD,
14   I will pay my vows to the LORD
in the presence of all his people.
15   Precious in the sight of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
16  O LORD, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the child of your serving girl.
You have loosed my bonds.
17  I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice
and call on the name of the LORD.
18  I will pay my vows to the LORD
in the presence of all his people,
19  in the courts of the house of the LORD,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the LORD!

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • O Lord, I pray, save my life.
  • Recall the things that are threatening your life  today.
  • Hold them before you.
  • As you hold these things that take life from you, repeat a breath prayer:  inhale “O, Lord,” and exhale “Save my life.”
  • Repeat this prayer as you seek freedom the life-threatening things.
  • The Lord hears your voice and supplications.
  • What new life does God have for you today?
  • What is your message 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, April 30, 2017, the Third Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19
1 Peter 1:17-23
Luke 24:13-35

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

Acts 2:14a, 36-41 – Save yourselves from this corrupt generation

Acts 2:14a, 36-41

14aBut Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them,

36“Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

37Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 38Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” 40And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • As you consider Peter’s message for the Israelites, where do you see corruption in today’s generation?
  • The promise is for you, for your children, for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.
  • What is the message we need to hear again?
  • Why do we need to hear this again today?
  • Listen to the message that arises within you.
  • What words of compassion and love to you have to share with the world around you?
  • Who needs to hear this today?
  • What is your message 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, April 30, 2017, the Third Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19
1 Peter 1:17-23
Luke 24:13-35

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

Acts 2:14a, 22-32 – Listen to what I have to say

Acts 2:14a, 22-32

14aBut Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them,

22“You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know — 23this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. 24But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. 25For David says concerning him,
‘I saw the Lord always before me,
for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken;
26  therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
moreover my flesh will live in hope.
27  For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,
or let your Holy One experience corruption.
28  You have made known to me the ways of life;
you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’

29“Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne. 31Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying,
‘He was not abandoned to Hades,
nor did his flesh experience corruption.’
32This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • It is Easter Monday.  How is your breathing?
  • What new thing to you have to say about the resurrection today?
  • How do you wish to stand with Peter and the 11 as Peter tells the Easter story for the first time?
  • How do you hear with new ears again for the first time?
  • Sit with the Easter story again today.
  • What arises within you that you desire to confidently share with those you encounter today?
  • What is your message 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, April 23, 2017, the Second Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Acts 2:14a, 22-32
Psalm 16:1-11
1 Peter 1:3-9
John 20:19-31

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

The Resurrection of the Lord: John 20:1-18 – He is Risen!

John 20:1-18

1Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10Then the disciples returned to their homes.

11But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14When she had said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). 17Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.‘” 18Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • The tomb is empty.
  • Jesus Christ has been freed from the tomb.  He has been freed from death.  He is risen.  Alleluia!
  • How do you desire to embrace resurrection today?
  • Look again! Look through your grief to embrace Jesus before you.   Like Mary, you may need to hear Jesus call your name.
  • How do you desire to embrace resurrection today?
  • As you let the good news settle in you, how do you wish to embrace abundant love and life?
  • How will you serve the Risen Lord?
  • What is your message 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, April 16, 2017, the Resurrection of the Lord (Easter Day) (Year A)

John 20:1-18


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

Holy Saturday: Matthew 28:1-10 – A new hope

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  7 am to 6 pm

Matthew 28:1-10

1After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” 8So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Oh, this day of grief.  Can there really be joy?
  • How do you hold grief and joy together at the end of this Holy Saturday?
  • Is this a dream?  Or a vision?
  • Will I wake up tomorrow with the same good news?
  • It is a day to remember there is always hope.
  • Listen for hope today.
  • What is your message 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 Saturday, April 15, 2017, the Great Vigil of Easter (Year A)

Matthew 28:1-10


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

Holy Saturday: Romans 6:3-11 – A new baptism

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  7 am to 6 pm

Romans 6:3-11

3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7For whoever has died is freed from sin. 8But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Respond with Psalm 114:1-8

    1   When Israel went out from Egypt,
    the house of Jacob from a people of strange language,
    2   Judah became God’s sanctuary,
    Israel his dominion.

    3   The sea looked and fled;
    Jordan turned back.
    4   The mountains skipped like rams,
    the hills like lambs.

    5   Why is it, O sea, that you flee?
    O Jordan, that you turn back?
    6   O mountains, that you skip like rams?
    O hills, like lambs?

    7   Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the LORD,
    at the presence of the God of Jacob,
    8   who turns the rock into a pool of water,
    the flint into a spring of water.

  • It is a day to remember there is always hope.
  • Listen for hope today.
  • What is your message 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 Saturday, April 15, 2017, the Great Vigil of Easter (Year A)

Romans 6:3-11
Psalm 114:1-8


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

Holy Saturday: Genesis 1:1-2:4a – A new king

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  7 am to 6 pm

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.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Respond with Psalm 98:1-9

    1   O sing to the LORD a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things.
    His right hand and his holy arm
    have gained him victory.
    2   The LORD has made known his victory;
    he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
    3   He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
    to the house of Israel.
    All the ends of the earth have seen
    the victory of our God.

    4   Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;
    break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
    5   Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre,
    with the lyre and the sound of melody.
    6   With trumpets and the sound of the horn
    make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD.

    7   Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
    the world and those who live in it.
    8   Let the floods clap their hands;
    let the hills sing together for joy
    9   at the presence of the LORD, for he is coming
    to judge the earth.
    He will judge the world with righteousness,
    and the peoples with equity.

  • It is a day to remember there is always hope.
  • Listen for hope today.
  • What is your message 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 Saturday, April 15, 2017, the Great Vigil of Easter (Year A)

Zephaniah 3:14-20
Psalm 98:1-9

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

Holy Saturday: Ezekiel 37:1-14 – A new breath

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  7 am to 6 pm

Ezekiel 37:1-14

1The hand of the LORD came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” 4Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD.”

7So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

11Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ 12Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken and will act,” says the LORD.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Respond with Psalm 143:1-12

    1   Hear my prayer, O LORD;
    give ear to my supplications in your faithfulness;
    answer me in your righteousness.
    2   Do not enter into judgment with your servant,
    for no one living is righteous before you.

    3   For the enemy has pursued me,
    crushing my life to the ground,
    making me sit in darkness like those long dead.
    sup>4   Therefore my spirit faints within me;
    my heart within me is appalled.

    5   I remember the days of old,
    I think about all your deeds,
    I meditate on the works of your hands.
    6   I stretch out my hands to you;
    my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.                    Selah

    7   Answer me quickly, O LORD;
    my spirit fails.
    Do not hide your face from me,
    or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
    8   Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning,
    for in you I put my trust.
    Teach me the way I should go,
    for to you I lift up my soul.

    9   Save me, O LORD, from my enemies;
    I have fled to you for refuge.
    10  Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God.
    Let your good spirit lead me
    on a level path.

    11  For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life.
    In your righteousness bring me out of trouble.
    12  In your steadfast love cut off my enemies,
    and destroy all my adversaries,
    for I am your servant

  • It is a day to remember there is always hope.
  • Listen for hope today.
  • What is your message 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 Saturday, April 15, 2017, the Great Vigil of Easter (Year A)

Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 143:1-12


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