Luke 4:21-30 – Driven Out of Town

Luke 4:21-30

21Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” 23He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.'” 24And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. 25But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; 26yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. 30But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Let you focus shift to a time you spoke the truth in love, yet you were “driven out of town.”
  • Where do you feel rejection/abandonment in you?
  • Let you focus go here and welcome these uncomfortable feelings.
  • What do these feelings need to say?
  • Imagine Jesus sitting next to you. Invite Jesus into dialogue.
  • Holy Love understands your pain.
  • Invite healing and forgiveness.
  • How do you respond with Holy Love?
  • 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, February 3, 2019, the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Jeremiah 1:4-10
Psalm 71:1-6
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Luke 4:21-30

(c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 – Holy Love Wants Your Full Attention

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

1If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Let you focus shift to Holy Love.
  • Without Holy Love, you are nothing.
  • Notice how Holy Love is present to you.
  • Holy Love is patient.
  • Holy Love is kind.
  • Holy Love is gentle.
  • Holy Love is joy.
  • Holy Love is faithful.
  • Holy Love is peace.
  • Holy Love wants your full attention.
  • What do you need to let go to embrace Holy Love more fully?
  • 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, February 3, 2019, the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Jeremiah 1:4-10
Psalm 71:1-6
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Luke 4:21-30

(c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

Psalm 71:1-6 – You Are My Hope

Psalm 71:1-6

1In you, O LORD, I take refuge;

let me never be put to shame.

2In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;

incline your ear to me and save me.

3Be to me a rock of refuge,

a strong fortress, to save me,

for you are my rock and my fortress.

4Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,

from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.

5For you, O Lord, are my hope,

my trust, O LORD, from my youth.

6Upon you I have leaned from my birth;

it was you who took me from my mother’s womb.

My praise is continually of you.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Let you focus shift to a situation in which you are ungrounded.
  • Set your feet on the floor, supported in a chair. Feel the chair hold you.
  • Notice how your feet desire to become grounded to the floor or in the earth.
  • Let this energy flow up through your body as you invite God’s refuge and strength to bring you grounding energy and courage.
  • Speak these words, In you, Lord, I take refuge.
  • Deliver me.
  • Rescue me.
  • Incline your ear to me.
  • Save me.
  • Be my rock.
  • Be my hope.
  • Be my trust.
  • Today, I will live for you and in you and praise you continually.
  • 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, February 3, 2019, the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Jeremiah 1:4-10
Psalm 71:1-6
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Luke 4:21-30

(c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

Jeremiah 1:4-10 – I Do Not Know How to Speak

4Now the word of the LORD came to me saying,

5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

and before you were born I consecrated you;

I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

6Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” 7But the LORD said to me,

“Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’;

for you shall go to all to whom I send you,

and you shall speak whatever I command you,

8Do not be afraid of them,

for I am with you to deliver you,

says the LORD.”

9Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the LORD said to me,

“Now I have put my words in your mouth.

10See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms,

to pluck up and to pull down,

to destroy and to overthrow,

to build and to plant.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Let you focus shift to a situation in which you do not know how to speak or respond.
  • Seek freedom from your reaction, your fear, your anger, your anxiety.
  • Sit in freedom and invite God to speak to you.
  • Hear these words, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I consecrated you. I anointed you.”
  • Invite God to give you the words to speak.
  • God’s words lead to fruit of the Spirit. If they are words that tear down or hurt others, keep seeking for the words that lead to the fruit of the Spirit.
  • Receive these words, and feel God place them on your lips.
  • 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, February 3, 2019, the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Jeremiah 1:4-10
Psalm 71:1-6
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Luke 4:21-30

(c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

Luke 4:14-21 – The Spirit of the Lord Is Upon Me

Luke 4:14-21

14Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

16When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: 18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Focus on each phrase of the scripture as Jesus reads it to you today. Listen deeply for an invitation in each message:
    • The Spirit of the Lord is upon me [pause and listen]
    • Because he has anointed me [pause and listen]
    • To bring good news to the poor [pause and listen]
    • He has sent me [pause and listen]
    • To proclaim release to the captives [pause and listen]
    • To recovery of sight to the blind [pause and listen]
    • To let the oppressed go free [pause and listen]
    • To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor [pause and listen]
  • Which statement captures your attention the most 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, January 27, 2019, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Psalm 19
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Luke 4:14-21

(c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

1 Corinthians 12:12-31a – Members that Seem Weaker Are Indispensable

1 Corinthians 12:12-31a

12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — Jews or Greeks, slaves or free — and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

14Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15If the foot would say,”Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many members, yet one body. 21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; 24whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, 25that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.

27Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31But strive for the greater gifts.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Do a scan of your body.
  • Notice the parts of your body that are weaker and need your attention.
  • Tell each part that is weak, “I love you, and I need you.”
  • Be grateful for your body.
  • Expand your focus to your community.
  • Tell each part that is weak, “I love you, and I need you.”
  • Be grateful for your community.
  • 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, January 27, 2019, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Psalm 19
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Luke 4:14-21

(c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

Nehemiah 8: The Joy of the Lord Is Your Strength

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10

1all the people gathered together into the square before the Water Gate. They told the scribe Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had given to Israel. 2Accordingly, the priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding. This was on the first day of the seventh month. 3He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law.

5And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. 6Then Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. Then they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

8So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

9And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. 10Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our LORD; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Lift your face to the light. Bow down and worship. Prostrate your body, if you desire.
  • Imaging hearing hold words read aloud from the Book of the Law of Moses for the first time in many months.
  • Feel the dryness and hunger beginning to fall away.
  • Are there tears longing for release from the wilderness?
  • Are there tears anticipating the feast?
  • Imagine gathering to celebrate and feast together, glorifying God.
  • Let go of anything that is keeping you from embracing joy and strength in God.
  • Taste joy in each moment of the feast. Describe the taste of joy.
  • 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, January 27, 2019, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Psalm 19
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Luke 4:14-21

Psalm 19 – Sweeter than Honey

Psalm 19:1-14

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 hidden 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 for ever; 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.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Hear the words of the Psalmist, “Clear me from hidden thoughts.”
  • Listen to what you know in your head.  What hidden thoughts are living there?  How do you desire to live the way of the Lord today?
  • Listen to what you know in your heart.  What hidden feelings are living there?  How do you desire to live the way of the Lord today?
  • Listen to what you know in your gut.  What hidden desires are living there?  How do you desire to live the way of the Lord today?
  • Notice any consonance or dissonance.
  • What new thoughts/feelings/intuitions does this reveal in you?
  • Name and describe the sweetness.
  • 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, January 27, 2019, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Psalm 19
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Luke 4:14-21

(c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

1 Corinthians 12:1-11 – Gifts for the Common Good

1 Corinthians 12:1-11

1Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. 3Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Let Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.

4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

  • 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.
  • Focus on your spiritual gifts today.
  • What gifts are you using to glorify God and love your neighbor?
  • Where do these gifts live in your body?
  • Do a quick interior scan of your body.
  • Select one spiritual gift that most wants your attention today.
  • What is new about this gift today?
  • What does this gift has to reveal to you today?
  • Is there a new invitation?
  • 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, January 20, 2019, the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Isaiah 62:1-5
Psalm 36:5-10
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
John 2:1-11