Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32 – This Fellow Welcomes Sinners and Eats with Them

Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

1Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 2And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

3So he told them this parable:

11b“There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. 13A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. 14When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. 16He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. 17But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”‘ 20So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. 21Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe-the best one-and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.

25“Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. 27He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ 28Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 29But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ 31Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.'”

  • 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.
  • Bring your attention to a time you remember being embraced and welcomed home. 
  • Notice the love and compassion that blankets you as you are embraced.
  • I wonder what part of you desires to be welcomed home today?
  • Do a scan of your interior space, noticing tension or discomfort that desires to be welcomed home today.
  • Embrace this place in you with love and compassion.
  • Breathe deeply into this place and feel the Breath of God showering you with compassion.
  • Rest in compassion.
  • I wonder who you will encounter today with the desire to be welcomed home.
  • How might you embrace this brother or sister with love and compassion?
  • Will you sit and have a meal together?
  • 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, March 31, 2019, the Fourth Sunday in Lent (Year C)

  • Joshua 5:9-12
  • Psalm 32
  • 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
  • Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

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

2 Corinthians 5:16-21 – Ambassadors for Christ

2 Corinthians 5:16-21

16From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. 17So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 20So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

  • 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.
  • Bring your focus to the compassionate, healing Christ.
  • In the last day or so, how has Christ accompanied you?
  • Embrace these moments and the feelings that arise.  
  • Take a deep breath and  feel the peace in Christ.
  • As you go into the world today, notice how you desire to respond in Christ.
  • Let Compassion lead you.
  • In Christ you are a new creation.
  • If the old tries to get your attention, re-focus on Christ.
  • In Christ, how are you a transforming vessel of love?
  • How are you an ambassador for Christ?
  • 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, March 31, 2019, the Fourth Sunday in Lent (Year C)

  • Joshua 5:9-12
  • Psalm 32
  • 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
  • Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

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

Psalm 32 – Break the Silence

Psalm 32

1Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,

whose sin is covered.

2Happy are those to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity,

and in whose spirit there is no deceit.


3While I kept silence, my body wasted away

through my groaning all day long.

4For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;

my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah


5Then I acknowledged my sin to you,

and I did not hide my iniquity;

I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”

and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah


6Therefore let all who are faithful

offer prayer to you;

at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters

shall not reach them.

7You are a hiding place for me;

you preserve me from trouble;

you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah


8I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;

I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

9Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,

whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,

else it will not stay near you.


10Many are the torments of the wicked,

but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the LORD.

11Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, O righteous,

and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.

  • 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.
  • Bring attention to the transgression in you that desires to be named out loud today.
  • Break the silence.  Describe the transgression.  Be released of the guilt.
  • Invite God dialogue to lead you and guide you to a new place.
  • Embrace the forgiveness God has for you.
  • Be open to the new ways God will lead you closer to God.
  • Resist torments of the wicked.
  • Be focused on the Compassionate One who loves you always.
  • Rejoice in God and notice how God rejoices in you.
  • 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, March 31, 2019, the Fourth Sunday in Lent (Year C)

  • Joshua 5:9-12
  • Psalm 32
  • 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
  • Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

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

Joshua 5:9-12 – Eating the Crops of the Land

Joshua 5:9-12

9The LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away from you the disgrace of Egypt.” And so that place is called Gilgal to this day.

10While the Israelites were camped in Gilgal they kept the passover in the evening on the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho. 11On the day after the passover, on that very day, they ate the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. 12The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.

  • 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.
  • Bring your attention to the awareness of God’s provision for you.
  • Embrace this awareness.  
  • Remember how God was feeding and nurturing you in a time of need.
  • Do you recall the moment, the shift, when the veil was lifted and you were able to “eat the produce of the land”?
  • Gilgal means “circle of stones.”
  • Look for the circle of stones God has placed around you to name and to glorify God and your relationship.
  • What do these stones represent for you?
  • Pick up a stone and carry it in your pocket today to remind you to be aware of God’s provision for you 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, March 31, 2019, the Fourth Sunday in Lent (Year C)

  • Joshua 5:9-12
  • Psalm 32
  • 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
  • Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

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

Luke 13:1-9 – Unless You Repent, You Will Perish

Luke 13:1-9

1At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2He asked them, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? 3No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. 4Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them — do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.”

6Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. 7So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’ 8He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. 9If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'”

  • 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.
  • Bring your focus to a place in your life that is not bearing fruit.
  • How does this place in you desire your attention?
  • How do you desire God to dig a trough for it to hold water and fertilize it with nourishment?
  • Name and dialogue about these burdens with God as you tend the tree together?
  • How else may God nurture you as you tend this place that bears no fruit?
  • Are there others around you God may call to be gardeners for you?
  • 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, March 24, 2019, the Third Sunday in Lent (Year C)

  • Isaiah 55:1-9
  • Psalm 63:1-8
  • 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
  • Luke 13:1-9

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

1 Corinthians 10:1-13 – God Will Not Let You Be Tested Beyond Your Strength

1 Corinthians 10:1-13

1I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3and all ate the same spiritual food, 4and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. 5Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, and they were struck down in the wilderness.

6Now these things occurred as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil as they did. 7Do not become idolaters as some of them did; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and they rose up to play.” 8We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents. 10And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. 13No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.

 
  • 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.
  • Bring your focus to a struggle that lives with you today.
  • Name the struggle, describe the struggle, and do a scan of your interior space to notice where this struggle lives inside of you.
  • Imagine sitting next to the struggle.  
  • Invite the struggle to speak to you.
  • With your courage, embrace and love the struggle.
  • Invite the wisdom that comes with with enduring struggle.
  • Invite the healing that comes with embracing the struggle.
  • Invite the love that comes with living with the struggle.
  • Notice God’s provision for you in the struggle.
  • 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, March 24, 2019, the Third Sunday in Lent (Year C)

  • Isaiah 55:1-9
  • Psalm 63:1-8
  • 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
  • Luke 13:1-9

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

Psalm 63:1-8 – My Soul Clings to You

63:1-8

1O God, you are my God, I seek you,

my soul thirsts for you;

my flesh faints for you,

as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

2So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,

beholding your power and glory.

3Because your steadfast love is better than life,

my lips will praise you.

4So I will bless you as long as I live;

I will lift up my hands and call on your name.


5My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,

and my mouth praises you with joyful lips

6when I think of you on my bed,

and meditate on you in the watches of the night;

7for you have been my help,

and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.

8My soul clings to you;

your right hand upholds me.

 
  • 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.
  • Bring your focus to a wilderness, waterless place in your life today.
  • Imagine sitting in the dry and weary land.
  • Does this land have a name?
  • Embrace the land and ask what the land needs from you?  from God?
  • Love the land.
  • Notice the rich feast and compassionate rest the land wants to give you.
  • Embrace this provision and sing for joy as you feel the presence of the Holy with you.
  • Notice how your soul clings to Holy Love. 
  • 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, March 24, 2019, the Third Sunday in Lent (Year C)

  • Isaiah 55:1-9
  • Psalm 63:1-8
  • 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
  • Luke 13:1-9

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

Isaiah 55:1-9 – Listen So That You May Live

Isaiah 55:1-9

1Ho, everyone who thirsts,

come to the waters;

and you that have no money,

come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk

without money and without price.

2Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,

and your labor for that which does not satisfy?

Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,

and delight yourselves in rich food.

3Incline your ear, and come to me;

listen, so that you may live.

I will make with you an everlasting covenant,

my steadfast, sure love for David.

4See, I made him a witness to the peoples,

a leader and commander for the peoples.

5See, you shall call nations that you do not know,

and nations that do not know you shall run to you

because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel,

for he has glorified you.


6Seek the LORD while he may be found,

call upon him while he is near;

7let the wicked forsake their way,

and the unrighteous their thoughts;

let them return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on them,

and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

8For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.

9For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.

 
  • 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.
  • Bring your focus to your ears.  Open then to listen.
  • Bring your focus to your eyes.  Open them to listen.
  • Bring your focus to your nose.  Open it to listen.
  • Bring your focus to your mouth.  Enliven your taste buds to listen.
  • Bring your focus to your body.  Relax and invite your feeling sense to listen.
  • God says, “Listen to me carefully.”
  • Listen with the fullness of yourself.
  • Listen for the things of God that do not cost money.
  • How does God feed you richly?
  • Listen for the true life God desires for you.
  • God has invited you to this table of life.
  • Listen
  • 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, March 24, 2019, the Third Sunday in Lent (Year C)

  • Isaiah 55:1-9
  • Psalm 63:1-8
  • 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
  • Luke 13:1-9

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

Luke 13:31-35 On the Third Day I Finish My Work

Luke 13:31-35

31At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” 32He said to them, “Go and tell that fox for me, ‘Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. 33Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.’ 34Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 35See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.'”

  • 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.
  • Bring your focus to your ministry today.
  • Who or what is the fox that is trying to distract you from your ministry? 
  • How do you desire to turn away from this distraction to remain focused on your ministry to glorify God?
  • What do you need from God to stay focused on this ministry?
  • Embrace the focus.  See the path.  
  • 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, March 17, 2019, the Second Sunday in Lent (Year C)

  • Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
  • Psalm 27
  • Philippians 3:17-4:1
  • Luke 13:31-35

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

Philippians 3:17-4:1 – Transform the Body of Our Humiliation

Philippians 3:17-4:1

17Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. 18For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. 19Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.

1Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.

  • 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.
  • Bring your attention to a place where you are struggling with earthly things.
  • Notice the destruction it brings to you and to those around you.
  • Invite God into the struggle.
  • Notice the freedom God has for you.
  • Embrace the freedom from the struggle.
  • Look for the light and life God has for you beyond the struggle.
  • 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, March 17, 2019, the Second Sunday in Lent (Year C)

  • Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
  • Psalm 27
  • Philippians 3:17-4:1
  • Luke 13:31-35

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