Galatians 5:1, 13-25 – Called to Freedom

Galatians 5:1, 13-25

1For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

13For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. 14For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

16Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. 19Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes focusing on the Breath.
  • Bring your attention to a place within you that desires freedom from bondage.
  • Remembering true freedom is a gift from God,  let this locked place inside of you speak.
  • Receive God’s warm embrace and love.
  • What freedom does God have for you?
  • Embrace the healing that comes with this gift from God.
  • Rest in light this brings you.
  • Bring your attention to a place in the world that needs freedom from bondage.
  • Remembering true freedom is a gift from God,  give this locked place in the world a voice.  What words emerge from you?
  • Receive God’s warm embrace and love.
  • What freedom does God have for you in the world?
  • Embrace the healing that comes with this gift from God.
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Reply as you feel led in the box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, June 30, 2019, The Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14
Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20
Galatians 5:1, 13-25
Luke 9:51-62

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings. (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20 – The Waters Saw You, They Were Afraid

Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20

1I cry aloud to God,

aloud to God, that he may hear me.

2In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;

in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;

my soul refuses to be comforted.

11I will call to mind the deeds of the LORD;

I will remember your wonders of old.

12I will meditate on all your work,

and muse on your mighty deeds.

13Your way, O God, is holy.

What god is so great as our God?

14You are the God who works wonders;

you have displayed your might among the peoples.

15With your strong arm you redeemed your people,

the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah

16When the waters saw you, O God,

when the waters saw you, they were afraid;

the very deep trembled.

17The clouds poured out water;

the skies thundered;

your arrows flashed on every side.

18The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;

your lightnings lit up the world;

the earth trembled and shook.

19Your way was through the sea,

your path, through the mighty waters;

yet your footprints were unseen.

20You led your people like a flock

by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Bring your attention to a place in you that desires to cry out to God.
  • Be loving and gently embrace this voice in you that is crying out to God.
  • Let the awe and wonder of God shower you with peace, love, and light.
  • Crawl into the redeeming, healing arms of God.
  • Believe that God will part the waters for you.
  • Your way is through the sea as God parts the might waters.
  • How does God desire to lead you?
  • 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, June 30, 2019, The Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14
Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20
Galatians 5:1, 13-25
Luke 9:51-62

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings. (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14 – The Spirit of the Mantle

2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14

1Now when the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; for the LORD has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.

6Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; for the LORD has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. 7Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. 8Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.

9When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” 10He responded, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.” 11As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. 12Elisha kept watching and crying out, “Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.

13He picked up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14He took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, saying, “Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” When he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.

Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.

  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Recall a time of a “thin place” where heaven and earth met.
  • Revisit this time with new eyes to see what more God has to reveal to you.
  • Allow yourself to recall fully the events and the feelings.
  • What strength did God give you to be able to keep your eyes open?
  • How did you recognize the presence of God?
  • What freedom were you given?
  • How do you receive the mantle given to you?
  • What is God revealing to you?
  • Give thanks to God for thin places in our lives and the time to revisit these places and renew our strength.  Give thanks for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, June 30, 2019, The Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14
Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20
Galatians 5:1, 13-25
Luke 9:51-62

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings. (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Luke 8:26-39 – The One Who Had Been Possessed by Demons Had Been Healed

Luke 8:26-39

26Then they arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27As he stepped out on land, a man of the city who had demons met him. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he did not live in a house but in the tombs. 28When he saw Jesus, he fell down before him and shouted at the top of his voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me”-29for Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many times it had seized him; he was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the wilds.) 30Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” He said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him. 31They begged him not to order them to go back into the abyss.

32Now there on the hillside a large herd of swine was feeding; and the demons begged Jesus to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. 33Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

34When the swineherds saw what had happened, they ran off and told it in the city and in the country. 35Then people came out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. 36Those who had seen it told them how the one who had been possessed by demons had been healed. 37Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them; for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. 38The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him; but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39“Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Bring your attention to something that has control over a part of you.
  • Let the Breath shower this part of you with love as you embrace it.
  • Imagine Jesus is coming to your town today.
  • Go and meet him.
  • Have a conversation with Jesus about the part of you that is out of your control and keeps you from truth.
  • Let Jesus take your pain and struggle and heal you.
  • See Jesus send the pain and struggle away with the heard.
  • Embrace the healing and freedom in this part of you that is now at peace.
  • As Jesus returns to Galilee, Jesus invites you to share your healing with others.
  • What has Jesus done for you?
  • 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, June 23, 2019 the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

1 Kings 19:1-4 (5-7) 8-15a
Psalms 42 and 43
Galatians 3:23-29
Luke 8:26-39

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings. (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Galatians 3:23-29 – All Are One in Christ Jesus

Galatians 3:23-29

23Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. 24Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. 25But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, 26for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. 27As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes focusing on the Breath.
  • Bring your attention to unity in Christ Jesus.
  • Clothe yourself with Christ.
  • What do you notice?
  • See others clothed with Christ.
  • What do you notice?
  • See the world clothed with Christ.
  • What do you notice?
  • Imagine all in Christ Jesus.
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Reply as you feel led in the box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, June 23, 2019 the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

1 Kings 19:1-4 (5-7) 8-15a
Psalms 42 and 43
Galatians 3:23-29
Luke 8:26-39

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings. (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Psalms 42 and 42 – My Tears Have Been My Food

Psalms 42 and 43

1As a deer longs for flowing streams,

so my soul longs for you, O God.

2My soul thirsts for God,

for the living God.

When shall I come and behold

the face of God?

3My tears have been my food

day and night,

while people say to me continually,

“Where is your God?”

4These things I remember,

as I pour out my soul:

how I went with the throng,

and led them in procession to the house of God,

with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,

a multitude keeping festival.

5Why are you cast down, O my soul,

and why are you disquieted within me?

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,

my help 6and my God.

My soul is cast down within me;

therefore I remember you

from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,

from Mount Mizar.

7Deep calls to deep

at the thunder of your cataracts;

all your waves and your billows

have gone over me.

8By day the LORD commands his steadfast love,

and at night his song is with me,

a prayer to the God of my life.

9I say to God, my rock,

“Why have you forgotten me?

Why must I walk about mournfully

because the enemy oppresses me?”

10As with a deadly wound in my body,

my adversaries taunt me,

while they say to me continually,

“Where is your God?”

11Why are you cast down, O my soul,

and why are you disquieted within me?

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,

my help and my God.

1Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause

against an ungodly people;

from those who are deceitful and unjust

deliver me!

2For you are the God in whom I take refuge;

why have you cast me off?

Why must I walk about mournfully

because of the oppression of the enemy?

3O send out your light and your truth;

let them lead me;

let them bring me to your holy hill

and to your dwelling.

4Then I will go to the altar of God,

to God my exceeding joy;

and I will praise you with the harp,

O God, my God.

5Why are you cast down, O my soul,

and why are you disquieted within me?

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,

my help and my God.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Bring your attention to your desire for relationship with God.
  • Notice the longing.
  • Notice the thirsting.
  • Notice the distance.
  • Name the pain and grief in the tears.
  • Let deep speak to deep.
  • Who taunts you?
  • Who walks with you?
  • Return to your desire for relationship with God.
  • Be open to the new thing God is doing in your life.
  • Refuge will look different from last time.
  • God is creating something new.
  • Let a light and truth lead you to this new place where you will see God
  • What do you need to let go to be led this new place?
  • 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, June 23, 2019 the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

1 Kings 19:1-4 (5-7) 8-15a
Psalms 42 and 43
Galatians 3:23-29
Luke 8:26-39

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings. (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

1 Kings 2:10-12, 3:3-14 – I Am No Better Than My Ancestors

1 Kings 19:1-4 (5-7) 8-15a

1Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life like the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” 3Then he was afraid; he got up and fled for his life, and came to Beer-sheba, which belongs to Judah; he left his servant there.

4But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: “It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.” 5Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, “Get up and eat.” 6He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again. 7The angel of the LORD came a second time, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.” 8He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God. 9At that place he came to a cave, and spent the night there.

Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10He answered, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.”

11He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; 12and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. 13When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14He answered, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.” 15Then the LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram.

  • 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 pay attention to your breath, consider how you have been zealous for God.
  • Consider how you are no better than your ancestors.
  • Who  wants to persecute you for your actions?
  • Withdraw to the desert to rest and be fed.
  • Name the angels who feed you and lead you to shelter.
  • Be filled as you wait for God to speak.
  • What is God’s invitation for you?
  • What fruit of the Spirit will arise from God’s 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, June 23, 2019 the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

1 Kings 19:1-4 (5-7) 8-15a
Psalms 42 and 43
Galatians 3:23-29
Luke 8:26-39

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings. (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Trinity Sunday John 16:12-15 – The Spirit of Truth Comes

 

John 16:12-15

12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

  • 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.
  • Notice what needs to be set aside to make room for you to embrace truth today.
  • As you set this distraction aside, invite God to share a new truth to you today.
  • Embrace this truth and listen to the message truth has for you.
  • Resist any judgment or criticism that arises in you.  Truth is spoken in love.  Be gentle with yourself.  Any truth that comes without love is false.
  • Be open to embrace the truth that is spoken in 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, June 16, 2019, Trinity Sunday Year C

Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31
Psalm 8:1-9
Romans 5:1-5
John 16:12-15

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings. (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Trinity Sunday – Romans 5:1-5 – Love Poured Into Our Hearts

Romans 5:1-8

1Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,2through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.3And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,5and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Inhale peace.
  • Exhale fear.
  • Inhale peace.
  • Exhale pain.
  • Inhale peace.
  • Exhale tension.
  • Embrace your self as broken.
  • Stand in grace.
  • Let your attention go to your heart.
  • Feel the love of God poured out in you and over you by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • Name the hope.
  • 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, June 16, 2019, Trinity Sunday Year C

Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31
Psalm 8:1-9
Romans 5:1-5
John 16:12-15

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings. (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD