Matthew 25:31-46 – Are you feeding the hungry?

31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ 41Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • How have you been blessed by God?
  • How have you been a blessing to others?
  • What new blessings are you called to give to others?
  • How is your hunger fed, your thirst quenched?
  • Who feeds you?
  • Who welcomes you?
  • Who are you to welcome?
  • What is the message from God?
  • What call to action do you hear?
  • Give thanks to God for this time to recognize blessings and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, November 26, 2017, Christ the King (Reign of Christ) Sunday (Year A)
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
Psalm 100: 1-5
Ephesians 1:15-23
Matthew 25:31-46

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

Matthew 25:14-30 – To all those who have more will be given

GOSPEL MATTHEW 25:14-30

14“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 24Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation, paying attention to the deep breath.
  • What account do you need to settle with your Master?
  • What is it that you have been given.
  • How have you grown this gift?
  • What abundance do you notice?
  • What freedom has grown with the gift?
  • What unfreedom have you discovered?
  • What new growth is your Master calling you to tend?
  • What do you need from your Master to move toward this new growth?
  •  Give thanks to God for this time to consider the gifts you have been given and the growth that has occurred with these gifts.  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, November 19, 2017, the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Judges 4:1-7
Psalm 123:1-4
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Matthew 25:14-30

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 119:1-8 – O that my ways may be steadfast

119:1-8

1   Happy are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
2   Happy are those who keep his decrees,
who seek him with their whole heart,
3   who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways.
4   You have commanded your precepts
to be kept diligently.
5   O that my ways may be steadfast
in keeping your statutes!
6   Then I shall not be put to shame,
having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
7   I will praise you with an upright heart,
when I learn your righteous ordinances.
8   I will observe your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Imagine your Christian community is with you in your meditation today.
  • Notice how you are walking together in the way of the Lord.
  • Notice how you seek God together with your whole heart.
  • Notice how you feel an intimate connection to your Christian community and to God.
  • Savor the blessing of your community.
  • In he midst of the community that embraces your true self, how do you wish enter into a deeper relationship with God?
  • How do you need your community to help you in this journey?
  • Is there a trusted advisor you may call upon to help you?
  • Notice your desire and God’s desire 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, February 12, 2017, the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Psalm 119:1-8
1 Corinthians 3:1-9
Matthew 5:21-37

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

Advent – O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
In ancient times did’st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the breath.
  • What name of Jesus do you call out?
  • Write your own verse to the hymn.
  • As you sing the verse, notice how you need Emmanuel to be with you.
  • Where do you wait for Emmanuel?
  • What is rejoicing inside of you as you wait?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in waiting and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Matthew 25:31-46 Sheep and Goats

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the breath.
  • Consider sheep and goats living together in community.
  • What word or image captures your attention in this photo?
  • What does this word or image say about God?
  • What does this word or image say about you, a human being?
  • What does this word or image say about your responsibility to your neighbor?
  • Consider this photo again as it contains a message for you from God.  What is God’s message for you?
  • Beyond you, how does this message relate to your community?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • Give thanks for this time in prayer to listen to God’s message and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, November 30, 2011, Christ the King Sunday Year A
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
Psalm 100: 1-5
Ephesians 1:15-23
Matthew 25:31-46
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Matthew 25:31-46 Are you feeding the hungry?

31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ 41Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • How have you been blessed by God?
  • How have you been a blessing to others?
  • What new blessings are you called to give to others?
  • How is your hunger fed, your thirst quenched?
  • Who feeds you?
  • Who welcomes you?
  • Who are you to welcome?
  • What is the message from God?
  • What call to action do you hear?
  • Give thanks to God for this time to recognize blessings and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, November 30, 2011, Christ the King Sunday Year A
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
Psalm 100: 1-5
Ephesians 1:15-23
Matthew 25:31-46
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Matthew 25:14-30 – To all those who have more will be given

GOSPEL MATTHEW 25:14-30

14“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 24Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation, paying attention to the deep breath.
  • What account do you need to settle with your Master?
  • What is it that you have been given.
  • How have you grown this gift?
  • What abundance do you notice?
  • What freedom has grown with the gift?
  • What unfreedom have you discovered?
  • What new growth is your Master calling you to tend?
  • What do you need from your Master to move toward this new growth?
  •  Give thanks to God for this time to consider the gifts you have been given and the growth that has occurred with these gifts.  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, November 13, 2011,  the Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Judges 4:1-7
Psalm 123
I Thessalonians: 5:1-11
Matthew 25:14-30
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Keep awake!

Wise and Foolish Bridesmaids -Jim Janknegt used with permission from artist

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend three to five minutes in silent meditation, paying attention to the breath.
  • What image captures your attention?
  • What word or phrase comes to mind?
  • Spend another three to five minutes as you enter the painting.
  • Which one are you?
  • What feelings to you notice?
  • Do any memories arise in you?
  • Is there a message for you in this painting?
  • Spend another three to five minutes in the painting.
  • What movement do you notice?
  • Is there a call to action for you?
  • Give thanks for this time in prayer with art.  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, November 6, 2011,  the Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25
Psalm 78:1-7
I Thessalonians: 4:13-18
Matthew 25:1-13
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Grieving with Hope – 1 Thessalonians 4

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend 3 to 5 minutes in silent meditation, paying attention to the breath as you pray with this artistic creation.
  • What word, phrase or image captures your attention in this artwork?
  • Focus on this word, phrase or image.
  • Spend another 3 to 5 minutes in silent meditation, as you carry this word, phrase or image with you.  Is there a message in this word, phrase or image?
  • What do you hear? What do you see? What do you feel?
  • Where is God at work?
  • Spend a final 3 to 5 minutes in silent meditation as you continue to look more deeply into this art.
  • Listen for a call to action.
  • 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.

Matthew 25: Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour

GOSPEL MATTHEW 25:1-13

1“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; 4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. 6But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’7Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. 11Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’13Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation, paying attention to the breath.
  • Remember a time you were foolish.
  • How were you unprepared?
  • Where was Christ in this time of unpreparation?
  • Remember a time when you were wise.
  • How were you prepared?
  • Where was Christ in this time of preparation?
  • In these two experiences, what similarities do you notice?  What differences do you notice?
  • What is the message from God for you?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • Give thanks for this time to remember times of foolishness and times of wisdom.  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, November 6, 2011,  the Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25
Psalm 78:1-7
I Thessalonians: 4:13-18
Matthew 25:1-13
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD