Ascension of the Lord – Luke 24:44-53 -Clothed with Power from on High

LUKE 24:44-53

44Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you — that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

50Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. 52And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  •  Let your attention be with the life of Jesus.
  • Embrace how Jesus was clothes with power from on high.
  • Embrace how Jesus was Holy Love to the world.
  • The world betrayed Jesus, but Jesus remained Holy Love clothed with Love from on high.
  • How do you need to be clothed with Holy Love today?
  • Allow this Holy Love to blanked you with warmth and light.
  • Be Holy Love 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 Thursday, May 5, 2019, the Ascension of the Lord Year C

Acts 1:1-11
Psalm 47:1-9
Ephesians 1:15-23
Luke 24:44-53

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.

Ascension of the Lord – Ephesians 1:15-23 – The Eyes of Your Heart Enlightened

EPHESIANS 1:15-23

15I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason 16I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come.22And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  •  Bring your focus to your heart.
  • Let the eyes of your heart see the world through the eyes of Christ.
  • Let the eyes of your heart be enlightened with Holy Love.
  • What hope do you see in the world?
  • How is God calling you to be the hands of feet of Christ to be hope in the world?
  • 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 Thursday, May 5, 2019, the Ascension of the Lord Year C

Acts 1:1-11
Psalm 47:1-9
Ephesians 1:15-23
Luke 24:44-53

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.

Ascension of the Lord – Psalm 47:1-9 – Sing Praises

 

Psalm 47:1-9

1   Clap your hands, all you peoples;
shout to God with loud songs of joy.
2   For the LORD, the Most High, is awesome,
a great king over all the earth.
3   He subdued peoples under us,
and nations under our feet.
4   He chose our heritage for us,
the pride of Jacob whom he loves.                    Selah

5   God has gone up with a shout,
the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
6   Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our King, sing praises.
7   For God is the king of all the earth;
sing praises with a psalm.

8   God is king over the nations;
God sits on his holy throne.
9   The princes of the peoples gather
as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
he is highly exalted.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Invite praise to arise in you.
  • What song emerges?
  • Sing with the depth of being.
  • Clap your hands, tap your feet.
  • Let the joy arise in you?
  • Is there something keeping joy at bay?
  • Name the obstacle.  Embrace it and let it speak.
  • Joy wants to arise 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 Thursday, May 5, 2019, the Ascension of the Lord Year C

Acts 1:1-11
Psalm 47:1-9
Ephesians 1:15-23
Luke 24:44-53

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.

Ascension of the Lord – Acts 1:1-11 – Come Holy Spirit

ACTS 1:1-11

1In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning 2until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; 5for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

6So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you inhale, hear the words, “Come Holy Spirit.”
  • As you exhale, let go of anything that is keeping you from God.  Hear the words, “See me.”
  • Continue as you inhale:  “Come Holy Spirit.”
  • As you exhale (choose one per exhale):  “Hear me”, “Be near me”, “Open me”, “Free me” (or choose your own).
  • When you feel as much freedom as you can, allow Christ to rise above you.
  • See Christ ascending to the Father.
  • Notice the Holy Spirit grounding you, filling you, holding you in this place of freedom.
  • Do you notice any tension?  How can you let go of that tension?
  • What do you need from Christ?
  • How may this be fulfilled in the Holy Spirit?
  • See no separation.  See the fullness and expanse of space.
  • Be held in this space.
  • Is there a message for you from Christ?
  • 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 Thursday, May 5, 2019, the Ascension of the Lord Year C

Acts 1:1-11
Psalm 47:1-9
Ephesians 1:15-23
Luke 24:44-53

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.

Revelation 1:4-8 – The Alpha and the Omega

Revelation 1:4-8

4John to the seven churches that are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, 6and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

7Look! He is coming with the clouds;

every eye will see him,

even those who pierced him;

and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail.

So it is to be. Amen.

8“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

  • 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 wholeness of the Biblical story.
  • From creation to death to resurrection.
  • From beginning to end to new beginning.
  • From Eden to Jerusalem to New Jerusalem.
  • Jesus made us priests to serve and glorify God in the fullness of the story…with hope.
  • How does the Biblical story inform your own story?
  • Where is life?
  • Where is death?
  • Where is resurrection?
  • 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, April 28, 2019, the Second Sunday of Easter (Year C)

Acts 5:27-32
Psalm 118:14-29
Revelation 1:4-8
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) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Psalm 118:14-29 – Glad Songs of Victory

Psalm 118:14-29

14The LORD is my strength and my might;

he has become my salvation.

15There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:

“The right hand of the LORD does valiantly;

16the right hand of the LORD is exalted;

the right hand of the LORD does valiantly.”

17I shall not die, but I shall live,

and recount the deeds of the LORD.

18The LORD has punished me severely,

but he did not give me over to death.

19Open to me the gates of righteousness,

that I may enter through them

and give thanks to the LORD.

20This is the gate of the LORD;

the righteous shall enter through it.

21I thank you that you have answered me

and have become my salvation.

22The stone that the builders rejected

has become the chief cornerstone.

23This is the LORD’s doing;

it is marvelous in our eyes.

24This is the day that the LORD has made;

let us rejoice and be glad in it.

25Save us, we beseech you, O LORD!

O LORD, we beseech you, give us success!

26Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD.

We bless you from the house of the LORD.

27The LORD is God,

and he has given us light.

Bind the festal procession with branches,

up to the horns of the altar.

28You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;

you are my God, I will extol you.

29O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,

for his steadfast love endures for ever.

  • 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 your glad song of victory.
  • Notice how you are not dying but living.
  • Notice how you both sinner and saint.
  • Notice what you know and name what you still don’t know.
  • Notice how choosing Love is your salvation.
  • Notice how you desire to rejoice.
  • 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 28, 2019, the Second Sunday of Easter (Year C)

Acts 5:27-32
Psalm 118:14-29
Revelation 1:4-8
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) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Acts 5:27-32 – We Are Witnesses to These Things

Acts 5:27-32

27When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, 28saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.” 29But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. 30The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”

  • 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.
  • How has you experienced the resurrection of Christ in the world today?
  • Linger with this/these experiences.
  • Notice the life and light that emanates.
  • Which high council or authority is telling you that you may not teach in the name of Jesus?
  • How is this tearing you down and down your neighbor and God’s kingdom?
  • How will you speak boldly in His name?
  • 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 28, 2019, the Second Sunday of Easter (Year C)

Acts 5:27-32
Psalm 118:14-29
Revelation 1:4-8
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) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Easter Sunday – Luke 24:13-35 – The Lord Has Risen Indeed, and He Has Appeared to Simon

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 21, 2019, the Resurrection of the Lord (Easter Day) (Year C)

Acts 10:34-43
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
1 Corinthians 15:19-26
Luke 24:13-49

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

Revelation 1:4b-8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega”

Revelation 1:4b-8

4b Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, 6and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

7Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen.

8“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

  • 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 open yourself with the breath, feel the freedom Christ has given you from your sins by his blood.
  • Give thanks for this freedom.  Savor the freedom.
  • Consider today how God continues to reveal God’s self to you.
  • How do you know God through your experience?
  • Breathe and remember the faithfulness of God in your journey.
  • What promise and hope do you carry with you into the day?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Keep awake for more glimpses of God throughout your day.
  • 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, November 18, 2018, the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

1 Samuel 1:4-20
1 Samuel 2:1-10
Hebrews 10:11-14 (15-18) 19-25
Mark 13:1-8

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings. (c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Psalm 146:1-10 – Praise the Lord, O my soul!

Psalm 146:1-10

1Praise the LORD!

Praise the LORD, O my soul!

2I will praise the LORD as long as I live;

I will sing praises to my God all my life long.

3Do not put your trust in princes,

in mortals, in whom there is no help.

4When their breath departs, they return to the earth;

on that very day their plans perish.

5Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,

whose hope is in the LORD their God,

6who made heaven and earth,

the sea, and all that is in them;

who keeps faith forever;

7who executes justice for the oppressed;

who gives food to the hungry.

The LORD sets the prisoners free;

8the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.

The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;

the LORD loves the righteous.

9The LORD watches over the strangers;

he upholds the orphan and the widow,

but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

10The LORD will reign forever,

your God, O Zion, for all generations.

Praise 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.
  • As you inhale say, “Praise the Lord!”
  • As you exhale say, “Praise the Lord, O my soul!”
  • Continue this exercise and notice how your body desires to praise the Lord.
  • Where do you feel freedom?
  • Is there any tension you need to let go?
  • Recognize the tension.  Offer praise to God through this place in you.
  • Name the ways the Lord sets you free.
  • Name the ways the Lord feeds  you.
  • Name the ways the Lord opens your eyes to see.
  • Name the ways the Lord embraces the stranger, the widow, the orphan in you.
  • What praises arise within you?
  • Offer these to the Lord.
  • Savor these praises.  Keep them on your tongue that you might lift these praises again and again throughout the day.
  • 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, November 4, 2018, the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Ruth 1:1-18
Psalm 146:1-10
Hebrews 9:11-14
Mark 12:28-34

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings. (c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD