Genesis 45:3-11, 15 – God Sent Me to Preserve Life

Genesis 45:3-11, 15

3Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence.

4Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. 10You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11I will provide for you there: since there are five more years of famine to come — so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.’ 15And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with 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 God’s provision in your life today.
    • Which of God’s provisions for you would you like to honor and savor today?
    • What thoughts and feelings come back to you?
    • Where was God at work in the experience?
    • What reconciliation did you experience?
    • Why is it important to remember this provision today?
    • Take a moment to savor this knowing.
    • 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 24, 2019, the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Genesis 45:3-11, 15
Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40
1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50
Luke 6:27-38

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

Holy Saturday: Mark 16:1-8 – A new hope

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  7 am to 6 pm

MARK 16:1-8

1When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” 8So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Oh, this day of grief.  Can there really be joy?
  • How do you hold grief and joy together at the end of this Holy Saturday?
  • Is this a dream?  Or a vision?
  • Will I wake up tomorrow with the same good news?
  • It is a day to remember there is always hope.
  • Listen for hope 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 Saturday, March 31, 2018 the Great Vigil of Easter (Year B)

Mark 16:1-8


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. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Holy Saturday: Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-12 – A new reign

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  7 am to 6 pm

Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21

14:10As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites looked back, and there were the Egyptians advancing on them. In great fear the Israelites cried out to the LORD. 11They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? 12Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” 13But Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the LORD will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. 14The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.”

15Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. 16But you lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the Israelites may go into the sea on dry ground. 17Then I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and so I will gain glory for myself over Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots, and his chariot drivers. 18And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gained glory for myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his chariot drivers.”

19The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. 20It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.

21Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. 22The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. 23The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. 24At the morning watch the LORD in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. 25He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the Israelites, for the LORD is fighting for them against Egypt.”

26Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.” 27So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the LORD tossed the Egyptians into the sea. 28The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. 29But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.

30Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31Israel saw the great work that the LORD did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the LORD and believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.

15:20Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. 21And Miriam sang to them: “Sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Respond with Exodus 15:1b-13, 17-18

    1b  “I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously;
    horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.
    2   The LORD is my strength and my might,
    and he has become my salvation;
    this is my God, and I will praise him,
    my father&rsquos God, and I will exalt him.
    3   The LORD is a warrior;
    the LORD is his name.

    4   “Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he cast into the sea;
    his picked officers were sunk in the Red Sea.
    5   The floods covered them;
    they went down into the depths like a stone.
    6   Your right hand, O LORD, glorious in power —
    your right hand, O LORD, shattered the enemy.
    7   In the greatness of your majesty you overthrew your adversaries;
    you sent out your fury, it consumed them like stubble.
    8   At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up,
    the floods stood up in a heap;
    the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.
    9   The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake,
    I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them.
    I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.’
    10  You blew with your wind, the sea covered them;
    they sank like lead in the mighty waters.

    11  “Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods?
    Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
    awesome in splendor, doing wonders?
    12  You stretched out your right hand,
    the earth swallowed them.

    13  “In your steadfast love you led the people whom you redeemed;
    you guided them by your strength to your holy abode.

    17  You brought them in and planted them on the mountain of your own possession,
    the place, O LORD, that you made your abode,
    the sanctuary, O LORD, that your hands have established.
    18   The LORD will reign forever and ever.”

    It is a day to remember there is always hope.

  • Listen for hope 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 Saturday, March 31, 2018 the Great Vigil of Easter (Year B)

Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21
Exodus 15:1b-13, 17-18


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. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Holy Saturday: Genesis 22:1-18 – A new sacrifice

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  7 am to 6 pm

Genesis 22:1-18

1After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.” 3So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. 4On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. 5Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.” 6Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. 7Isaac said to his father Abraham, “Father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8Abraham said, “God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.

9When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. 11But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”12He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14So Abraham called that place “The LORD will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”

15The angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven, 16and said, “By myself I have sworn, says the LORD: Because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of their enemies, 18and by your offspring shall all the nations of the earth gain blessing for themselves, because you have obeyed my voice.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Respond with Psalm 16:1-11

    1   Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
    2   I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
    I have no good apart from you.”

    3   As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble,
    in whom is all my delight.

    4   Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;
    their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
    or take their names upon my lips.

    5   The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
    you hold my lot.
    6   The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    I have a goodly heritage.

    7   I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
    in the night also my heart instructs me.
    8   I keep the LORD always before me;
    because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

    9Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
    my body also rests secure.
    10  For you do not give me up to Sheol,
    or let your faithful one see the Pit.

    11  You show me the path of life.
    In your presence there is fullness of joy;
    in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

  • It is a day to remember there is always hope.
  • Listen for hope 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 Saturday, March 31, 2018 the Great Vigil of Easter (Year B)

Genesis 22:1-18
Psalm 16:1-11


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. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Holy Saturday: Genesis 7:1-15, 11-18; 8:6-18; 9:8-13 – A new covenant

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  7 am to 6 pm

Genesis 7:1-5, 11-18; 8:6-18; 9:8-13

7:1Then the LORD said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation. 2Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and its mate; and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and its mate; 3and seven pairs of the birds of the air also, male and female, to keep their kind alive on the face of all the earth. 4For in seven days I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.” 5And Noah did all that the LORD had commanded him.

11In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. 12The rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights. 13On the very same day Noah with his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons entered the ark, 14they and every wild animal of every kind, and all domestic animals of every kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every bird of every kind — every bird, every winged creature. 15They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. 16And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the LORD shut him in.

17The flood continued forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. 18The waters swelled and increased greatly on the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters.

8:6At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made 7and sent out the raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. 8Then he sent out the dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground; 9but the dove found no place to set its foot, and it returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took it and brought it into the ark with him. 10He waited another seven days, and again he sent out the dove from the ark; 11and the dove came back to him in the evening, and there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf; so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. 12Then he waited another seven days, and sent out the dove; and it did not return to him any more.

13In the six hundred first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and saw that the face of the ground was drying. 14In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. 15Then God said to Noah, 16“Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. 17Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh — birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth — so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” 18So Noah went out with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives.

9:8Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9“As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. 11I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Respond with Psalm 46:1-11

    1   God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
    2   Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
    3   though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult.                  Selah

    4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
    5   God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
    God will help it when the morning dawns.
    6   The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
    7   The LORD of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.                                                     Selah

    8Come, behold the works of the LORD;
    see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
    9   He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
    10  “Be still, and know that I am God!
    I am exalted among the nations,
    am exalted in the earth.”
    11  The LORD of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.                                                     Selah

  • It is a day to remember there is always hope.
  • Listen for hope 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 Saturday, March 31, 2018 the Great Vigil of Easter (Year B)

Genesis 7:1-15, 11-18; 8:6-18; 9:8-13
Psalm 46:1-11


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. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Holy Saturday: Genesis 1:1-2:4a – A new creation

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  6 am to 6 pm

Genesis 1:1-2:4a

1:1In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

6And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. 8God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

9And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so. 12The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. 13And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

14And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16God made the two great lights — the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night — and the stars. 17God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, 18to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

20And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.” 21So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. 22God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

24And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. 25God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.

26Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” 27So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

2:1Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 2And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.

4These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Respond with Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26

    1   O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
    2   O give thanks to the God of gods,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
    3   O give thanks to the Lord of lords,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;

    4   who alone does great wonders,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
    5   who by understanding made the heavens,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
    6   who spread out the earth on the waters,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
    7   who made the great lights,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
    8   the sun to rule over the day,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
    9   the moon and stars to rule over the night,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;

    23  It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
    24  and rescued us from our foes,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
    25  who gives food to all flesh,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.

    26  O give thanks to the God of heaven,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.

  • It is a day to remember there is always hope.
  • Listen for hope 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 Saturday, March 31,2018 the Great Vigil of Easter (Year B)

Genesis 1:1-2:4a
Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26


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. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Genesis 1:1-5…In the beginning…

GENESIS 1:1-5

1In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • The morning brings a new beginning as God continues to create.
  • Feel God’s breath at work.  (You might want to sit by the window or move outside)
  • Hear the words, “Let there be light.”
  • Notice the light around you.  Is is silent or noisy?  Is it still or dancing?
  • What new creation do you see with the light?
  • Notice the darkness around you.  Is is silent or noisy?  Is it still or moving?
  • Invite the light into the darkness.  What do you see?
  • What senses are awakening in you at the promise of new creation?
  • Follow the light today and be open to the new thing God is creating.
  • 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 7, 2018, the Baptism of the Lord  (Year B) 
Genesis 1:1-5
Psalm 29:1-11
Acts 19:1-7
Mark 1:4-11

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

Romans 11:102a, 29-32 – Imprisoned All…Merciful to All

Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32

1I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. 2aGod has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.

… 29for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, 31so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. 32For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • What is your image of God?
  • Name the details you see.
  • Paul invites us to expand our image of God.
  • Where do you see room for growth in your image of God?
  • What new thing(s) is God teaching you today?
  • All have been imprisoned so that God may be merciful to all.
  • 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, August 20, 2017, the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Genesis 45:1-15
Psalm 133:1-3
Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32
Matthew 15:(10-20) 21-28

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

Genesis 45:1-15 – God sent me before you to preserve life

Genesis 45:1-15

1Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Send everyone away from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. 3Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence.

4Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. 10You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11I will provide for you there: since there are five more years of famine to come — so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.’ 12And now your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my own mouth that speaks to you. 13You must tell my father how greatly I am honored in Egypt, and all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” 14Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, while Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with 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 God’s provision in your life today.
  • Which of God’s provisions for you would you like to honor and savor today?
  • What thoughts and feelings come back to you?
  • Where was God at work in the experience?
  • What reconciliation did you experience?
  • Why is it important to remember this provision today?
  • Take a moment to savor this knowing.
  • 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, August 20, 2017, the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Genesis 45:1-15
Psalm 133:1-3
Romans 11:102a, 29-32
Matthew 15:(10-20) 21-28

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 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b – Difficult and unexpected encounters

Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b

1   O give thanks to the Lord, call on his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples.
2   Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wonderful works.
3   Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
4   Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually.
5   Remember the wonderful works he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he has uttered,
6   O offspring of his servant Abraham,
children of Jacob, his chosen ones.

16  When he summoned famine against the land,
and broke every staff of bread,
17  he had sent a man ahead of them,
Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
18  His feet were hurt with fetters,
his neck was put in a collar of iron;
19  until what he had said came to pass,
the word of the Lord kept testing him.
20  The king sent and released him;
the ruler of the peoples set him free.
21  He made him lord of his house,
and ruler of all his possessions,
22  to instruct his officials at his pleasure,
and to teach his elders wisdom.

45b  Praise the Lord!

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Today, I invite you to wonder how God is at work in a difficult and unexpected encounter.
  • Sit with the encounter and examine all of the details.
  • Notice, name and set aside any judgment that arises.
  • Notice, name and set aside any fear that arises.
  • Describe what you know.
  • Be settled with what you don’t know.
  • Breathe.
  • Breathe deeply.
  • Praise the Lord!
  • What else to you know?
  • 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, August 13, 2017, the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b
Romans 10:5-15
Matthew 14:22-33

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