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 1:4b-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 34:1-8 (9-22)- I sought the Lord and he answered me

Psalm 34:1-8 (19-22)

1I will bless the LORD at all times;

his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

2My soul makes its boast in the LORD;

let the humble hear and be glad.

3O magnify the LORD with me,

and let us exalt his name together.

4I sought the LORD, and he answered me,

and delivered me from all my fears.

5Look to him, and be radiant;

so your faces shall never be ashamed.

6This poor soul cried, and was heard by the LORD,

and was saved from every trouble.

7The angel of the LORD encamps

around those who fear him, and delivers them.

8O taste and see that the LORD is good;

happy are those who take refuge in him.

19Many are the afflictions of the righteous,

but the LORD rescues them from them all.

20He keeps all their bones;

not one of them will be broken.

21Evil brings death to the wicked,

and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

22The LORD redeems the life of his servants;

none of those who take refuge in him will be

condemned.

  • 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.
  • Seek the Lord as you breathe.
  • Inhale the goodness of God.
  • Exhale any tension you feel.
  • Inhale the goodness of God.
  • Exhale anything keeping you in bondage.
  • Free yourself to be with the Lord.
  • When you are as free as you can be, turn fully toward God.
  • “Look to him and be radiant so your faces shall never be ashamed.”
  • Let go of any shame you feel.
  • Ask for forgiveness and be healed.
  • The Lord redeems the life of his servants.
  • Turn fully toward God.
  • “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
  • Savor goodness as you remain as fully present to the Lord as you can be.
  • Remain here as long as you can.
  • 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, October 21, 2018, the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Job 38:1-7 (34-41)
Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c
Hebrews 5:1-10
Mark 10:35-45

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

Hebrews 5:1-10 – He is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is subject to weakness

Hebrews 5:1-10

1Every high priest chosen from among mortals is put in charge of things pertaining to God on their behalf, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2He is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is subject to weakness; 3and because of this he must offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. 4And one does not presume to take this honor, but takes it only when called by God, just as Aaron was.

5So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”; 6as he says also in another place, “You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”

7In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; 9and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, 10having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

  • 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 today, open yourself in submission.
  • As you inhale, say to yourself, “I am yours.”  Consider those things that are gifts from God, and embrace these on the inhale.
  • As you exhale, say to yourself, “I am only yours.”  Consider those things that keep you from God, and let go of these on the exhale.
  • Continue this practice until you are as free as you can be.
  • In this safe place where you are held by God, consider obedience you have learned through your suffering.
  • Give thanks for God’s faithfulness.
  • In this safe place where the world is held by  God, consider obedience the world has learned through the world’s suffering.
  • Give thanks for God’s faithfulness.
  • Is there a message for you 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, October 21, 2018, the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Job 38:1-7 (34-41)
Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c
Hebrews 5:1-10
Mark 10:35-45

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 45 – Like the pen of a ready scribe

Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9

My heart overflows with a goodly theme;
I address my verses to the king;
my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
2You are the most handsome of men;
grace is poured upon your lips;
therefore God has blessed you forever.
6Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever.
Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity;
7you love righteousness and hate wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
8your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
9daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor;
at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.

  • 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 breathe, let the goodness of God’s breath flow through you.
  • Inhale God’s goodness.  Exhale anything toxic within you.
  • Continue to inhale goodness and exhale anything keeping you from embracing goodness.
  • Imagine your pen is ready, poised to capture all the goodness that rolls from your tongue.
  • How has God blessed you?
  • How has God graced you?
  • How has God anointed you?
  •  Describe the goodness that surrounds you:  what do you see? hear? taste? feel?
  • Is there anyone standing with you?
  • If you feel led, write what you experience.  Savor the time and the space of God’s goodness.
  • 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, September 2, 2018, the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9
James 1:17-27
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

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

Ephesians 4:1-16 – Each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift

Ephesians 4:1-16

1I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.

7But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people.” 9(When it says, “He ascended”, what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) 11The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. 14We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. 15But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16from whom the whole body, joined and knitted together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.

  • 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 breathe, open your body, your mind, your heart to the body of Christ.
  • Feel the grace of God being poured upon you lavishly.
  • Consider the gift Christ has given you.
  • How are you using this gift for the glory of God?
  • How does this gift build up the body of Christ?
  • Is there any trickery or craftiness or scheming in the body that you need to let go?
  • What does God want to give you in its place that will build up the body of Christ?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, August 5, 2018, the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a
Psalm 51:1-12
Ephesians 4:1-16
John 6:24-35

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

John 6:1-21- Gather up the fragments left over so that nothing may be lost

 

Jesus Mafa

John 6:1-21

1After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. 2A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. 3Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. 4Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. 5When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming towards him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” 6He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. 7Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” 8One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” 10Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. 11Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” 13So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. 14When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”

15When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

16When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 17got into a boat, and started across the lake to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18The lake became rough because a strong wind was blowing. 19When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the lake and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. 20But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land towards which they were going.

  • 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 breathe, allow the breath to fill you abundantly.
  • Feel each part of your body become filled with the breath from head to toe.
  • Become aware of the fresh oxygen awakening, nurturing, feeding your body.
  • Imagine sitting with the five thousand.  You see the boy with five barley loaves and two fish.  You know this will not be enough.
  • Yet you witness the abundance to feed five thousand with leftovers.
  • How does it feel to be filled in abundance with holy food?
  • What response in Christ arises in you?
  • Imagine gathering the leftovers.
  • Who is hungry and needs to be fed?
  • Imagine getting in the boat to take the food to those who are hungry.
  • Yet a strong wind spoils the plan and you are afraid.
  • What fear arises in you?
  • What fear(s) are you encountering in your life today?
  • Jesus says, “It is I, do not be afraid.”
  • Hear these words as you come back to your breath. Allow these words to be in the oxygen flowing throughout your body.  Do not be afraid.
  • Let go of your fear so you may be able to receive the abundance Christ has to give to you.
  • What is Christ’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, July 29, 2018, the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

2 Samuel 11:1-15
Psalm 14
Ephesians 3:14-21
John 6:1-21

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