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.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 – Holy Love Wants Your Full Attention

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

1If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Let you focus shift to Holy Love.
  • Without Holy Love, you are nothing.
  • Notice how Holy Love is present to you.
  • Holy Love is patient.
  • Holy Love is kind.
  • Holy Love is gentle.
  • Holy Love is joy.
  • Holy Love is faithful.
  • Holy Love is peace.
  • Holy Love wants your full attention.
  • What do you need to let go to embrace Holy Love more fully?
  • 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 3, 2019, the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Jeremiah 1:4-10
Psalm 71:1-6
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Luke 4:21-30

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

Psalm 71:1-6 – You Are My Hope

Psalm 71:1-6

1In you, O LORD, I take refuge;

let me never be put to shame.

2In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;

incline your ear to me and save me.

3Be to me a rock of refuge,

a strong fortress, to save me,

for you are my rock and my fortress.

4Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,

from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.

5For you, O Lord, are my hope,

my trust, O LORD, from my youth.

6Upon you I have leaned from my birth;

it was you who took me from my mother’s womb.

My praise is continually of you.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Let you focus shift to a situation in which you are ungrounded.
  • Set your feet on the floor, supported in a chair. Feel the chair hold you.
  • Notice how your feet desire to become grounded to the floor or in the earth.
  • Let this energy flow up through your body as you invite God’s refuge and strength to bring you grounding energy and courage.
  • Speak these words, In you, Lord, I take refuge.
  • Deliver me.
  • Rescue me.
  • Incline your ear to me.
  • Save me.
  • Be my rock.
  • Be my hope.
  • Be my trust.
  • Today, I will live for you and in you and praise you continually.
  • 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 3, 2019, the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Jeremiah 1:4-10
Psalm 71:1-6
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Luke 4:21-30

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

Jeremiah 1:4-10 – I Do Not Know How to Speak

4Now the word of the LORD came to me saying,

5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

and before you were born I consecrated you;

I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

6Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” 7But the LORD said to me,

“Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’;

for you shall go to all to whom I send you,

and you shall speak whatever I command you,

8Do not be afraid of them,

for I am with you to deliver you,

says the LORD.”

9Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the LORD said to me,

“Now I have put my words in your mouth.

10See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms,

to pluck up and to pull down,

to destroy and to overthrow,

to build and to plant.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Let you focus shift to a situation in which you do not know how to speak or respond.
  • Seek freedom from your reaction, your fear, your anger, your anxiety.
  • Sit in freedom and invite God to speak to you.
  • Hear these words, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I consecrated you. I anointed you.”
  • Invite God to give you the words to speak.
  • God’s words lead to fruit of the Spirit. If they are words that tear down or hurt others, keep seeking for the words that lead to the fruit of the Spirit.
  • Receive these words, and feel God place them on your lips.
  • 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 3, 2019, the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Jeremiah 1:4-10
Psalm 71:1-6
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Luke 4:21-30

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

Luke 4:14-21 – The Spirit of the Lord Is Upon Me

Luke 4:14-21

14Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

16When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: 18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

  • 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 each phrase of the scripture as Jesus reads it to you today. Listen deeply for an invitation in each message:
    • The Spirit of the Lord is upon me [pause and listen]
    • Because he has anointed me [pause and listen]
    • To bring good news to the poor [pause and listen]
    • He has sent me [pause and listen]
    • To proclaim release to the captives [pause and listen]
    • To recovery of sight to the blind [pause and listen]
    • To let the oppressed go free [pause and listen]
    • To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor [pause and listen]
  • Which statement captures your attention the most 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 Sunday, January 27, 2019, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Psalm 19
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Luke 4:14-21

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

1 Corinthians 12:12-31a – Members that Seem Weaker Are Indispensable

1 Corinthians 12:12-31a

12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — Jews or Greeks, slaves or free — and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

14Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15If the foot would say,”Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many members, yet one body. 21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; 24whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, 25that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.

27Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31But strive for the greater gifts.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Do a scan of your body.
  • Notice the parts of your body that are weaker and need your attention.
  • Tell each part that is weak, “I love you, and I need you.”
  • Be grateful for your body.
  • Expand your focus to your community.
  • Tell each part that is weak, “I love you, and I need you.”
  • Be grateful for your community.
  • 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, January 27, 2019, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Psalm 19
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Luke 4:14-21

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

Nehemiah 8: The Joy of the Lord Is Your Strength

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10

1all the people gathered together into the square before the Water Gate. They told the scribe Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had given to Israel. 2Accordingly, the priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding. This was on the first day of the seventh month. 3He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law.

5And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. 6Then Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. Then they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

8So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

9And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. 10Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our LORD; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Lift your face to the light. Bow down and worship. Prostrate your body, if you desire.
  • Imaging hearing hold words read aloud from the Book of the Law of Moses for the first time in many months.
  • Feel the dryness and hunger beginning to fall away.
  • Are there tears longing for release from the wilderness?
  • Are there tears anticipating the feast?
  • Imagine gathering to celebrate and feast together, glorifying God.
  • Let go of anything that is keeping you from embracing joy and strength in God.
  • Taste joy in each moment of the feast. Describe the taste of joy.
  • 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, January 27, 2019, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Psalm 19
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Luke 4:14-21