John 13:31-35 – Love One Another

John 13:31-35

31When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

  • 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 attention again to the New Commandment:  love another as I have loved you.
  • Be showered with God’s love.
  • What hope does love bring you today?
  • Rest in this love.
  • What hope does love bring the world today?
  • Rest in this love.
  • Sit in light and love.
  • 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, May 19, the Fifth Sunday of Easter Year C

Acts 11:1-18
Psalm 148:1-14
Revelation 21:1-6
John 13:31-35

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.

Philippians 2:5-11 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus

PHILIPPIANS 2:5-11

5Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 
6   who, though he was in the form of God, 
          did not regard equality with God 
          as something to be exploited, 
7   but emptied himself, 
          taking the form of a slave, 
          being born in human likeness. 
     And being found in human form, 
8        he humbled himself 
          and became obedient to the point of death — 
          even death on a cross.

9   Therefore God also highly exalted him 
          and gave him the name 
          that is above every name, 
10  so that at the name of Jesus 
          every knee should bend, 
          in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 
11  and every tongue should confess 
          that Jesus Christ is Lord, 
          to the glory of God the Father.

  • 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.
  • Empty all that you can.  Continue to breathe.  Empty some more.
  • Write down anything you are afraid you will forget.
  • Move aside anything that is distracting you.
  • Empty to be able to be obedient.
  • What does God ask you to do?
  • Empty to be able to receive.
  • What is God trying to give you?
  • As you respond to this gift, how do you confess Jesus Christ is Lord?
  • 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 14, 2019, Palm Sunday (Passion Sunday) (Year C)

  • Liturgy of the Palms Luke 19:28-40
  • Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
  • Liturgy of the Passion Isaiah 50:4-9a
  • Psalm 31:9-16
  • Philippians 2:5-11
  • Luke 22:14-23:56

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

Christmas Joy! Psalm 98:1-9 Make a Joyful Noise!

PSALM 98:1-9

1   O sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done marvelous things.
His right hand and his holy arm
have gained him victory.
2   The LORD has made known his victory;
he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
3   He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the victory of our God.

4   Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
5   Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody.
6   With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD.

7   Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who live in it.
8   Let the floods clap their hands;
let the hills sing together for joy
9   at the presence of the LORD, for he is coming
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • God has fulfilled God’s promise to humanity.
  • What joy arises in you?
  • What joy arises in the earth?
  • How does creation dance with you?
  • Spend time in nature today seeing, hearing, feeling, sensing how creation sings forth the joy of the Lord.
  • What do you notice within you as you experience the joy of creation?
  • How do you experience the new birth of Christ again?
  • Give thanks to God for joy in creation and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Tuesday, December 25, 2018, the Nativity of Jesus Christ Year C
Isaiah 52: 7-10
Psalm 98:1-9
Hebrews 1:1-4 (5-12)
John 1:1-14

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

1 Samuel 1:4-20 – What is God’s desire for you?

1 Samuel 1:4-20

4On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters; 5but to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the LORD had closed her womb. 6Her rival used to provoke her severely, to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. 7So it went on year by year; as often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. 8Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”

9After they had eaten and drunk at Shiloh, Hannah rose and presented herself before the LORD. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the LORD. 10She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD, and wept bitterly. 11She made this vow: “O LORD of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head.”

12As she continued praying before the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. 13Hannah was praying silently; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard; therefore Eli thought she was drunk. 14So Eli said to her, “How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Put away your wine.” 15But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman deeply troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD. 16Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation all this time.” 17Then Eli answered, “Go in peace; the God of Israel grant the petition you have made to him.” 18And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your sight.” Then the woman went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband, and her countenance was sad no longer.

19They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD; then they went back to their house at Ramah. Elkanah knew his wife Hannah, and the LORD remembered her. 20In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I have asked him of 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.
  • Drop your shoulders, expand your chest, and let the breath fill you.
  • Consider how you feel like Hannah today.
  • What desire do you have that seems to escape you?
  • Open yourself to this desire.
  • What is God’s desire for you?
  • Where does your desire and God’s desire for you meet?
  • Pray to be open this place where your desire and God’s desire for you meet.
  • Carry this place of openness with you throughout your day.
  • 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, 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

Mark 12:38-44 – She out of her poverty has put in everything she had

“The Widow with Two Coins” by Emily Mineo

Mark 12:38-44

38As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! 40They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

41He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 43Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

  • 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 to the breath, consider how you are a scribe in your life.
  • What do you oversee that creates oppression for your neighbor?
  • What needs to change to glorify God?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Go back to the breath.
  • As you reach freedom in the breath, consider how you are like the widow in your life.
  • What do you give the treasury that is all you have to live on?
  • What needs to change to glorify God?
  • 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, November 11, 2018, the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Ruth 3:1-5, 4:13-17
Psalm 127:1-5
Hebrews 9:24-28
Mark 12:38-44

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

Ruth 3:1-5, 4:13-17 – Restorer of Life and Nourisher of Old Age

Ruth 3:1-5, 4:13-17

1Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, I need to seek some security for you, so that it may be well with you. 2Now here is our kinsman Boaz, with whose young women you have been working. See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. 3Now wash and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4When he lies down, observe the place where he lies; then, go and uncover his feet and lie down; and he will tell you what to do.” 5She said to her, “All that you tell me I will do.”

4:13So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the LORD made her conceive, and she bore a son. 14Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.” 16Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. 17The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David.

  • 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.
  • Open yourself to the Holy One who restores and nourishes.
  • How does God restore you?
  • Where do you notice this in your body?
  • Savor being restored.
  • How does God nourish you?
  • Where do you notice this in your body?
  • Savor being nourished.
  • What needs to be restored and nourished in you today?
  • What needs to be restored and nourished in the world 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 Sunday, November 11, 2018, the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Ruth 3:1-5, 4:13-17
Psalm 127:1-5
Hebrews 9:24-28
Mark 12:38-44

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

Mark 10:2-16 – Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it

Mark 10:2-16

2Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” 5But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. 6But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

10Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; 12and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

13People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. 14But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 15Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” 16And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.

  • 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.
  • Let go of any tension in your shoulders.  Be opened by the Breath.  Seek freedom.
  • Place your hands palms up in your lap.
  • Imagine holding a ball.
  • What does the ball look like? Is it large or small?  What color is the ball?
  • How do you desire to play with the ball?
  • Imagine playing with the ball.
  • What do you feel when you play with the ball?
  • Is there someone playing with you?  Or are you alone?
  • What are you playing?
  • Notice your surroundings.  Where are you?
  • Be open to Christ.  Where do you find Christ?
  • What playfulness do you encounter?
  • 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, October 7, 2018, the Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Job 1:1, 2:1-10
Psalm 26:1-12
Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12
Mark 10:2-16

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

Song of Solomon 2:8-13: Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away

8The voice of my beloved! Look, he comes, leaping upon the mountains, bounding over the hills. 9My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look, there he stands behind our wall, gazing in at the windows, looking through the lattice. 10My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; 11for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. 12The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. 13The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”

  • 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, allow your hearing to become heightened.
  • Gently silence anything keeping you from hearing.
  • What does your beloved God say to you?
  • How does God woo you to follow?
  • Notice any resistance in you to follow.
  • What do you need for the resistance to disappear?
  • Hear God wooing you to follow.
  • Notice the path God has placed before you.
  • What peace do you notice on the path?
  • Take  mental picture of the path, noticing details of flowers, landscape, color, smell.
  • Carry this picture with you in case you lose your way.
  • 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

 

Psalm 84 – How lovely is your dwelling place

Psalm 84:1-12

1How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD of hosts!
2My soul longs, indeed it faints
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
3Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,at your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my King and my God.
4Happy are those who live in your house,
ever singing your praise.
Selah
5Happy are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
6As they go through the valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
7They go from strength to strength;
the God of gods will be seen in Zion.
8O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob!
Selah
9Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed.
10For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than live in the tents of wickedness.
11For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
he bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does the LORD withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
12O LORD of hosts,
happy is everyone who trusts in you.

  • 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.
  • Better is one day in the house of the Lord than thousands elsewhere.
  • Imagine one day in the house of the Lord.
  • Where are you?
  • Who is with you?
  • What do you see?
  • What do you hear?
  • What do you smell?
  • What do you feel?
  • Stay as long as you desire and be filled with the goodness of God.
  • How will you carry the house of the Lord with you?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, August 26, 2018, the Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

1 Kings 8:(1,6,10-11) 22-30, 41-43
Psalm 84:1-12
Ephesians 6:10-20
John 6: 56-69

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