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.

Revelation 21:1-6 – The Home of God Is Among Mortals

Revelation 21:1-6

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; 4he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.”

5And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.”

  • 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 God making things new today.
  • Name the places and people that God is making new today.
  • Rest in this love and light.
  • Bring your attention to your body, your interior space.
  • Notice how you desire God to make things new in you today.
  • Sit in awe and wonder.
  • 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.

Psalm 148:1-14 – Praise Him Sun and Moon

Psalm 148:1-14

1Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord from the heavens;

praise him in the heights!

2Praise him, all his angels;

praise him, all his host!

3Praise him, sun and moon;

praise him, all you shining stars!

4Praise him, you highest heavens,

and you waters above the heavens!

5Let them praise the name of the Lord,

for he commanded and they were created.

6He established them forever and ever;

he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.

7Praise the Lord from the earth,

you sea monsters and all deeps,

8fire and hail, snow and frost,

stormy wind fulfilling his command!

9Mountains and all hills,

fruit trees and all cedars!

10Wild animals and all cattle,

creeping things and flying birds!

11Kings of the earth and all peoples,

princes and all rulers of the earth!

12Young men and women alike,

old and young together!

13Let them praise the name of the Lord,

for his name alone is exalted;

his glory is above earth and heaven.

14He has raised up a horn for his people,

praise for all his faithful,

for the people of Israel who are close to him.

Praise the Lord!

  • Light a candle to remember God’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Bring your attention again to Praise the Creating One.
  • Let praise arise in you.
  • Name the praises that arise for the Creating One.
  • Rest in this hope and pray.
  • What hope does resurrection bring to the world today?
  • How has God been faithful to you?
  • How has God been faithful to your neighbor?
  • How has God been faithful to the world?
  • Sit in praise.
  • 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.

Acts 11 – 1-18 – The Repentance that Leads to Life

Acts 11:1-18

1Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. 2So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, 3saying, “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?” 4Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying, 5“I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me. 6As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air. 7I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ 8But I replied, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9But a second time the voice answered from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call profane.’ 10This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven. 11At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were. 12The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; 14he will give you a message by which you and your entire household will be saved.’ 15And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning. 16And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?” 18When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, “Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.”

  • 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 invitation of the curtain of  re-creation.
  • What injustice and division in the world is in need of re-creation today?
  • Let your hope rest in this invitation to re-creation.
  • Rest in this hope and pray.
  • What hope does re-creation bring to the world today?
  • Rest in this hope and pray.
  • 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.

John 10:22-30 – My Sheep Hear My Voice

John 10:22-30

22At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, 23and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. 24So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” 25Jesus answered, “I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; 26but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. 27My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. 29What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. 30The Father and I are one.”

  • 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 to your hearing.
  • How do you know God’s voice?
  • What words do you hear as you follow God’s voice today?
  • How do these words bring you love and peace?
  • How do these words encourage you to follow the path to God?
  • How do you feel safe and trust God on this path?
  • 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 12, the Fourth Sunday of Easter Year C

Acts 9:36-43
Psalm 23:1-6
Revelation 7:9-17
John 10:22-30

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 7:9-17 – The Lamb at the Center of the Throne

Revelation 7:9-17

9After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. 10They cried out in a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12singing, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

13Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” 14I said to him, “Sir, you are the one that knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them. 16They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; 17for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Imagine standing in the great multitude.  All dressed in white waving palm branches, standing before the Lamb.
  • Blessing.
  • Glory.
  • Wisdom.
  • Honor.
  • Hunger no more.
  • Thirst no more.
  • Let the Shepherd guide you to springs of the water of life.
  • Let God wipe away every tear from your eye.
  • Rest in Blessing.
  • 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 12, the Fourth Sunday of Easter Year C

Acts 9:36-43
Psalm 23:1-6
Revelation 7:9-17
John 10:22-30

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.

Psalm 23 – He Leads Me Beside Still Waters

PSALM 23:1-6

1   The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2        He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
3        he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.

4   Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff —
they comfort me.

5   You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6   Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
my whole life long.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Come and sit by the water.
  • Sit in Christ’s presence.
  • Set other cares aside so that you can sit and be with the Lord.
  • Notice what it feels like to sit and be with the Lord.
  • From this place of love, let the Lord lead you.
  • From this place of gentleness, let the Lord lead you.
  • From this place of peace, let the Lord lead you.
  • From this place of surrender, let the Lord lead you.
  • From this place of goodness, let the Lord lead you.
  • From this place of mercy, let the Lord lead you.
  • Hold this place of love, gentleness, peace, surrender, goodness, and mercy.  Breathe in this place where you dwell with the Lord.  Carry it with you today.
  • Breathe in this place before you make decisions.
  • Breathe in this place before you speak.
  • Breathe in this place before you act.
  • Let Christ lead your day.
  • Take time to reflect at the end of the day.  Where did Christ lead 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, May 12, the Fourth Sunday of Easter Year C

Acts 9:36-43
Psalm 23:1-6
Revelation 7:9-17
John 10:22-30

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.

Acts 9:36-43 – Praying for Life after Death

Acts 9:36-43

36Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. 37At that time she became ill and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs. 38Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, “Please come to us without delay.” 39So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them. 40Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. 41He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. 42This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 43Meanwhile he stayed in Joppa for some time with a certain Simon, a tanner.

  • 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 Easter message of resurrection.
  • Hope.  Love.  Life.
  • What hope does resurrection bring to you today?
  • Rest in this hope and pray.
  • What hope does resurrection bring to the world today?
  • Rest in this hope and pray.
  • 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 12, the Fourth Sunday of Easter Year C

Acts 9:36-43
Psalm 23:1-6
Revelation 7:9-17
John 10:22-30

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.

Tuesday of Holy Week: Psalm 71:1-14 – Rescue me, O my God

During Holy Week, Readings and Meditations will be posted up to four times a day around  6 am, 12 pm, 3 pm, 6 pm

Psalm 71:1-14

1   In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
2   In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
incline your ear to me and save me.
3   Be to me a rock of refuge,
a strong fortress, to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.

4   Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.
5   For you, O Lord, are my hope,
my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
6   Upon you I have leaned from my birth;
it was you who took me from my mother’s womb.
My praise is continually of you.

7   I have been like a portent to many,
but you are my strong refuge.
8   My mouth is filled with your praise,
and with your glory all day long.
9   Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
do not forsake me when my strength is spent.
10  For my enemies speak concerning me,
and those who watch for my life consult together.
11  They say, “Pursue and seize that person
whom God has forsaken,
for there is no one to deliver.”

12  O God, do not be far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!
13  Let my accusers be put to shame and consumed;
let those who seek to hurt me
be covered with scorn and disgrace.
14  But I will hope continually,
and will praise you yet more and more.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • In you, Creator, I take refuge.
  • Recreate me.
  • In you, Redeemer, I take refuge.
  • Redeem me.
  • In you, Sustainer, I take refuge.
  • Comfort me.
  • Notice the praise that arises as you are covered with love and grace and mercy.
  • 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 Tuesday, April 16, 2019 the Tuesday of Holy Week (Year C)

Isaiah 49:1-7
Psalm 71:1-14
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
John 12:20-36

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

Luke 22:14-23:56 – Not My Will Be Done But Yours

Luke 22:14-23:56

22:14When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. 15He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. 21But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table. 22For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!” 23Then they began to ask one another, which one of them it could be who would do this.

24A dispute also arose among them as to which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25But he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves. 27For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

28“You are those who have stood by me in my trials; 29and I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom, 30so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

31“Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, 32but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” 33And he said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!” 34Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you have denied three times that you know me.”

35He said to them, “When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “No, not a thing.” 36He said to them, “But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. 37For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was counted among the lawless’; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled.” 38They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” He replied, “It is enough.”

39He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. 40When he reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” 41Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, 42“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.” 43Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. 44In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. 45When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, 46and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”

47While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him; 48but Jesus said to him, “Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?” 49When those who were around him saw what was coming, they asked, “Lord, should we strike with the sword?” 50Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. 52Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple police, and the elders who had come for him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit? 53When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness!”

54Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house. But Peter was following at a distance. 55When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. 56Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, “This man also was with him.” 57But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59Then about an hour later still another kept insisting, “Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.” 60But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about!” At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed.61The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62And he went out and wept bitterly.

63Now the men who were holding Jesus began to mock him and beat him; 64they also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” 65They kept heaping many other insults on him.

66When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, gathered together, and they brought him to their council. 67They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us.” He replied, “If I tell you, you will not believe; 68and if I question you, you will not answer. 69But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” 70All of them asked, “Are you, then, the Son of God?” He said to them, “You say that I am.” 71Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips!”

23:1Then the assembly rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate. 2They began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man perverting our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king.” 3Then Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He answered, “You say so.” 4Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no basis for an accusation against this man.” 5But they were insistent and said, “He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to this place.”

6When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. 7And when he learned that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him off to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. 8When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time, because he had heard about him and was hoping to see him perform some sign. 9He questioned him at some length, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11Even Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him; then he put an elegant robe on him, and sent him back to Pilate. 12That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies.

13Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, 14and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16I will therefore have him flogged and release him.”

18Then they all shouted out together, “Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!” 19(This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.) 20Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; 21but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” 22A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.” 23But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. 24So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. 25He released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished.

26As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. 28But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29For the days are surely coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ 30Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing. 35And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” 36The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, 37and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

39One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

44It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last. 47When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.” 48And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts. 49But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

50Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph, who, though a member of the council, 51had not agreed to their plan and action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea, and he was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God. 52This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid. 54It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning. 55The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid. 56Then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments.

On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • You have made it to Jerusalem.
  • Notice how you hold both hope and despair.
  • Hear the messages of hope around you.
  • How have you followed Jesus?
  • Hear the messages of crucify around you.
  • How do you desire to respond to the crowds?
  • How have you denied Jesus?
  • Notice how one hand waves palms for the king and one hand waves for the criminal, “Away with him.”
  • What is your message from God?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, April 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.