Advent – Luke 1: 39-55 – Blessed Is She Who Believed

Luke 1:39-45 (46-55)

39In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

46And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the LORD,

47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

48for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.

Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

49for the Mighty One has done great things for me,

and holy is his name.

50His mercy is for those who fear him

from generation to generation.

51He has shown strength with his arm;

he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

52He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,

and lifted up the lowly;

53he has filled the hungry with good things,

and sent the rich away empty.

54He has helped his servant Israel,

in remembrance of his mercy,

55according to the promise he made to our ancestors,

to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on your interior space.
  • Notice how you are blessed.
  • You are blessed to bless others.
  • Embrace and believe the good news of this blessing.
  • Are there any obstacles to embrace this blessing that need to be removed?
  • Let the obstacles go to make room for blessing.
  • Feel the warmth and light of this new blessing.
  • Does the blessing have a name?
  • Hear the good news of this Advent season.  Embrace the blessing and believe.
  • Give thanks to God for this gift of Blessing and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 23, 2018, the Third Sunday of Advent (Year C)
Micah 5:2-5a
Canticle Luke  1:46b-55
Psalm 80:1-7
Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1:39-45 (46-55)

(c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

Advent – Hebrews 10:5-10 – A Body You Have Prepared for Me

Hebrews 10:5-10

5Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,

“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,

but a body you have prepared for me;

6in burnt offerings and sin offerings

you have taken no pleasure.”

7Then I said, ‘See, God, I have come to do your will, O God’

(in the scroll of the book it is written of me).”

8When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9then he added, “See, I have come to do your will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. 10And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on your interior space.
  • Notice the invitation to accept new life growing in you.
  • Embrace the new life in you.
  • Notice how your body creates a warm, cocooned space for this new life to grow.
  • Notice how your body wants to nurture and to be gentle.
  • Are there any obstacles to this new life that need to be removed?
  • Let the obstacles go to make room for growth.
  • Feel the warmth and light of this new growth.
  • Does it have a name?
  • Hear the good news of this Advent season.  There is new life growing in you and anticipating birth.
  • Give thanks to God for this gift of New Life and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 23, 2018, the Third Sunday of Advent (Year C)
Micah 5:2-5a
Canticle Luke  1:46b-55
Psalm 80:1-7
Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1:39-45 (46-55)

(c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

Advent – Psalm 80:1-7 – Bread of Tears

Psalm 80:1-7

1Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,

you who lead Joseph like a flock!

You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth

2before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.

Stir up your might,

and come to save us!

3Restore us, O God;

let your face shine, that we may be saved.

4O LORD God of hosts,

how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?

5You have fed them with the bread of tears,

and given them tears to drink in full measure.

6You make us the scorn of our neighbors;

our enemies laugh among themselves.

7Restore us, O God of hosts;

let your face shine, that we may be saved.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on your interior space.
  • Notice the tears in you.
  • Embrace the tears in you.
  • Release the tears to let them speak to you.
  • Invite the tears to feed you.
  • Journey toward the manger with tears.
  • Hear the good news of this Advent season.  Your tears will nourish you.
  • Give thanks to God for this gift of Tears and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 23, 2018, the Third Sunday of Advent (Year C)
Micah 5:2-5a
Canticle Luke  1:46b-55
Psalm 80:1-7
Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1:39-45 (46-55)

(c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

Advent – Canticle Luke 1:46b-55 – He Lifted Up the Lowly

Canticle Luke 1:46b-55

46bMy soul magnifies the LORD,

47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

48for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.

Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

49for the Mighty One has done great things for me,

and holy is his name.

50His mercy is for those who fear him

from generation to generation.

51He has shown strength with his arm;

he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

52He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,

and lifted up the lowly;

53he has filled the hungry with good things,

and sent the rich away empty.

54He has helped his servant Israel,

in remembrance of his mercy,

55according to the promise he made to our ancestors,

to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on your interior space.
  • Notice the pride in you.
  • How do you desire for the Shepherd to remove the pride in you and scatter it?
  • Embrace this freedom within you.
  • How do you desire for the Shepherd to remove your need to exert power over others?
  • Embrace this freedom within you.
  • How do you desire for the Shepherd to remove your greed for riches?
    Embrace this freedom within you.
  • Journey toward the manger with the lowly.
  • Hear the good news of this Advent season.  The Shepherd brings mercy to the lowly.
  • Give thanks to God for this gift of Mercy and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 23, 2018, the Third Sunday of Advent (Year C)
Micah 5:2-5a
Canticle Luke  1:46b-55
Psalm 80:1-7
Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1:39-45 (46-55)

(c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

Advent – Luke 3: 7-18 – Bear Fruits Worthy of Repentance

Luke 3: 7-18

7John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 9Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

10And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” 11In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” 12Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” 14Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”

15As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

18So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on your interior space.
  • Notice the tree within you.
  • Describe the tree.
  • What is the name of the tree?
  • Embrace this tree within you. 
  • Return your focus to your interior space.
  • Name any judgment you are experiencing.
  • Embrace this judgment in you.  Let it speak to you.
  • Love the places judgment has wounded.  Forgive yourself and forgive others.
  • Invite these wounded places to bear fruit in the name of the Lord.
  • Hear the good news of this Advent season.  The One who baptizes with unquenchable fire is coming again.
  • Give thanks to God for this time in seeking Fruit and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 16, 2018, the Third Sunday of Advent (Year C)
Zephaniah 3:14-20
Isaiah 12:2-6
Philippians 4:4-7
Luke 3:7-18

(c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

Advent – Canticle Isaiah 12:2-6 – I Will Trust and Not Be Afraid

Canticle Isaiah 12:2-6

2Surely God is my salvation;

I will trust, and will not be afraid,

for the LORD GOD is my strength and my might;

he has become my salvation.

3With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4And you will say in that day:

Give thanks to the LORD,

call on his name;

make known his deeds among the nations;

proclaim that his name isexalted.

5Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously;

let this be known in all the earth.

6Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion,

for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on your interior space.
  • Notice the well within you.
  • Describe the well.
  • What is the name of the well?
  • Embrace this well with in you. 
  • Return your focus to your interior space.
  • Name any fear you are experiencing.
  • Love this fear place in you.
  • Let the cool water of the well speak to fear.
  • Hear the good news of this Advent season.  Trust God and do not be afraid.
  • Give thanks to God for this time in seeking Trust and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 16, 2018, the Third Sunday of Advent (Year C)
Zephaniah 3:14-20
Isaiah 12:2-6
Philippians 4:4-7
Luke 3:7-18

(c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

Advent: Zephaniah 3:14-20 – I Will Bring You Home

Zephaniah 3:14-20

14  Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
15  The LORD has taken away the judgments against you,
he has turned away your enemies.
The king of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
you shall fear disaster no more.
16  On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, O Zion;
do not let your hands grow weak.
17  The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing
18       as on a day of festival.
I will remove disaster from you,
so that you will not bear reproach for it.
19  I will deal with all your oppressors
at that time.
And I will save the lame
and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.
20  At that time I will bring you home,
at the time when I gather you;
for I will make you renowned and praised
among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
before your eyes, says the LORD.

Zephaniah 3:14-20

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on the inward voice.
  • Notice the wilderness part of you.  Where have you been dispersed from your home?
  • Embrace this wilderness part of you.  Name the pain and suffering you have experienced.
  • Love this wilderness place in you.
  • Read these words of good news to this wilderness place within you.
  • Hear the good news of this Advent season.  I will bring you home.
  • Savor this good news of Christ in the manger.
  • Give thanks to God for this time in seeking the Truth and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 16, 2018, the Third Sunday of Advent (Year C)
Zephaniah 3:14-20
Isaiah 12:2-6
Philippians 4:4-7
Luke 3:7-18

(c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

Advent: Luke 3:1-6 – Prepare the Way of the Lord

Luke 3:1-6

1In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, 2during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, 4as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,

“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:

‘Prepare the way of the Lord,

make his paths straight.

5Every valley shall be filled,

and every mountain and hill shall be made low,

and the crooked shall be made straight,

and the rough ways made smooth;

6and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on the inward voice.
  • Seek the way of the Lord within you.
  • What new life/new creation lives within you?
  • Sit with this new life/new creation.
  • What new life/new creation is Christ calling you to share?
  • Who will receive this new life/new creation?
  • What is Christ’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in seeking the new life/new creation and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 9, 2018, the Second Sunday of Advent (Year C)
Malachi 3:1-4
Canticle of Luke 1:68-79
Philippians 1:3-11
Luke 3:1-6

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

Advent: Philippians 1:3-11 – The Compassion and Love of Jesus

Philippians 1:3-11

3I thank my God every time I remember you, 4constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, 5because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. 6I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. 7It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. 9And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight 10to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, 11having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on the inward voice.
  • Seek the Compassion of the Jesus within you.
  • What Compassion lives within you?
  • Savor this Compassion.
  • What Compassion within you is Christ calling you to share?
  • Who will receive this Compassion?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in seeking Compassion and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 9, 2018, the Second Sunday of Advent (Year C)
Malachi 3:1-4
Canticle of Luke 1:68-79
Philippians 1:3-11
Luke 3:1-6

(c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

Advent: Malachi 3:1-4 – Prepare the Way Before Me

MALACHI 3:1-41See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight — indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. 2But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; 3he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. 4Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on the inward voice.
  • Seek the truth of the Lord within you.
  • What word of Christ lives within you?
  • Savor this word of Christ.
  • What word of truth within you is Christ calling you to share?
  • Who will receive this word of truth?
  • What is Christ’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in seeking the Truth and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 9, 2018, the Second Sunday of Advent (Year C)
Malachi 3:1-4
Canticle of Luke 1:68-79
Philippians 1:3-11
Luke 3:1-6

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