Matthew 25:31-46 – Are you feeding the hungry?

31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ 41Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal 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.
  • How have you been blessed by God?
  • How have you been a blessing to others?
  • What new blessings are you called to give to others?
  • How is your hunger fed, your thirst quenched?
  • Who feeds you?
  • Who welcomes you?
  • Who are you to welcome?
  • What is the message from God?
  • What call to action do you hear?
  • Give thanks to God for this time to recognize blessings 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 26, 2017, Christ the King (Reign of Christ) Sunday (Year A)
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
Psalm 100: 1-5
Ephesians 1:15-23
Matthew 25:31-46

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings  (c) 2017 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Psalm 123 – To you I lift up my eyes

PSALM 123:1-4

1   To you I lift up my eyes,
O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
2   As the eyes of servants
look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid
to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the LORD our God,
until he has mercy upon us.

3   Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us,
for we have had more than enough of contempt.
4   Our soul has had more than its fill
of the scorn of those who are at ease,
of the contempt of the proud.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the breath.
  • Imagine yourself lifting up your eyes to see God in heaven.
  • What curtains of contempt and scorn must be pushed aside for you to see God?
  • Name these curtains as you push them aside.
  • Continue naming the curtains and moving them until you can see God as fully as possible.
  • Rest in the Lord.  Savor this time.
  • What characteristics of God do you encounter this day?
  • Allow these characteristics to fully embrace you as a gift from God.
  • Rest in the Lord.  Savor this time.
  • Is there a message for you from God?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • Give thanks to God for this time of prayer and presence.  Give thanks for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, November 19, 2017, the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Judges 4:1-7
Psalm 123:1-4
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Matthew 25:14-30

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Matthew 25:31-46 Sheep and Goats

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the breath.
  • Consider sheep and goats living together in community.
  • What word or image captures your attention in this photo?
  • What does this word or image say about God?
  • What does this word or image say about you, a human being?
  • What does this word or image say about your responsibility to your neighbor?
  • Consider this photo again as it contains a message for you from God.  What is God’s message for you?
  • Beyond you, how does this message relate to your community?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • Give thanks for this time in prayer to listen to God’s message 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 30, 2011, Christ the King Sunday Year A
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
Psalm 100: 1-5
Ephesians 1:15-23
Matthew 25:31-46
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Matthew 25:31-46 Are you feeding the hungry?

31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ 41Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal 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.
  • How have you been blessed by God?
  • How have you been a blessing to others?
  • What new blessings are you called to give to others?
  • How is your hunger fed, your thirst quenched?
  • Who feeds you?
  • Who welcomes you?
  • Who are you to welcome?
  • What is the message from God?
  • What call to action do you hear?
  • Give thanks to God for this time to recognize blessings 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 30, 2011, Christ the King Sunday Year A
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
Psalm 100: 1-5
Ephesians 1:15-23
Matthew 25:31-46
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Psalm 123 – To you I lift up my eyes

PSALM 123:1-4

1   To you I lift up my eyes,
O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
2   As the eyes of servants
look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid
to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the LORD our God,
until he has mercy upon us.

3   Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us,
for we have had more than enough of contempt.
4   Our soul has had more than its fill
of the scorn of those who are at ease,
of the contempt of the proud.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the breath.
  • Imagine yourself lifting up your eyes to see God in heaven.
  • What curtains of contempt and scorn must be pushed aside for you to see God?
  • Name these curtains as you push them aside.
  • Continue naming the curtains and moving them until you can see God as fully as possible.
  • Rest in the Lord.  Savor this time.
  • What characteristics of God do you encounter this day?
  • Allow these characteristics to fully embrace you as a gift from God.
  • Rest in the Lord.  Savor this time.
  • Is there a message for you from God?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • Give thanks to God for this time of prayer and presence.  Give thanks for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, November 13, 2011,  the Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Judges 4:1-7
Psalm 123
I Thessalonians: 5:1-11
Matthew 25:14-30
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Psalm 78: They should set their hope in God

PSALM 78:1-7

1   Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2   I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
3   things that we have heard and known,
that our ancestors have told us.
4   We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.

5   He established a decree in Jacob,
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
to teach to their children;
6   that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and rise up and tell them to their children,
7        so that they should set their hope in God,
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit 5 to 15 minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the breath.
  • What does God desire for you to teach the children?
  • Where shall you teach?
  • How will this bring glory to God?
  • How will God prepare you?
  • What gifts has God provided you?
  • What new hope do you perceive?
  • Give thanks to God for this time to recognize the gifts God has given 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 6, 2011,  the Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25
Psalm 78:1-7
I Thessalonians: 4:13-18
Matthew 25:1-13
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Genesis 45:1-14 – God sent me before you to preserve life…

 

Genesis 45:1-14

1 Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Send everyone away from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. 3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence. 4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6 For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7 God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9 Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, “Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. 10 You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11 I will provide for you there—since there are five more years of famine to come—so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.’ 12 And now your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my own mouth that speaks to you. 13You must tell my father how greatly I am honored in Egypt, and all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” 14 Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, while Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.

  • Spend 5 to 15 minutes in silent meditation using your deep breathing to guide you.
  • Imagine that you are Joseph.
  • How has God sent you to preserve life?
  • Imagine that you are one of the brothers.
  • Do you feel relief?  Or guilt?  Or both?
  • What do you have to reclaim in your family?
  • How will you claim this together in Goshen?
  • How will God provide for you?
  • Notice what feelings accompany your thoughts.
  • Give thanks to God for this opportunity to seek understanding through imagination and for anything new you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, August 14, 2011,  the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Genesis 45: 1-15
Psalm 133: 1-3
Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32
Matthew 15: (10-20) 21-28
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD.

Take this Bread

Holy communion knocked me upside down and forced me to deal with the impossible reality of God. Then, as conversion continued, relentlessly challenging my assumptions about religion and politics and meaning, God forced me to deal with all kinds of other people. In large ways and small, I wrestled with Christianity; its grand promises and its petty demands, its temptations and hypocrisies and promises, its ugly history and often insufferable adherents. Faith for me didn’t provide a set of easy answers or certainties It raised more questions than I was ever comfortable with. The bits of my past- family, work, war, love – came apart as I stumbled into church, then reassembled, though the works communion inspired me to do, into a new life centered on feeding strangers: food and bodies, transformed. I wound up not in what church people like to call “a community of believers” – which tends to be code of “a like-minded club” – but in something huger and wilder than I had ever expected: the suffering, fractious, and unboundaried body of Christ.

-Sara Miles
Take This Bread

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Invite yourself to remember the first communion you can remember.
  • What specific things do you remember about experience of communion?
  • What hunger was satisfied?
  • What hunger was stirred?
  • What freedom did you experience?
  • What tension did you notice?
  • Remember a recent experience of communion.
  • What is similar and what has changed?
  • Give thanks to God for hunger, for being fed, and for the new things you received today.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

The Five Thousand

                                                                                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The five thousand
Eularia Clarke (1914-1970)

Oil

1962

Methodist Collection of Modern Christian Art, No.6


  • Light a candle remembering Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit in a comfortable place with your palms up ready in a posture to receive.
  • Spend 5  in silence engaging with the piece of art.  Allow yourself to sit in the grass.  Remember your deep breathing.
  • How do you connect with the painting?  Do you see yourself as one of the five thousand?  Are you feeding the five thousand?  Or are you just observing?
  • Spend another 5 minutes in silence engaging with the piece of art.  Allow yourself to see more deeply.
  • What message do you receive from the painting?
  • Spend another 5 minutes in silence engaging with the piece of art.
  • What action is calling to you?
  • Give thanks to God for the feeding you have found today.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, July 24 2011,  Year A
Genesis 25:19-34
Psalm 119:105-112
Romans 8:1-11
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD.

Matthew 14:13-21 Give them something to eat…

Matthew 14:13 21

13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. 15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

  • Spend 5 to 15 minutes in silent meditation using your deep breathing to guide you.
  • Imagine that you are one of those following Jesus.
  • What have you seen Jesus cure?
  • Imagine that you have been invited for dinner.
  • Sit down on the grass.
  • Notice how Jesus blesses the fish and the loaves.
  • Eat your fill.
  • Notice who you are dining with.
  • What does if feel like to be filled with the food of Christ?
  • Watch the leftovers be collected.
  • What are your leftovers that are collected.
  • Give thanks to God for the food that fills and the leftovers for tomorrow.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, July 31 2011,  the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Genesis 32:22-31
Psalm 17:1-7, 15
Romans 9:1-5
Matthew 14:13-21
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD.