Epiphany – Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14 – May Righteousness Flourish and Peace Abound

Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14

1   Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to a king’s son.
2   May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice.
3   May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness.
4   May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the needy,
and crush the oppressor.
5   May he live while the sun endures,
and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
6   May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth.
7   In his days may righteousness flourish
and peace abound, until the moon is no more.

10  May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles
render him tribute,
may the kings of Sheba and Seba
bring gifts.
11  May all kings fall down before him,
all nations give him service.

12  For he delivers the needy when they call,
the poor and those who have no helper.
13  He has pity on the weak and the needy,
and saves the lives of the needy.
14  From oppression and violence he redeems their life;
and precious is their blood in his sight.

  • 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 settle into your breath, bring your gifts before the Holy King.
  • Free yourself of stumbling blocks, to-do lists, future plans.
  • Put all of yourself into the gifts you bring to offer the Holy King.
  • Keep these gifts before you as you notice the response of Jesus.
  • How shall these gifts be used to glorify Jesus the Christ?
  • How shall these gifts be used to help those who are oppressed and who are victims of violence?
  • Listen for the response.
  • Notice a place of lightening within you, a heightened sense of hearing or an aura of light that might capture your attention.
  • Listen for the response.
  • Hold these gifts before you throughout the day, listening and watching for direction.
  • Be open to all you encounter.
  • Visit these gifts again at the end of the 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, January 6, 2019, the Epiphany of the Lord  (Year C)

Isaiah 60:1-6
Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14
Ephesians 3:1-12
Matthew 2:1-12

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

Christmas Joy! John 1:1-14 Testify to the Light!

GOSPEL JOHN 1:1-14

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.10He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.14And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • What light captures your attention?
  • Stay with the light.
  • Savor the light.
  • What life do you feel in the light?
  • What life needs to be awakened in you?
  • Allow the light into this place that needs to be awakened.
  • Feel the light slowly warming up this place that needs to be awakened.
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for the light and for awakening.  Give thanks to God 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.

Christmas Joy! Hebrews 1:144 (5-12) The Reflection of God’s Glory

HEBREWS 1:1-4 (5-12)

1Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. 3He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.5For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”? 6And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” 7Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, and his servants flames of fire.” 8But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom. 9   You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” 10And, “In the beginning, Lord, you founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands; 11  they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like clothing; 12  like a cloak you will roll them up, and like clothing they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will never end.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • What comes to mind when you hear “the reflection of God’s glory”?
  • Savor this word or image.
  • What comes to mind when you hear “the exact imprint of God’s being”?
  • Savor this word or image.
  • How are these words/images present in the world today?
  • God sustains these with God’s powerful word.
  • What powerful new word needs to be spoken by God into the world today?
  • Give thanks to God for this time to recognize God’s presence in the world and to invite God into new place.
  • 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.

Christmas Joy! Isaiah 52:7-10 – Redeeming Love!

ISAIAH 52:7-10

7   How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news,
who announces salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
8   Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
together they sing for joy;
for in plain sight they see
the return of the LORD to Zion.
9   Break forth together into singing,
you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the LORD has comforted his people,
he has redeemed Jerusalem.
10  The LORD has bared his holy arm
before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you breathe, what peace do you realize?
  • Someone has news to share with you.
  • What peace is announced?
  • What song arises within you?
  • What comfort blankets you?
  • What salvation do you see?
  • What message does God have for you in this peace?
  • What message does God have for the world in this peace?
  • Give thanks to God for this new sense of peace and for any new insights you have been given.
  • 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 B 
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.

Christmas Eve – Isaiah 9:2-7 – A Great Light

ISAIAH 9:2-7

2   The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness —
on them light has shined.
3   You have multiplied the nation,
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as people exult when dividing plunder.
4   For the yoke of their burden,
and the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.
5   For all the boots of the tramping warriors
and all the garments rolled in blood
shall be burned as fuel for the fire.
6   For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7   His authority shall grow continually,
and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time onward and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit in silence five to fifteen minutes embracing the great light that shines before you.
  • What darkness in you desires to be overcome by the light?
  • Allow the light of Christ to warm this desire within you.
  • Embrace the light.
  • Savor any peace that comes.
  • How will you follow the light?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time 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 Monday, December 24, 2018, Christmas Eve (Year C)
Isaiah 9:2-7
Psalm 96:1-13
Titus 2:11-14
Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)

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

Advent – Philippians 4:4-7 – Let Your Gentleness Be Known to Everyone

Philippians 4:4-7

4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

  • 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 gentleness within you.  
  • Where does it live in you?
  • What is the name of the gentleness that lives in you?
  • Embrace gentleness in you. 
  • Do others know gentleness?
  • How would you like to share gentleness with others?
  • Name any fear that comes with this invitation.
  • Pray for the Light in the Manger to guard your heart as you share gentleness with others.
  • Share the good news of this Advent season.  Gentleness brings peace that passes all understanding.
  • Give thanks to God for this time in seeking Gentleness 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.

Psalm 34:1-8 (9-22)- I sought the Lord and he answered me

Psalm 34:1-8 (19-22)

1I will bless the LORD at all times;

his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

2My soul makes its boast in the LORD;

let the humble hear and be glad.

3O magnify the LORD with me,

and let us exalt his name together.

4I sought the LORD, and he answered me,

and delivered me from all my fears.

5Look to him, and be radiant;

so your faces shall never be ashamed.

6This poor soul cried, and was heard by the LORD,

and was saved from every trouble.

7The angel of the LORD encamps

around those who fear him, and delivers them.

8O taste and see that the LORD is good;

happy are those who take refuge in him.

19Many are the afflictions of the righteous,

but the LORD rescues them from them all.

20He keeps all their bones;

not one of them will be broken.

21Evil brings death to the wicked,

and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

22The LORD redeems the life of his servants;

none of those who take refuge in him will be

condemned.

  • 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.
  • Seek the Lord as you breathe.
  • Inhale the goodness of God.
  • Exhale any tension you feel.
  • Inhale the goodness of God.
  • Exhale anything keeping you in bondage.
  • Free yourself to be with the Lord.
  • When you are as free as you can be, turn fully toward God.
  • “Look to him and be radiant so your faces shall never be ashamed.”
  • Let go of any shame you feel.
  • Ask for forgiveness and be healed.
  • The Lord redeems the life of his servants.
  • Turn fully toward God.
  • “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
  • Savor goodness as you remain as fully present to the Lord as you can be.
  • Remain here as long as you can.
  • 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 21, 2018, the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Job 38:1-7 (34-41)
Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c
Hebrews 5:1-10
Mark 10:35-45

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

Ephesians 2:11-22 – Jesus Christ himself as the cornerstone is our peace

EPHESIANS 2:11-22
11 So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision” — a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands — 12 remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. 15 He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, so that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, 16 and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. 17 So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; 18 for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 21  In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for God.

  • 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 breathe, name the ways you are a citizen of the household of God.
  • Consider how these ways are like the apostles and prophets.
  • Visualize Christ as the cornerstone.
  • Visualize how you are connected to Christ the cornerstone.
  • Visualize how you are connected to the apostles, the saints, the children of God, creation.
  • Describe the household of God.
  • Describe your place in the household.
  • Where in your body to you feel this peace Jesus comes to share?
  • Do you notice any tension in your body?
  • What does this tension represent?
  • What peace does Jesus have to give to you today?
  • Accept this peace, breathe into this place of tension, let go of anything keeping you from this peace.
  • 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, July 22, 2018, the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

2 Samuel 7:1-14a
Psalm 89:20-37
Ephesians 2:11-22
Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

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

Luke 2:22-40 – My eyes have seen your salvation

LUKE 2:22-40

22When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), 24and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

25Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, 
29  “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, 
          according to your word; 
30  for my eyes have seen your salvation, 
31       which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 
32   a light for revelation to the Gentiles 
          and for glory to your people Israel.”

33And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed — and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

36There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

39When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Where have your eyes seen the salvation of the God?
  • What wisdom does this bring to you?
  • What favor of God do you feel upon you?
  • Share your praise and thanksgiving with God.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 31, 2017, the First Sunday after Christmas Year B 
Isaiah 61:10-62:3
Psalm 148:1-14
Galatians 4:4-7
Luke 2:22-40

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


Advent – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 Advent Joy

1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-24

16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19Do not quench the Spirit. 20Do not despise the words of prophets, 21but test everything; hold fast to what is good; 22abstain from every form of evil.

23May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Breathe in the goodness of God in Christ Jesus.
  • Breathe out anything that is keeping you from complete joy.
  • Breathe in hope and peace.
  • Breathe out doubt and fear.
  • Continue this pattern until you feel the freedom of joy within you as much as you can.
  • Rest in this place of joy.
  • Be with God in this place of joy.
  • Allow your body to remember this place of joy so you may come back to this place when you need to experience joy.
  • What new peace does God have to offer 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, December 17, 2017, the Third Sunday of Advent Year B 
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
Psalm 126:1-6
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Luke 1:46b-55
John 1:6-8, 19-28

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