Mark 9:30-37 – Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all

“Jesus Welcomes the Children” – Jesus Mafa

Mark 9:30-37

30They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; 31for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” 32But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.

33Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” 34But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. 35He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” 36Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, 37“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to the breath, consider one of Christ’s lessons in your life that you do not understand.  Perhaps you are even afraid to ask Christ, “Why?”
  • What argument keeps playing in your mind and heart?
  • Hear Christ say these words to you, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.”
  • Let these words enter the place(s) of not understanding.
  • To be “for” Christ is to hold lightly these places we do not understand until the lesson becomes clear.
  • Allow Christ to hold you like a child in Christ’s arms.  Hear these words, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”
  • Who has welcomed you in the name of Christ?
  • Who have you welcomed in the name of Christ?
  • Hold the questions lightly as you are held in the arms of God.
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insight you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, September 23, 2018, the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Proverbs 31:10-31
Psalm 1
James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a
Mark 9:30-37

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings. (c) 2018  The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Mark 8:27-38 – You are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things

Mark 8:27-38

27Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” 30And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.

31Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

34He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • As you inhale, set your mind on divine things.
  • As you exhale, let go of human things.
  • Continue this exercise until you are as free as you can be and open to God.
  • In this place of freedom, scan your mind.
  • Consider any human thing you need to let go.
  • Notice a place in your body that represents this denial of self.
  • As you let go of this human thing, feel it leave your body.
  • What divine thing does God have to give you in its place?
  • Feel this divine gift placed in your body.
  • 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, September 16, 2018, the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Proverbs 1:20-33
Psalm 19:1-14
James 3:1-12
Mark 8:27-38

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

John 3:14-21 – People loved darkness

JOHN 3:14-21

14“And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

16“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

17“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in 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.
  • The light has come into the world.
  • Come to the light.
  • We can no longer see the light.
  • But the light dwells within us and among us.
  • Come to the light.
  • Hate evil.
  • Seek truth.
  • Come to the light.
  • Allow the light to shine within you.
  • Allow the light to radiate through you.
  • Allow the light to shine beyond you.
  • Savor the light.
  • Hold the light.
  • Share the light.
  • Give thanks to God for the gift of God’s son and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, March 11, 2018, the Fourth Sunday in Lent Year B 
Numbers 21:4-9
Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22
Ephesians 2:1-10
John 3:14-21

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. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Mark 9:30-37 – Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all

“Jesus Welcomes the Children” – Jesus Mafa

Mark 9:30-37

30They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; 31for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” 32But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.

33Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” 34But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. 35He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” 36Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, 37“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to the breath, consider one of Christ’s lessons in your life that you do not understand.  Perhaps you are even afraid to ask Christ, “Why?”
  • What argument keeps playing in your mind and heart?
  • Hear Christ say these words to you, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.”
  • Let these words enter the place(s) of not understanding.
  • To be “for” Christ is to hold lightly these places we do not understand until the lesson becomes clear.
  • Allow Christ to hold you like a child in Christ’s arms.  Hear these words, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”
  • Who has welcomed you in the name of Christ?
  • Who have you welcomed in the name of Christ?
  • Hold the questions lightly as you are held in the arms of God.
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insight you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, September 23, 2012, the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Proverbs 31:10-31
Psalm 1
James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a
Mark 9:30-37

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

Mark 8:27-38 – You are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things

Mark 8:27-38

27Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” 30And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.

31Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

34He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • As you inhale, set your mind on divine things.
  • As you exhale, let go of human things.
  • Continue this exercise until you are as free as you can be and open to God.
  • In this place of freedom, scan your mind.
  • Consider any human thing you need to let go.
  • Notice a place in your body that represents this denial of self.
  • As you let go of this human thing, feel it leave your body.
  • What divine thing does God have to give you in its place?
  • Feel this divine gift placed in your body.
  • 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, September 16, 2012, the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Proverbs 1:20-33
Psalm 19:1-14
James 3:1-12
Mark 8:27

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

John 3:14-21 Those who do what is true come to the light

JOHN 3:14-21

14“And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

16“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

17“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in 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.
  • The light has come into the world.
  • Come to the light.
  • We can no longer see the light.
  • But the light dwells within us and among us.
  • Come to the light.
  • Hate evil.
  • Seek truth.
  • Come to the light.
  • Allow the light to shine within you.
  • Allow the light to radiate through you.
  • Allow the light to shine beyond you.
  • Savor the light.
  • Hold the light.
  • Share the light.
  • Give thanks to God for the gift of God’s son and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, March 18, 2012, the Fourth Sunday in Lent Year B 
Numbers 21:4-9
Psalm 107:103, 17-22
Ephesians 2:1-10
John 3:14-21

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