1 Corinthians 12:12-31a – Members that Seem Weaker Are Indispensable

1 Corinthians 12:12-31a

12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — Jews or Greeks, slaves or free — and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

14Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15If the foot would say,”Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many members, yet one body. 21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; 24whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, 25that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.

27Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31But strive for the greater gifts.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Do a scan of your body.
  • Notice the parts of your body that are weaker and need your attention.
  • Tell each part that is weak, “I love you, and I need you.”
  • Be grateful for your body.
  • Expand your focus to your community.
  • Tell each part that is weak, “I love you, and I need you.”
  • Be grateful for your community.
  • 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, January 27, 2019, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Psalm 19
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Luke 4:14-21

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

Psalm 36:5-10 – How Precious Is Your Steadfast Love

Psalm 36:5-10

5Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens,

your faithfulness to the clouds.

6Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,

your judgments are like the great deep;

you save humans and animals alike, O LORD.

7How precious is your steadfast love, O God!

All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

8They feast on the abundance of your house,

and you give them drink from the river of your delights.

9For with you is the fountain of life;

in your light we see light.

10O continue your steadfast love to those who know you,

and your salvation to the upright of heart!

  • 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.
  • Focus on the Breath that brings you steadfast love.
  • How do you desire to take refuge in the shadow of Love’s wing?
  • Notice the abundance and depth of flowing Love.
  • What new Light do you see?
  • 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 20, 2019, the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Isaiah 62:1-5
Psalm 36:5-10
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
John 2:1-11

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

Isaiah 62:1-5 – I Will Not Keep Silent; I Will Not Rest

Isaiah 62:1-5

1For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,

and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,

until her vindication shines out like the dawn,

and her salvation like a burning torch.

2The nations shall see your vindication,

and all the kings your glory;

and you shall be called by a new name

that the mouth of the LORD will give.

3You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,

and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

4You shall no more be termed Forsaken,

and your land shall no more be termed Desolate;

but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,

and your land Married;

for the LORD delights in you,

and your land shall be married.

5For as a young man marries a young woman,

so shall your builder marry you,

and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,

so shall your God rejoice over you.

  • 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.
  • Notice how you need to be freed from blame and suspicion today.
  • Invite a dialogue with Holy.
  • In a world that blames and shames, tell your story to the One who most desires to listen to you.
  • Notice how God embraces your story and asks to carry your burden.
  • Let God heal you and hold this burden for you.
  • Feel the weight being lifted from 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, January 20, 2019, the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Isaiah 62:1-5
Psalm 36:5-10
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
John 2:1-11

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

Baptism of the Lord – Luke 3 – You Are the Beloved in Whom I AM Well Pleased

Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

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.”

21Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, 22and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

The holy day of lights, to which we have come and which we are celebrating today, has for its origin the baptism of my Christ, the true Light that lightens everyone coming into the world, and effects my purification…. It is a season of new birth: let us be born again! We duly celebrated at his birth – I, the one who presided at the feast, and you, and all that is in the world and above the world. With the star we ran, with the magi we worshiped, with the shepherds we were enlightened, with the angels we glorified him with Simeon we took him up in his arms, and with the chaste and aged Anna we made our responsive confession…. Now we come to another of Christ’s acts and another mystery…. The Spirit bears witness to his Godhead, for he descends upon one that is like him, as does the voice from heaven…. Let us venerate today the baptism of Christ.

– Gregory of Nazianzus c.329-389/390
(A Christmas Sourcebook, Liturgy Training Publications)

  • 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 sit, allow this artwork to become part of you.
  • Where are you in the art?
  • What element is surrounding you? (air or water)
  • Allow this element to hold you, giving you a sense of lightness.
  • Take on what you need from this element.
  • Give to this element anything you need to be washed away.
  • Savor the lightness.
  • Hear the words from above, “With you, I am well pleased.”
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Stay in the element as long as you like.
  • Then give thanks to the element for holding you, and feel the element gently leave your surround.
  • Breathe.
  • 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 13, 2019, the Baptism of the Lord  (Year C)

Isaiah 43:1-7
Psalm 29
Acts 8:14-17
Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

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

Baptism of the Lord – Acts 8:14-17 – Receive the Holy Spirit

baptisim in the river

Acts 8:14-17

14Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit 16(for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). 17Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

  • 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, open yourself to the saints who have gone before you.
  • Remember the ways in which these saints touched you life, believing in you, sharing Christ with you, laying hands on you.
  • Open your imagination and open your mind and spirit to the days of the apostles.
  • Imagine hearing the Gospel for the very first time.
  • Notice the peace that surrounds you.
  • Hear someone praying for you to receive the Holy Spirit.
  • Hear someone praying for the crowd to receive the Holy Spirit.
  • Notice the peace that enters you.
  • Embrace the Holy Spirit that moves within you, among you, watching over you, holding you.
  • As you embrace the Holy Spirit, notice if there is someone you know who needs the peace of the Holy Spirit.
  • 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 13, 2019, the Baptism of the Lord  (Year C)

Isaiah 43:1-7
Psalm 29
Acts 8:14-17
Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

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

Baptism of the Lord – Psalm 29:1-11 – The Lord Shakes the Wilderness

PSALM 29:1-11

1   Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
2   Ascribe to the LORD the glory of his name;
worship the LORD in holy splendor.

3   The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD, over mighty waters.
4   The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

5   The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6   He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.

7   The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.
8   The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;
the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

9   The voice of the LORD causes the oaks to whirl,
and strips the forest bare;
and in his temple all say, “Glory!”

10  The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;
the LORD sits enthroned as king for ever.
11  May the LORD give strength to his people!
May the LORD bless his people with peace!

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Ascribe to the Lord your life.
  • What attributes of Creator God do you call upon?
  • What attributes of Redeeming Christ do you call upon?
  • What attributes of Sustaining Spirit do you call upon?
  • Review these attributes.
  • Which do you desire most today?
  • How do these desires for God meet God’s desires for you?
  • Seek peace today in these desires.
  • Glorify 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 13, 2019, the Baptism of the Lord  (Year C)

Isaiah 43:1-7
Psalm 29
Acts 8:14-17
Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

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

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.

Epiphany – Isaiah 60:1-6 – The Magi Matter

Gold-Frankincense-and-Myrrh

Isaiah 60:1-6

1   Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
2   For darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the LORD will arise upon you,
and his glory will appear over you.
3   Nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

4   Lift up your eyes and look around;
they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away,
and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms.
5   Then you shall see and be radiant;
your heart shall thrill and rejoice,
because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you,
the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
6   A multitude of camels shall cover you,
the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD.

  • Light a candle to remember the presence of Christ with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • As you settle into your breath, consider your Advent experience this year.
  • What darkness did you identity?
  • What light does the coming of Christ again shine on the darkness?
  • Sit in this light.
  • Allow this light to be poured over you.
  • Allow this light to penetrate you and reach every inch of you.
  • Notice how the light beckons you to respond.
  • Allow this response to grow in you.
  • What gold and frankincense shall you bring to the Lord?
  • Look for the star to guide you to the Lord.
  • Listen for 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.

Luke 2:41-52 – Jesus Lost and Found

Luke 2:41-52

41Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. 42And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. 43When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” 49He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50But they did not understand what he said to them. 51Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

52And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit ten to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • Let the breathing soothe you, calm you, comfort you.
  • Push back and down your shoulders allowing the breath to fill you fully.
  • Lift your chest as you lift your eyes to God.
  • Feel the love of God showered upon you.
  • Let a project come to mind that you have been growing and nurturing.
  • What anxiety do you carry around this project?
  • Allow God’s love to shine upon this anxiety.
  • Hear these words, “Why were you anxious? Did you not know that I must be in in the midst of this work.?”
  • What thoughts come to mind?
  • What do you notice in your body?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • How does your faith help you grow in wisdom and in years and in God’s favor?
  • 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 30, 2018, the First Sunday after Christmas (Year C)

1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26
Psalm 148
Colossians 3:12-17
Luke 2:41-52

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