Love Your Neighbor as Yourself: Matthew 22:34-46

Matthew 22:34-46 (CEB)

34 When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had left the Sadducees speechless, they met together. 35 One of them, a legal expert, tested him. 36 “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”

41 Now as the Pharisees were gathering, Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?”

“David’s son,” they replied.

43 He said, “Then how is it that David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, called him Lord when he said, 44 The Lord said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right side until I turn your enemies into your footstool’?45 If David calls him Lord, how can he be David’s son?” 46 Nobody was able to answer him. And from that day forward nobody dared to ask him anything.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Inhale the greatest commandment.  Exhale anything any obstacles keeping you from embracing the greatest commandment and the one like it.
  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart.
  • Love the lord your God with all your being.
  • Love the Lord your God with all your mind.
  • Love your neighbor.
  • Love yourself.
  • Hear Christ say these commandments before your enemies.
  • Pray that their hearts will be softened and that they will see and know why is was so important for God to walk side-by-side humanity again and teach them, again, the greatest commandment.
  • How is God walking side-by-side you today teaching you/us, again, the greatest commandment?
  • What is your invitation 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, October 25, 2020, the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17
1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
Matthew 22:34-46

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2020 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction training, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

Courage Through God to Speak: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

As you yourselves know, brothers and sisters, our visit with you wasn’t a waste of time. On the contrary, we had the courage through God to speak God’s good news in spite of a lot of opposition, although we had already suffered and were publicly insulted in Philippi, as you know. Our appeal isn’t based on false information, the wrong motives, or deception. Rather, we have been examined and approved by God to be trusted with the good news, and that’s exactly how we speak. We aren’t trying to please people, but we are trying to please God, who continues to examine our hearts. As you know, we never used flattery, and God is our witness that we didn’t have greedy motives. We didn’t ask for special treatment from people—not from you or from others— although we could have thrown our weight around as Christ’s apostles. Instead, we were gentle with you like a nursing mother caring for her own children. We were glad to share not only God’s good news with you but also our very lives because we cared for you so much.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Expand your focus to the community of Christ gently around you, like a nurse tenderly caring for you.
  • Describe the deep caring and compassion that connects you to one another.
  • Notice how you desire to be held in this community.
  • And notice how the desire arises in you to share this caring, compassion and gospel with others.
  • What is your invitation 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, October 25, 2020, the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17
1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
Matthew 22:34-46

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2020 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction training, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

Our Help Generation after Generation: Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17

Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17

Lord, you have been our help,
    generation after generation.
Before the mountains were born,
    before you birthed the earth and the inhabited world—
    from forever in the past
    to forever in the future, you are God.

You return people to dust,
    saying, “Go back, humans,”
    because in your perspective a thousand years
    are like yesterday past,
    like a short period during the night watch.
You sweep humans away like a dream,
    like grass that is renewed in the morning.
True, in the morning it thrives, renewed,
    but come evening it withers, all dried up.

13 Come back to us, Lord!
    Please, quick!
    Have some compassion for your servants!
14 Fill us full every morning with your faithful love
    so we can rejoice and celebrate our whole life long.
15 Make us happy for the same amount of time that you afflicted us—
    for the same number of years that we saw only trouble.
16 Let your acts be seen by your servants;
    let your glory be seen by their children.
17 Let the kindness of the Lord our God be over us.
    Make the work of our hands last.
    Make the work of our hands last!

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • The time in which we live is just a few seconds in the comprehensive story of God.
  • How much of this time are you rejoicing with God?
  • Listen to your desire to rejoice.
  • The space in which we live is just a small dot in the vast universe of God.
  • When and where do you dwell with God in creation?
  • Listen to your desire to dwell.
  • Be present in this moment.
  • How will you be at work for God in this moment? In this day?
  • Embrace the steadfast love of God.  Rejoice and be glad!
  • 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, October 25, 2020, the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17
1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
Matthew 22:34-46

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2020 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction training, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

Full of the Spirit of Wisdom: Deuteronomy 34:1-12

Deuteronomy 34:1-12

Then Moses hiked up from the Moabite plains to Mount Nebo, the peak of the Pisgah slope, which faces Jericho. The Lord showed him the whole land: the Gilead region as far as Dan’s territory; all the parts belonging to Naphtali along with the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, as well as the entirety of Judah as far as the Mediterranean Sea; also the arid southern plain, and the plain—including the Jericho Valley, Palm City—as far as Zoar.

Then the Lord said to Moses: “This is the land that I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when I promised: ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have shown it to you with your own eyes; however, you will not cross over into it.”

Then Moses, the Lord’s servant, died—right there in the land of Moab, according to the Lord’s command. The Lord buried him in a valley in Moabite country across from Beth-peor. Even now, no one knows where Moses’ grave is.

Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eyesight wasn’t impaired, and his vigor hadn’t diminished a bit.

Back down in the Moabite plains, the Israelites mourned Moses’ death for thirty days. At that point, the time for weeping and for mourning Moses was over.

Joshua, Nun’s son, was filled with wisdom because Moses had placed his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to Joshua, and they did exactly what the Lord commanded Moses.

10 No prophet like Moses has yet emerged in Israel; Moses knew the Lord face-to-face! 11 That’s not even to mention all those signs and wonders that the Lord sent Moses to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh, to all his servants, and to his entire land— 12 as well as all the extraordinary power that Moses displayed before Israel’s own eyes!

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Moses laid hands upon Joshua and anointed him with the spirit of wisdom.
  • Let your focus today be with the ones who have anointed you with the spirit of wisdom.
  • Remember how it feels for someone to lay hands upon you.  Describe the energy shared and the trust imparted to you.
  • What desire does the spirit of wisdom stir in you?
  • How does God desire for you to lead God’s people with this spirit of wisdom?
  • What is your invitation 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, October 25, 2020, the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17
1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
Matthew 22:34-46

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2020 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction training, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.