Advent – 2 Peter 3 – We wait for new heavens and a new earth…

2 PETER 3:8-15A

8But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. 9The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.

11Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, 12waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? 13But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.

14Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; 15aand regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence paying attention to the deep breath.
  • What fire is consuming you in the midst of waiting?
  • What is the fire burning?
  • How can the fire be contained?
  • Allow the charred remains to settle, and let them go.
  • What new thing are you able to hold now that you have let go?
  • Allow God to nurture this new thing.
  • Growth will rise in the charred remains.
  • What hope do you have in this new growth?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time to be in the fire, to let go, and to consider new growth.  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, December 4, 2011, the Second Sunday of Advent Year B 
Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
2 Peter 3:8-15a
Mark 1:1-8

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 85- The hope of God’s touch…

PSALM 85:1-2, 8-13

1   LORD, you were favorable to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2   You forgave the iniquity of your people;
you pardoned all their sin.                                              Selah

8   Let me hear what God the LORD will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people,
to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
9   Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.

10  Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
11  Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
and righteousness will look down from the sky.
12  The LORD will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
13  Righteousness will go before him,
and will make a path for his steps.

  • 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 do you notice God’s touch…
  • in the world?
  • in the people around you?
  • in creation?
  • in you?
  • As you consider all of these places where God touches God’s creation, what similarities to you notice?  What differences do you notice?
  • Is there a message for you from God?
  • Where do you need to feel God’s touch?
  • Pray for you to be open to receive God’s touch in God’s time.
  • Give thanks to God for this time to reflect on the ways God interacts in the world 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 4, 2011, the Second Sunday of Advent Year B 
Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
2 Peter 3:8-15a
Mark 1:1-8

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

Isaiah 40:1-11 Comfort my people

ISAIAH 40:1-11

1   Comfort, O comfort my people,
says your God.
2   Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord”s hand
double for all her sins.

3   A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4   Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
5   Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

6   A voice says, “Cry out!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All people are grass,
their constancy is like the flower of the field.
7   The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
surely the people are grass.

8   The grass withers, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand forever.
9   Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
10  See, the Lord GOD comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
11  He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep.

  • 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.
  • What is withering and fading as you wait this advent season?
  • Is this your desire?
  • Is this God’s desire?
  • What word of God stands forever for you today?
  • Do you notice any comfort in these words?
  • Savor the comfort.
  • What hope do you see?
  • Embrace this hope.
  • Allow God to embrace you as you hold on to the hope.
  • As you leave God’s arms, hold this hope lightly.
  • Share this hope with someone today.
  • Give thanks to God for this time in hope 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 4, 2011, the Second Sunday of Advent Year B 
Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
2 Peter 3:8-15a
Mark 1:1-8

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

The Need for Silence

“The Need for Silence” by Richard Rohr

We don’t know how to take joy in simple things anymore because, frankly, we are sated. You and I have had so much thrown at us! Unless we choose to deliberately under-stimulate ourselves, I don’t think we can reasonably talk about spirituality. We don’t really taste, suffer, enjoy, feel the images that come our way. Westerners have a mania for experience.

Descartes said, I think, therefore I am.

For us it is I experience, therefore I am.

But I’m pretty much convinced experiences don’t change people; realization does. I think of all the powerful experiences that I’ve had. But only when I taste my experiences enough so they become realizations, do I change. That takes time and space. Put time and space together and you have a new definition of silence. We’ve got to create some kind of space so our images can become realizations.

Unless we choose silence, I don’t think a lot of this is going to happen. I don’t think were going to become willing people. We become, instead, willful people, trying to make the world fit our needs. Will triumphs instead of the Spirit. Silence alone is spacious enough to allow Spirit and to let go of will-fullness. Silence makes us willing instead of willful.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Notice the silence.
  • What do you need to put aside to be silent?  Write it down if you need to help let go of it.
  • What experience within you needs time and space?
  • Allow this experience into your focus.
  • Savor the experience.
  • What new thoughts do you have about the experience?
  • Where is God in the experience?
  • How has time and space given you more realization?
  • What message do you hear from God?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • Give thanks to God for this time to deepen the experience 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 27, 2011, the First Sunday of Advent Year B 
Isaiah 64: 1-9
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Mark 13: 24-37


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