Expectant Beings

1 SAMUEL 2:1-10

1Hannah prayed and said,
“My heart exults in the Lord;
my strength is exalted in my God.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in my victory.

2   “There is no Holy One like the Lord,
no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.
3   Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.
4   The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble gird on strength.
5   Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry are fat with spoil.
The barren has borne seven,
but she who has many children is forlorn.
6   The Lord kills and brings to life;
he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
7   The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
he brings low, he also exalts.
8   He raises up the poor from the dust;
he lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes
and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
and on them he has set the world.

9   “He will guard the feet of his faithful ones,
but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness;
for not by might does one prevail.
10  The Lord! His adversaries shall be shattered;
the Most High will thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
he will give strength to his king,
and exalt the power of his anointed.”

  • 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.
  • It is the season of Pentecost.  The Holy Spirit has been given to Christian community in a new way.  God is working on something new within you as well.
  • As you breathe in meditation, consider the new work God is accomplishing in you.
  • Expect something new to be opening in you.
  • What in you is growing?
  • How are you seeing differently?
  • How are you hearing in a new way?
  • What leaps within you with life?
  • Give thanks to God for this new life, whatever it may be.
  • 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.

PSALM 113:1-9

1   Praise the LORD!
Praise, O servants of the LORD;
praise the name of the LORD.

2   Blessed be the name of the LORD
from this time on and forevermore.
3   From the rising of the sun to its setting
the name of the LORD is to be praised.
4   The LORD is high above all nations,
and his glory above the heavens.

5   Who is like the LORD our God,
who is seated on high,
6   who looks far down
on the heavens and the earth?

7   He raises the poor from the dust,
and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
8   to make them sit with princes,
with the princes of his people.
9   He gives the barren woman a home,
making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the LORD!

  • 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.
  • It is the season of Pentecost.  The Holy Spirit has been given to Christian community in a new way.  God is working on something new within you as well.
  • As you breathe in meditation, consider the new work God is accomplishing in you.
  • Expect something new to be opening in you.
  • What in you is growing?
  • How are you seeing differently?
  • How are you hearing in a new way?
  • What leaps within you with life?
  • Give thanks to God for this new life, whatever it may be.
  • 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.

ROMANS 12:9-16B

9Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. 11Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. 13Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.

  • 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.
  • It is the season of Pentecost.  The Holy Spirit has been given to Christian community in a new way.  God is working on something new within you as well.
  • As you breathe in meditation, consider the new work God is accomplishing in you.
  • Expect something new to be opening in you.
  • What in you is growing?
  • How are you seeing differently?
  • How are you hearing in a new way?
  • What leaps within you with life?
  • Give thanks to God for this new life, whatever it may be.
  • 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.

LUKE 1:39-57

39In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

46And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47       and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48  for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49  for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50  His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51  He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52  He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
53  he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
54  He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55  according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
56And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

  • 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.
  • It is the season of Pentecost.  The Holy Spirit has been given to Christian community in a new way.  God is working on something new within you as well.
  • As you breathe in meditation, consider the new work God is accomplishing in you.
  • Expect something new to be opening in you.
  • What in you is growing?
  • How are you seeing differently?
  • How are you hearing in a new way?
  • What leaps within you with life?
  • Give thanks to God for this new life, whatever it may be.
  • 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 Thursday, May 31, 2012, the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, Year B

1 Samuel 2:1-10
Psalm 113:1-9
Romans 12:9-16b
Luke 1:39-57

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 29 The God of Glory Thunders

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 close attention to the deep breath.
  • As you sit in silence today, bring your attention to the glory of God.
  • How do you experience God’s glory?
  • What voice do you hear?
  • What metaphor do you proclaim with that voice?
  • How does the voice of glory help you hear in a new way?
  • 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, June 3, 2012, Trinity Sunday, Year B

Isaiah 6:1-8
Psalm 29:1-11
Romans 8:12-17
John 3:1-17

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 6:1-8- Here I am; send me!

ISAIAH 6:1-8

1In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. 2Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. 5And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”

6Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” 8Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send 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 inhale, breathe in the holiness of God.
  • As you exhale, let out anything unclean.
  • Continue this practice until you are at peace, feeling freedom.
  • Hear the Lord say, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”
  • What do you feel?
  • What part of you is like the child who wants to raise your hand immediately?
  • What part of you wants to hide?
  • How do you feel worthy?
  • What unworthiness to you encounter?
  • Share all of this with God.
  • See the seraph fly to you, touch your mouth, take your guilt and blot out your sin.
  • Hear the Lord say, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”
  • Where is God calling you to go?
  • Hear yourself say, “Here I am; send me!”
  • 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, June 3, 2012, Trinity Sunday, Year B

Isaiah 6:1-8
Psalm 29:1-11
Romans 8:12-17
John 3:1-17

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.

Pentecost: A Breathing Space

Fire
What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.

So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.

When we are able to build
open spaces
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of the fuel
together, that make fire possible.

We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time.
A fire
grows
simply because the space is there,
with openings
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.

~ Judy Brown ~

  • 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.
  • Allow the warmth of the sun to shine upon your face.  
  • As you embrace the warmth, allow it to move through your body.
  • As you remember Pentecost today, allow the warmth to become the fire of the Holy Spirit.
  • The fire needs space to grow.
  • Where do you need to make space for the fire to blaze?
  • What needs to be moved?  What needs to be kindled?  What needs to be opened?
  • Or do you need more logs?
  • Consider how the Spirit is moving and growing in you.
  • How do you respond?
  • Consider again your breath. 
  •  How does the breath of God create breathing space within you?
  • How does the breath of God create breathing space in creation?
  • How does the breath of God create breathing space in the world?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • 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, May 27, 2012, the Day of Pentecost Year B

Acts 2:1-21
Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 104:24-34,35b
Romans 8:22-27
John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15

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.