Genesis 32:22-31 – Wrestling with God

Genesis 32:22-31

22The same night he got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. 24Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26Then he said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” 27So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28Then the man said, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.” 29Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.” 31The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Like Jacob, we wrestle with God.
  • Notice how your body desires to wrestle with God today.
  • What words come to you in the struggle?
  • Which joint is out of socket for you?
  • Allow your attention to go to this disjointed place.
  • What does this disjointed place need to say?
  • How do you wish to respond and connect to the conversation with this disjointed place?
  • Invite God’s healing into this place.
  • What blessing do you receive?
  • 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, August 6, 2017, the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Genesis 32:22-31
Psalm 17:1-7, 15
Romans 9:1-5
Matthew 14:13-21

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2017 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 – Bring out of your treasure what is new and what is old

Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

31He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field;32it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

33He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”

44“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; 46on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

47“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; 48when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. 49So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

51“Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” 52And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Imagine you are a scribe at the feet of Jesus training for the kingdom of heaven.
  • Select one of the parables above to be your guide.
  • Read the parable aloud to the others seated around you.
  • Sit and listen.
  • Read the parable aloud as if you are a teacher of preschool children.  What picture/visual comes to mind to go along with the parable?
  • Sit and listen.
  • Read the parable aloud so that you may hear more clearly.  What words resonate with you?
  • Sit and listen.
  • 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, July 30, 2017, the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Genesis 29:15-28
Psalm 105:1-11, 45b
Psalm 128:1-6
Romans 8:26-39
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2017 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Romans 8:26-39 – Nothing can separate us from the love of God

Romans 8:26-39

26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

28We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. 29For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. 30And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.

31What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? 33Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. 35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.”37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
    • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
    • Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
    • Rien ne peut nous séparer de l’amour de Dieu en Jésus-Christ.
    • Nada puede separarnos del amor de Dios en Cristo Jesús.
  • 沒有什麼可以使我們脫離基督耶穌對上帝的愛
  • Nichts kann uns von der Liebe Gottes in Christus Jesus trennen.
  • 그리스도 예수 안에서 우리를 하나님의 사랑에서 분리시킬 수있는 것은 없습니다.
  •  لا شيء يمكن أن يفصلنا عن محبة الله في المسيح يسوع.
  • Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
  • 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, July 30, 2017, the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Genesis 29:15-28
Psalm 105:1-11, 45b
Psalm 128:1-6
Romans 8:26-39
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2017 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

    Psalm 128:1-6 – It shall go well with you

    Psalm 128:1-6

    1Happy is everyone who fears the LORD,

    who walks in his ways.

    2You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;

    you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.

    3Your wife will be like a fruitful vine

    within your house;

    your children will be like olive shoots

    around your table.

    4Thus shall the man be blessed

    who fears the LORD.

    5The LORD bless you from Zion.

    May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem

    all the days of your life.

    6May you see your children’s children.

    Peace be upon Israel!

    • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
    • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
    • Do an Examen of your day yesterday.
    • What gave you life?
    • Notice the fruit of labor, the fruitful vine, the happiness, the prosperity, the peace.
    • What took life away from you?
    • Notice the failed harvest, the withering vine, the desolation, going through the motions, the anxiety.
    • Hold both of these before you: those things that gave you life and those things that took life away from you.
    • Invite God in these things that you hold before you.
    • Seek the fruit of the Spirit in these things that you hold in your hand:  love, joy, peace, patience, calmness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control.
    • 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, July 30, 2017, the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

    Genesis 29:15-28
    Psalm 105:1-11, 45b
    Psalm 128:1-6
    Romans 8:26-39
    Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

    If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2017 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD