Matthew 21:23-32 – Even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him

Matthew 21:23-32

23When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 25Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” 27So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • What do you know?
  • What don’t you know?
  • Remember a time when the words that came from your mouth opposed the feeling that came from your gut.
  • What transformation in you came from that wrestling match?
  • Are there knowings in you today that do not match?
  • Spend some time listening deep within you.
  • 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 1, 2017, the Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) and World Communion Sunday

Exodus 17:1-7
Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16
Philippians 2:1-13
Matthew 21:23-32

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

Philippians 2:1-13 – Enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure

Philippians 2:1-13

1If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. 5Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
6   who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
7   but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8        he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death —
even death on a cross.

9   Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10  so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11  and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

12Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • In a world filled with recent natural disaster, how do you desire to look to the interests of others?
  • Stop and listen to the desire that arises from the divine spark within you.
  • What life within you desires to give life to others?
  • 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 1, 2017, the Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) and World Communion Sunday

Exodus 17:1-7
Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16
Philippians 2:1-13
Matthew 21:23-32

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 78:1-4, 12-16 – We will tell to the coming generation

Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16

1   Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2   I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
3   things that we have heard and known,
that our ancestors have told us.
4   We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.

12  In the sight of their ancestors he worked marvels
in the land of Egypt, in the fields of Zoan.
13  He divided the sea and let them pass through it,
and made the waters stand like a heap.
14  In the daytime he led them with a cloud,
and all night long with a fiery light.
15  He split rocks open in the wilderness,
and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep.
16  He made streams come out of the rock,
and caused waters to flow down like rivers.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • In times of darkness and despair, God has compassion for God’s people and works marvels.
  • How are you torn between the message of the world and the teaching of God?
  • Notice the tension and pain in your body.
  • Where do you need the gift of God’s freedom?
  • Breathe deeply into this space.
  • How do you desire for God to bring you/us out of slavery today?
  • Imagine how God will part the waters, lead you with a pillar of fire, quench your thirst as you kneel by the stream of water God makes for you.
  • 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 1, 2017, the Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) and World Communion Sunday

Exodus 17:1-7
Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16
Philippians 2:1-13
Matthew 21:23-32

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

Exodus 17:1-7 From the wilderness of Sin

Exodus 17:1-7

1From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the LORD commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?” 3But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” 4So Moses cried out to the LORD, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” 5The LORD said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?”

  • Light a candle to remember God’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Notice where you are in the wilderness.
  • Why do you quarrel?  Why do you test?
  • Name these things and hold them in front of you.
  • What provision do you need from God?
  • Imagine how God will use a faithful leader like Moses to accompany you, be present with you, and act to bring about the provision of God.
  • Breathe deeply and let go of the tension in your body.
  • Be open to see God’s provision today.
  • 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 1, 2017, the Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) and World Communion Sunday

Exodus 17:1-7
Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16
Philippians 2:1-13
Matthew 21:23-32

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