21For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 22If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. 23I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; 24but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. 25Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, 26so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.
27Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, 28and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. 29For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well — 30since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
- Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
- Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
- Notice how you live both in the world and in Christ.
- Place your hands on your lap with palms up in a receiving posture. Hold your life in the world in one hand and your life in Christ in the other hand.
- Invite a conversation between both hands.
- What do you notice about the conversation?
- Now bring both hands together and hold the two worlds together.
- Consider your life in Christ with the world.
- How is the conversation transformed?
- 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, September 24, 2017, the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
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