Matthew 23:1-12 – All who exalt themselves will be humbled

Matthew 23:1-12

1Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2“The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; 3therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. 4They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. 5They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. 6They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, 7and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi. 8But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. 9And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father — the one in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah.11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • As you feel freedom in the Breath, let your focus go to the burdens you are carrying.
  • Pay close attention to the burdens that others in authority have placed upon you to carry.
  • Which one of these burdens holds the most energy for you today?
  • Bring this burden to the surface and hold it lightly in front of you.
  • Invite Jesus to walk with you and carry the burden with you.
  • Hear the compassion and love of Jesus as Jesus invites you to let him carry more and more of the burden.
  • With genetleness for yourself and the others, hear the message(s) of forgiveness as you release the burden and the negative energy.  Let go of the heaviness.
  • As you humble yourself before God, be exalted in the love of Christ.  Embrace the light and lightness around you.  Breathe deeply.
  • 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, November 5, 2017, the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Joshua 3:7-17
Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37
1 Thessalonians 2:9-13
Matthew 23:1-12

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

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