Acts 10:44-48 The Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word

 ACTS 10:44-48

44While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. 45The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, 46for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, 47“Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you read this text, feel the Holy Spirit fall upon you.
  • Remember when you felt the Holy Spirit for the first time.
  • Go back to that time and place.
  • Where are you?
  • Who is with you?
  • What do you hear?
  • What do you see?
  • What do you smell?
  • Be held in this place, savoring this time.
  • Give glory to God in the words that come to you.
  • Savor.
  • When you are ready consider the following:
  • How is the Holy Spirit with you today?
  • What do you notice in the leading of the Spirit?
  • Who needs to hear the Word?
  • Is there a call to action from God?
  • Give thanks to God for sending the Holy Spirit, 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 6, 2012, the Sixth Sunday of Easter Year B

Acts 10:44-48
Psalm 98:1-9
1 John 5:1-6
John 15:9-17

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD.

John 15:1-8 – Apart from me you can do nothing…

JOHN 15:1-8

1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Allow the breath to reach every inch of you, the branch.
  • What fruit is being produced in you?
  • Is it the same harvest time after time?
  • Or does Christ need to prune the branch for more fruit to grow?
  • Is there part of the branch no longer producing fruit that needs to be removed?
  • What new fruit will be made?
  • What temptation creates a danger for your branch to wither?
  • Turn away from this temptation and abide in Christ.
  • Savor the fruit that is growing.
  • 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 6, 2012, the Fifth Sunday of Easter Year B

Acts 8:26-40
Psalm 22:25-31
1 John 4:7-21
John 15:1-8

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.

1 John 4:7-21 Love casts out fear…

1 JOHN 4:7-21

7Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.

13By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. 15God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. 16So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. 17Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world.18There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. 19We love because he first loved us. 20Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. 21The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

  • 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.
  • God is love.
  • As you pay attention to the breath, breathe in God’s love.
  • As you exhale, let go of any hatred that you encounter.
  • Continue to inhale God’s love and exhale any hatred of one another.
  • Continue as you open yourself as fully as possible to God.
  • Remember a time when you first realized God loves you.
  • How old are you?  Where are you?  What do you hear?  see?  smell?  taste?  feel?
  • Are there others with you?
  • Remember a time when God turned your hatred into love.
  • How old are you?  Where are you?  What do you hear?  see?  smell?  taste?  feel?
  • Are there others with you?
  • Remember a time when God turns oppression into love.
  • How old are you?  Where are you?  What do you hear?  see?  smell?  taste?  fee.?
  • Are there others with you?
  • Consider each remembrance.  Are there similarities?  Differences?  Expectancies?  Surprises?
  • 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, April 29, 2018, the Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year B)

Acts 8:26-40
Psalm 22:25-31
1 John 4:7-21
John 15:1-8

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD.

Psalm 22 Praise Him!

PSALM 22:23-31

23  You who fear the LORD, praise him!
All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him;
stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
24  For he did not despise or abhor
the affliction of the afflicted;
he did not hide his face from me,
but heard when I cried to him.

25  From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
my vows I will pay before those who fear him.
26  The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall praise the LORD.
May your hearts live forever!

27  All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn to the LORD;
and all the families of the nations
shall worship before him.
28  For dominion belongs to the LORD,
and he rules over the nations.

29  To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
and I shall live for him.
30  Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord,
31  and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn,
saying that he has done it.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Who first told you about the Lord?
  • What vivid remembrances to you have as a child?  a teenager? an adult?
  • As you have this chance to reflect on your relationship with God, what message have you been given to share with the next generation?
  • What message does a child need to hear?
  • What message does someone in despair need to hear?
  • What message does the world need to hear?
  • Is there a call to action for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and reflection and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, April 29, 2018, the Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year B)

Acts 8:26-40
Psalm 22:25-31
1 John 4:7-21
John 15:1-8

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD.