Mark 7:1-8 Things that come out are what defile

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

1Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, 2they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. 3(For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; 4and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) 5So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” 6He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; 7in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.’ 8You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”

14Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: 15there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.”

21“For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, 22adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. 23All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

  • 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.
  • As you pay attention to the breath, consider the things in the world has ingested that defile God.
  • What does humanity need to do to turn toward God?
  • Return to the breath.
  • Consider the things you have ingested which have defiled God.
  • How might you turn back toward God?
  • God is waiting for you with open arms.
  • Let go of words and actions that defile God.
  • Embrace words and actions that glorify God.
  • Allow these glorious words to define you as a child of God.
  • Allow God’s goodness and glory to arise from within you.
  • Be forgiven in your repentance and go forth in peace to serve God and God’s people with love.
  • 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 2, 2018, the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9
James 1:17-27
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

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. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

James 1:17-27 – Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to anger

James 1:17-27

17Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

19You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. 21Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.

22But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. 23For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; 24for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. 25But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act-they will be blessed in their doing.

26If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. 27Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

  • 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.
  • As you pay attention to the breath, consider the breath as a gift from God.
  • Every generous act of giving is from above.
  • What generous acts of giving has God worked through you?
  • Give thanks to God for being a vessel of grace.
  • Return to the breath.
  • Be open to God to hear the next act of giving God has for you.
  • Let go of any anger or toxic thought keeping you from God.
  • Notice, then let go of any tension you encounter.
  • Be as free as possible to hear God.
  • 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, September 2, 2018, the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9
James 1:17-27
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

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. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Psalm 45 – Like the pen of a ready scribe

Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9

My heart overflows with a goodly theme;
I address my verses to the king;
my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
2You are the most handsome of men;
grace is poured upon your lips;
therefore God has blessed you forever.
6Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever.
Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity;
7you love righteousness and hate wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
8your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
9daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor;
at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.

  • 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.
  • As you breathe, let the goodness of God’s breath flow through you.
  • Inhale God’s goodness.  Exhale anything toxic within you.
  • Continue to inhale goodness and exhale anything keeping you from embracing goodness.
  • Imagine your pen is ready, poised to capture all the goodness that rolls from your tongue.
  • How has God blessed you?
  • How has God graced you?
  • How has God anointed you?
  •  Describe the goodness that surrounds you:  what do you see? hear? taste? feel?
  • Is there anyone standing with you?
  • If you feel led, write what you experience.  Savor the time and the space of God’s goodness.
  • 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 2, 2018, the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9
James 1:17-27
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

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. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Song of Solomon 2:8-13: Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away

8The voice of my beloved! Look, he comes, leaping upon the mountains, bounding over the hills. 9My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look, there he stands behind our wall, gazing in at the windows, looking through the lattice. 10My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; 11for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. 12The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. 13The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”

  • 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.
  • As you pay attention to your breath, allow your hearing to become heightened.
  • Gently silence anything keeping you from hearing.
  • What does your beloved God say to you?
  • How does God woo you to follow?
  • Notice any resistance in you to follow.
  • What do you need for the resistance to disappear?
  • Hear God wooing you to follow.
  • Notice the path God has placed before you.
  • What peace do you notice on the path?
  • Take  mental picture of the path, noticing details of flowers, landscape, color, smell.
  • Carry this picture with you in case you lose your way.
  • 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 2, 2018, the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9
James 1:17-27
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

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. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD