1I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
7But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people.” 9(When it says, “He ascended”, what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) 11The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. 14We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. 15But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16from whom the whole body, joined and knitted together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.
- 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, open your body, your mind, your heart to the body of Christ.
- Feel the grace of God being poured upon you lavishly.
- Consider the gift Christ has given you.
- How are you using this gift for the glory of God?
- How does this gift build up the body of Christ?
- Is there any trickery or craftiness or scheming in the body that you need to let go?
- What does God want to give you in its place that will build up the body of Christ?
- 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, August 5, 2018, the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. (c) 2018 Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD