Ascension of the Lord – Acts 1:1-11 – Come Holy Spirit

ACTS 1:1-11

1In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning 2until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; 5for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

6So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

  • 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 inhale, hear the words, “Come Holy Spirit.”
  • As you exhale, let go of anything that is keeping you from God.  Hear the words, “See me.”
  • Continue as you inhale:  “Come Holy Spirit.”
  • As you exhale (choose one per exhale):  “Hear me”, “Be near me”, “Open me”, “Free me” (or choose your own).
  • When you feel as much freedom as you can, allow Christ to rise above you.
  • See Christ ascending to the Father.
  • Notice the Holy Spirit grounding you, filling you, holding you in this place of freedom.
  • Do you notice any tension?  How can you let go of that tension?
  • What do you need from Christ?
  • How may this be fulfilled in the Holy Spirit?
  • See no separation.  See the fullness and expanse of space.
  • Be held in this space.
  • Is there a message for you from Christ?
  • 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 Thursday, May 5, 2019, the Ascension of the Lord Year C

Acts 1:1-11
Psalm 47:1-9
Ephesians 1:15-23
Luke 24:44-53

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.

John 20:19-31 – Through Believing May You Have Life

JOHN 20:19-31

19When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

24But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

26A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

30Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

  • 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.
  • Remember a time when you have seen the footprints of Christ that have led you on a particular path.
  • What details do you remember from this experience?
  • What was your prayer?
  • How did Christ lead you in answer to your prayer?
  • Remember a time when you saw the footprints of Christ only AFTER a Christ-led experience.
  • What details do you remember from this experience?
  • What was your prayer?
  • How did Christ lead you in answer to your prayer?
  • Hold these two experiences before you.  What similarities do you see?  What differences?
  • What does God want to reveal to you about your faith?
  • What is  your prayer today?
  • How might you open yourself to be ready to encounter the risen Christ?
  • Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe!
  • 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 28, 2019, the Second Sunday of Easter (Year C)

Acts 5:27-32
Psalm 118:14-29
Revelation 1:4-8
John 20:19-31

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Revelation 1:4-8 – The Alpha and the Omega

Revelation 1:4-8

4John to the seven churches that are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, 6and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

7Look! He is coming with the clouds;

every eye will see him,

even those who pierced him;

and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail.

So it is to be. Amen.

8“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Focus on wholeness of the Biblical story.
  • From creation to death to resurrection.
  • From beginning to end to new beginning.
  • From Eden to Jerusalem to New Jerusalem.
  • Jesus made us priests to serve and glorify God in the fullness of the story…with hope.
  • How does the Biblical story inform your own story?
  • Where is life?
  • Where is death?
  • Where is resurrection?
  • Name the hope.
  • 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, April 28, 2019, the Second Sunday of Easter (Year C)

Acts 5:27-32
Psalm 118:14-29
Revelation 1:4-8
John 20:19-31

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Psalm 118:14-29 – Glad Songs of Victory

Psalm 118:14-29

14The LORD is my strength and my might;

he has become my salvation.

15There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:

“The right hand of the LORD does valiantly;

16the right hand of the LORD is exalted;

the right hand of the LORD does valiantly.”

17I shall not die, but I shall live,

and recount the deeds of the LORD.

18The LORD has punished me severely,

but he did not give me over to death.

19Open to me the gates of righteousness,

that I may enter through them

and give thanks to the LORD.

20This is the gate of the LORD;

the righteous shall enter through it.

21I thank you that you have answered me

and have become my salvation.

22The stone that the builders rejected

has become the chief cornerstone.

23This is the LORD’s doing;

it is marvelous in our eyes.

24This is the day that the LORD has made;

let us rejoice and be glad in it.

25Save us, we beseech you, O LORD!

O LORD, we beseech you, give us success!

26Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD.

We bless you from the house of the LORD.

27The LORD is God,

and he has given us light.

Bind the festal procession with branches,

up to the horns of the altar.

28You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;

you are my God, I will extol you.

29O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,

for his steadfast love endures for ever.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Focus on your glad song of victory.
  • Notice how you are not dying but living.
  • Notice how you both sinner and saint.
  • Notice what you know and name what you still don’t know.
  • Notice how choosing Love is your salvation.
  • Notice how you desire to rejoice.
  • 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, April 28, 2019, the Second Sunday of Easter (Year C)

Acts 5:27-32
Psalm 118:14-29
Revelation 1:4-8
John 20:19-31

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD