Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19
1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock!
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
2 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your might,
and come to save us!
8 You brought a vine out of Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.
9 You cleared the ground for it;
it took deep root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade,
the mighty cedars with its branches;
11 it sent out its branches to the sea,
and its shoots to the River.
12 Why then have you broken down its walls,
so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
13 The boar from the forest ravages it,
and all that move in the field feed on it.
14 Turn again, O God of hosts;
look down from heaven, and see;
have regard for this vine,
15 the stock that your right hand planted.
16 They have burned it with fire, they
may they perish at the rebuke of your countenance.
17 But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand,
the one whom you made strong for yourself.
18 Then we will never turn back from you;
give us life, and we will call on your name.
19 Restore us, O LORD God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.
- Light a candle to remember the Spirit’s presence with you.
- Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the Breath.
- Let your focus move to a recent experience that needs God’s restoring action.
- Name the action or the person/people that has/have harmed the vineyard.
- Imagine God asks you to tend the vineyard today.
- Notice any judgment that arises in you. Set the judgment aside.
- Imagine embracing and loving the people who come to harm the vineyard. Dialogue with them.
- Who are they? What do they need? Why are they causing harm?
- How is God inviting you befriend them as brother, as sister?
- What is God’s message for you?
- Give thanks to God for this gift of time 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 18, 2019, the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19
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
Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX. Upon completion of her spiritual direction certification, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time. Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within. It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well. So she began to share them on this site.
As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance. If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do. Keep wrestling. God is faithful to your journey. Love and hope will emerge. Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.