John 6:56-69 – We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God

John 6:56-69

56“Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.” 59He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.

60When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” 61But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? 62Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64But among you there are some who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. 65And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.”

66Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. 67So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” 68Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

  • 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.
  • Many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with Jesus.
  • Remember a time you turned away from Jesus.
  • What was it that made you repent and return to him?
  • How did the Bread of Life capture your attention and nourish you?
  • How are you turned today?
  • How will the Holy One of God give you life?
  • Is there something you need to let go to be fully turned toward 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 26, 2018, the Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

1 Kings 8:(1,6,10-11) 22-30, 41-43
Psalm 84:1-12
Ephesians 6:10-20
John 6: 56-69

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

Mark 1:29-39 – Everyone is searching for him.

MARK 1:29-39

29As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.30Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. 31He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

32That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. 33And the whole city was gathered around the door. 34And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

35In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” 38He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” 39And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.

  • 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 encounter the text today, allow yourself to join in the crowd as it surrounds the door.
  • Who do you notice in the crowd?
  • Are you close to the door or are you on the fringes?
  • Who is being healed?
  • You have come to see the one who is healing and casting out demons.
  • How do you hope to be healed?
  • Listen to the chatter of the crowd.
  • How does the crowd hope to be healed?
  • The light of the day is dwindling and it is time for evening rest.
  • Do you go straight home? Or do you linger awhile?
  • What hope do you carry from this encounter?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in the crowd and for any new insights you have gained.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, February 4, 2018, the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B 
Isaiah 40:21-31
Psalm 147:1-11, 20c
1 Corinthians 9:16-23
Mark 1:29-39

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

Mark 1:14-20 – Follow me and I will make you fish for people

MARK 1:14-20

14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

16As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea — for they were fishermen. 17And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” 18And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you begin to pay attention to your breath, allow the words “Follow me” to cover you.
  • Once you are completely covered with the words “Follow me”, breathe in the words “Follow me” allowing these words to fill you completely from the top of your head, to your fingertips to your toes.
  • As you continue to pay attention to the breath, how is God calling you to follow?
  • How will following God in this way make you fish for people?
  • What is the message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer, the breath, and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, January 21, 2018, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) 
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Psalm 62:5-12
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Mark 1:14-20

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

Isaiah 61-62: Garments of Salvation

ISAIAH 61:10-62:3

61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
my whole being shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11  For as the earth brings forth its shoots,
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
to spring up before all the nations.

62:1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
until her vindication shines out like the dawn,
and her salvation like a burning torch.
2   The nations shall see your vindication,
and all the kings your glory;
and you shall be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will give.
3   You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • What righteousness has the Lord God caused in you?
  • Allow this righteousness to permeate your mind and your body.
  • As you focus on this righteousness, let go of anything keeping you from God.
  • Allow the righteousness to be come a garment of salvation.
  • What righteousness has the Lord God caused in the world?
  • How do you help this righteousness shine in the world?
  • What part of the world needs to be touched by the Lord God?
  • How is God calling you to be a servant to this place?
  • 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, December 31, 2017, the First Sunday after Christmas Year B 
Isaiah 61:10-62:3
Psalm 148:1-14
Galatians 4:4-7
Luke 2:22-40

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings 
(c) 2017 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD