Mark 4: 26-34 Seeding and Sprouting and Growing and Harvesting

Mark 4:26-34

26He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”

30He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

33With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; 34he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

  • 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.
  • What is growing in you right now?
  • Identify the stage of growth and consider the elements needed to sustain this growth.
  • Has the growth been slow like a tree or quick like the mustard seed?
  • Are you growing alone?  with a community?  both?
  • How deep are your roots?
  • Have you tried to harvest too quickly?
  • Allow yourself to be at peace with this place of growth.
  • Allow God to guide you revealing to you the next step.  Perhaps that will be today.  Maybe next week.  Seek God’s perfect timing.
  • Listen for that which Christ will explain to you in private?
  • 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, June 17, 2018, the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

I Samuel 15:34-16:13
Psalm 20
2 Corinthians 5:6-10 (11-13) 14-17
Mark 4:26-34

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

John 15:1-8 – Apart from me you can do nothing…

JOHN 15:1-8

1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Allow the breath to reach every inch of you, the branch.
  • What fruit is being produced in you?
  • Is it the same harvest time after time?
  • Or does Christ need to prune the branch for more fruit to grow?
  • Is there part of the branch no longer producing fruit that needs to be removed?
  • What new fruit will be made?
  • What temptation creates a danger for your branch to wither?
  • Turn away from this temptation and abide in Christ.
  • Savor the fruit that is growing.
  • 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, May 6, 2012, the Fifth Sunday of Easter Year B

Acts 8:26-40
Psalm 22:25-31
1 John 4:7-21
John 15:1-8

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

John 1:43-51 – I saw you under the fig tree

JOHN 1:43-51

43The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” 46Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!”48Nathanael asked him, “Where did you come to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”50Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” 51And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

  • 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 sit, imagine Jesus comes by, recognizes you and calls you to follow.
  • What is your response to Jesus?
  • As these words flow from you, what do you notice in your body?
  • Where do you feel freedom?  Where do you feel bondage?  Take notice of these.
  • Jesus replies to your response.  What does Jesus say?
  • As these words touch you, what do you feel?
  • What truth is spoken in these words?
  • What good comes from Nazareth?
  • How is God glorified in these words and in your response?
  • 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, January 14, 2018, the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) 
1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20)
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
John 1:43-51

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

Advent – Psalm 126:1-6 Bearing the seed for sowing

PSALM 126:1-6

1   When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
2   Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
3   The Lord has done great things for us,
and we rejoiced.

4   Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like the watercourses in the Negeb.
5   May those who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy.
6   Those who go out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
carrying their sheaves.

  • 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 dream do you have?
  • How does this meet your desire?
  • How does this meet God’s desire for you?
  • In this dream, how does God do great things for you?
  • What laughter and rejoicing does this bring?
  • How do you share these great things?
  • What seed do you have to plant?
  • What harvest will be gathered?
  • Give thanks to God for the
  • Give thanks to God for the dream 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 17, 2017, the Third Sunday of Advent Year B 
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
Psalm 126:1-6
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Luke 1:46b-55
John 1:6-8, 19-28

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