2 Samuel 6 – Dancing before the Lord with all their might

2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19

1David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2David and all the people with him set out and went from Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the LORD of hosts who is enthroned on the cherubim.3They carried the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart 4with the ark of God; and Ahio went in front of the ark. 5David and all the house of Israel were dancing before the LORD with all their might, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals.

12bSo David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing; 13and when those who bore the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. 14David danced before the LORD with all his might; David was girded with a linen ephod. 15So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.

16As the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal daughter of Saul looked out of the window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.

17They brought in the ark of the LORD, and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and offerings of well-being before the LORD. 18When David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the offerings of well-being, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts, 19and distributed food among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, to each a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people went back to their homes.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • God’s covenant with humankind shows God’s love for us.
  • When we obey God and follow God’s path, it is time for rejoicing.
  • David and the house of Israel danced before the Lord with all their might.
  • Think of a time you know you were following the Lord.
  • Imagine dancing and rejoicing with all your might.
  • What feelings arise within you?
  • What is blocking you from engaging fully?
  • Allow yourself to let go of anything that is blocking you from fully participating.
  • Notice specific feelings you encounter:  lightness, openness, freedom, laughter, joy.
  • Notice where these feelings occur in your body.
  • Take a mental snapshot of these feelings so that you might draw upon them again.
  • 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, July 15, 2012, the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19
Psalm 24
Ephesians 1:3-14
Mark 6:14-29

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.

1 Samuel 8 – Give Us a King to Govern Us

1 Samuel 8:4-11 (12-15) 16-20 (11:14-15)

8:4Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, 5and said to him, “You are old and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations.” 6But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to govern us.” Samuel prayed to the LORD, 7and the LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 8Just as they have done to me, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so also they are doing to you. 9Now then, listen to their voice; only — you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”

10So Samuel reported all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. 11He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots; 12and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. 13He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his courtiers. 15He will take one-tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and his courtiers. 16He will take your male and female slaves, and the best of your cattle and donkeys, and put them to his work. 17He will take one-tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. 18And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

19But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; they said, “No! but we are determined to have a king over us, 20so that we also may be like other nations, and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles.”

11:14Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingship.” 15So all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the LORD in Gilgal. There they sacrificed offerings of well-being before the Lord, and there Saul and all the Israelites rejoiced greatly.

  • 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.
  • In what ways to you no longer listen to God?
  • How is the world keeping your turned away from God?
  • Consider the ways the world governs you.
  • Do you feel turned away from God?
  • Have you felt a time when God did not answer you on that day?
  • What answer do you need today?
  • Set your sights upon God.  Open your ears.  Stay turned toward the one who will answer you.  Let the others celebrate the sacrifice as you stay with God.
  • At the close of the day, review the events and experiences.  See yourself as you turn toward God.
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer, for sending your son to be the king we never expected 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 10, 2018, the Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) 
1 Samuel 8:4-11 (12-15), 16-20(11:14-15)
Psalm 138:1-8
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
Mark 3:20-35

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

Hebrews 5:5-10 He learned obedience through what he suffered

Garden of Gethsemane

HEBREWS 5:5-10

5So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him,
“You are my Son,
today I have begotten you”;
6as he says also in another place,
“You are a priest forever,
according to the order of Melchizedek.”

7In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; 9and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, 10having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • It is a new day.
  • How will you obey Christ today?
  • Search your heart to know what is written there.
  • What do you need to put aside to obey Christ?
  • What is God’s message to 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, March 18, 2018, the Fifth Sunday in Lent Year B
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 51:1-12
Psalm 119:9-16
Hebrews 5:5-10
John 12:20-33

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

Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67 – Make successful the way that I am going

Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67

34So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35The LORD has greatly blessed my master, and he has become wealthy; he has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female slaves, camels and donkeys. 36And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old; and he has given him all that he has. 37My master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live; 38but you shall go to my father’s house, to my kindred, and get a wife for my son.’

42“I came today to the spring, and said, ‘O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, if now you will only make successful the way I am going! 43I am standing here by the spring of water; let the young woman who comes out to draw, to whom I shall say, “Please give me a little water from your jar to drink,” 44and who will say to me, “Drink, and I will draw for your camels also” — let her be the woman whom the LORD has appointed for my master’s son.’

45“Before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah coming out with her water jar on her shoulder; and she went down to the spring, and drew. I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’ 46She quickly let down her jar from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will also water your camels.’ So I drank, and she also watered the camels. 47Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ So I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her arms. 48Then I bowed my head and worshiped the LORD, and blessed the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me by the right way to obtain the daughter of my master’s kinsman for his son. 49Now then, if you will deal loyally and truly with my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so that I may turn either to the right hand or to the left.”

58And they called Rebekah, and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will.” 59So they sent away their sister Rebekah and her nurse along with Abraham’s servant and his men. 60And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,
“May you, our sister, become
thousands of myriads;
may your offspring gain possession
of the gates of their foes.”
61Then Rebekah and her maids rose up, mounted the camels, and followed the man; thus the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.

62Now Isaac had come from Beer-lahai-roi, and was settled in the Negeb. 63Isaac went out in the evening to walk in the field; and looking up, he saw camels coming. 64And Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she slipped quickly from the camel, 65and said to the servant, “Who is the man over there, walking in the field to meet us?” The servant said, “It is my master.” So she took her veil and covered herself. 66And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent. He took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Imagine coming to the spring.
  • What duty do you bring with you?
  • Speak to the spring, “O LORD, the God of my life, if now you will only make successful the way I am going!”
  • Sit by the spring and listen for God to respond to you.
  • How will God make successful the way you are going?
  • How will you notice the way is of God?
  • Sit and listen deeply.
  • 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, July 9, 2017, the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67
Psalm 45:10-17
Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Romans 7:15-25a
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

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