Have the Mind of Christ – 1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (13-16)

1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (13-16)

2When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. 2For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. 4My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.

6Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. 7But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9But, as it is written,
     “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
          nor the human heart conceived,
     what God has prepared for those who love him” —
10these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God. 12Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. 13And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual.

14Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else’s scrutiny.
16  “For who has known the mind of the Lord
          so as to instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Let your attention move to an obstacle you have been trying to fix with human wisdom.
  • Sit with this obstacle. Embrace this obstacle. Love this obstacle. With gentleness, listen to what this obstacle has to say.
  • Put on the mind of Christ.
  • Enter into discernment for God’s wisdom to emerge.
  • What is the obstacle teaching you about God? About yourself? About the world?
  • 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, February 5, 2023, the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12)
Psalm 112:1-9 (10)
1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (13-16)
Matthew 5:13-20

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2023 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 training, 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.

Let Your Light Shine Before Others- Matthew 5:13-20

(c) Ali Smith “House of Joy” 2020

Matthew 5:13-20

13“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.

14“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. 18For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 19Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

  • 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 inhale, take in light.
  • As you exhale, expel anything that is blocking the light.
  • Continue this practice until you are at peace, feeling freedom.
  • In this place of freedom, name the different places you sense God’s presence and provision.
  • Notice how God is doing the transforming.
  • Savor and celebrate this right relationship/righteousness with God.
  • Let your attention shift to a part of you that is experiencing unfreedom.
  • Invite God into this part of you and listen for God’s invitation to freedom.
  • 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, February 5, 2023, the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12)
Psalm 112:1-9 (10)
1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (13-16)
Matthew 5:13-20

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2030 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 training, 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.

They Rise in the Darkness as a Light for the Upright – Psalm 112:1-9 (10)

Psalm 112:1-9 (10)

1   Praise the LORD!
          Happy are those who fear the LORD,
          who greatly delight in his commandments.
2   Their descendants will be mighty in the land;
          the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3   Wealth and riches are in their houses,
          and their righteousness endures forever.
4   They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright;
          they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.
5   It is well with those who deal generously and lend,
          who conduct their affairs with justice.
6   For the righteous will never be moved;
          they will be remembered forever.
7   They are not afraid of evil tidings;
          their hearts are firm, secure in the LORD.
8   Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid;
          in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
9   They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor;
          their righteousness endures forever;
          their horn is exalted in honor.
10  The wicked see it and are angry;
          they gnash their teeth and melt away;
          the desire of the wicked comes to nothing.

  • Light a candle to remember the presence of the Holy with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • Remember a time someone accompanied you in the darkness.
  • Remember how the warmth of their light embraced you and loved you.
  • Remember how you were affirmed and encouraged.
  • Remember how you were comforted and valued.
  • Where does this light live in you?
  • Someone around you needs to be reminded of this light and love today.
  • Be awake and aware to know how God would like you to share this light and love.
  • 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, February 5, 2023, the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12)
Psalm 112:1-9 (10)
1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (13-16)
Matthew 5:13-20

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2023 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 training, 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.

Loose the Bonds of Injustice – Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12)

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/19th-century-vatican-palace-turned-homeless-shelter-pope-francis-behest-n1123246

Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12)

1   Shout out, do not hold back!
          Lift up your voice like a trumpet!
     Announce to my people their rebellion,
          to the house of Jacob their sins.
2   Yet day after day they seek me
          and delight to know my ways,
     as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness
          and did not forsake the ordinance of their God;
     they ask of me righteous judgments,
          they delight to draw near to God.
3   “Why do we fast, but you do not see?
          Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?”
     Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day,
          and oppress all your workers.
4   Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
          and to strike with a wicked fist.
     Such fasting as you do today
          will not make your voice heard on high.
5   Is such the fast that I choose,
          a day to humble oneself?
     Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,
          and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?
     Will you call this a fast,
          a day acceptable to the LORD?

6   Is not this the fast that I choose:
          to loose the bonds of injustice,
          to undo the thongs of the yoke,
     to let the oppressed go free,
          and to break every yoke?
7   Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
          and bring the homeless poor into your house;
     when you see the naked, to cover them,
          and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
8   Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
          and your healing shall spring up quickly;
     your vindicator shall go before you,
          the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
9   Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
          you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.

     If you remove the yoke from among you,
          the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
10  if you offer your food to the hungry
          and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
     then your light shall rise in the darkness
          and your gloom be like the noonday.
11  The LORD will guide you continually,
          and satisfy your needs in parched places,
          and make your bones strong;
     and you shall be like a watered garden,
          like a spring of water,
          whose waters never fail.
12  Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
          you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
     you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
          the restorer of streets to live in.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes, bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Hear the prophet announce our rebellion!
  • Hear the prophet announce your rebellion!
  • What fast arises within you to respond to the rebellion keeping us from God?
    • Loose the bonds of injustice?
    • Undo the thongs of the yoke?
    • Let the oppressed go free?
    • Break every yoke?
    • Share your bread with the hungry?
    • Bring the homeless poor into your house?
    • See the naked and cover them?
    • Reveal yourself to your own kin?
  • Notice how your light within, God’s light within you, desires to rise from the darkness.
  • 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, February 5, 2023, the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12)
Psalm 112:1-9 (10)
1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (13-16)
Matthew 5:13-20

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2023 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 training, 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.

God’s Foolishness Is Wiser than Human Wisdom: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

1 Corinthians 1:18-31

18For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
20Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. 22For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, 23but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

26Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, 29so that no one might boast in the presence of God. 30He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Inhale the foolishness of Christ.
  • Exhale the wisdom of the wise.
  • Inhale the foolishness the Suffering One.
  • Exhale the wisdom of the wise.
  • Inhale the weakness of the Compassionate One.
  • Exhale the wisdom of the wise.
  • Invite the foolishness of the Healing One to stir within you.
  • Embrace the weakness of the Healing One.
  • What is your invitation from God today?
  • 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 29, 2023, the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Isaiah 49:1-7
Psalm  71:1-14
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
John 12:20-36

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2023 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.

Speak the Truth from the Heart: Psalm 15

Psalm 15

1   O LORD, who may abide in your tent?
          Who may dwell on your holy hill?

2   Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,
          and speak the truth from their heart;
3   who do not slander with their tongue,
          and do no evil to their friends,
          nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;
4   in whose eyes the wicked are despised,
          but who honor those who fear the LORD;
     who stand by their oath even to their hurt;
5   who do not lend money at interest,
          and do not take a bribe against the innocent.
     Those who do these things shall never be moved.

  • 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.
  • Let your attention shift to your heart.
  • Listen to your heart.
  • Part of your heart is strong and healthy and speaks truth.
  • Embrace the love, joy, and peace that accompanies the truth in your heart.
  • Let your heart speak.
  • Part of your heart is broken and hurting. This part of your heart is searching for the truth that has been hidden by pain and false accusations.
  • Sit with this part of your heart and be gentle as you listen for words of truth to emerge.
  • Listen to your heart.
  • Speak the truth.
  • Embrace the healing, love, joy, and peace God has for you as you are freed from the pain.
  • 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, January 29, 2023, the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Micah 6:1-8
Psalm 15
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Matthew 5:1-12

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2023 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 training, 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.