Advent: We Have Received Grace and Apostleship – Romans 1:1-7

Romans 1:1-7

1Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, 3the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name, 6including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

7To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints:
     Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, let your focus shift to the part of you that feels anointed, called to belong to the body of Christ.
  • Notice the hope, love, joy, and peace that accompanies Grace.
  • Whose hands are extending grace and apostleship to you?
  • Give thanks for these hands.
  • Be embraced by Grace.
  • Look at your hands.
  • Who is God is calling you to anoint?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this gift of Grace 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 22, 2019, the Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year A)

Isaiah 7:10-16
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
Romans 1:1-7
Matthew 1:18-25

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.

Advent: Bread of Tears – Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

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!

3   Restore us, O God;
          let your face shine, that we may be saved.

4   O LORD God of hosts,
          how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
5   You have fed them with the bread of tears,
          and given them tears to drink in full measure.
6   You make us the scorn of our neighbors;
          our enemies laugh among themselves.

7   Restore us, O God of hosts;
          let your face shine, that we may be saved.

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 Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on your interior space.
  • Notice the tears in you.
  • Embrace the tears in you.
  • Release the tears to let them speak to you.
  • Invite the tears to feed you.
  • Journey toward the manger with tears.
  • Hear the good news of this Advent season.  Your tears will nourish you.
  • How will you call upon God’s name?
  • Give thanks to God for this gift of Tears 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 22, 2019, the Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year A)

Isaiah 7:10-16
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
Romans 1:1-7
Matthew 1:18-25

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.

Advent – Psalm 80:1-7 – Bread of Tears

Psalm 80:1-7

1Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,

you who lead Joseph like a flock!

You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth

2before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.

Stir up your might,

and come to save us!

3Restore us, O God;

let your face shine, that we may be saved.

4O LORD God of hosts,

how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?

5You have fed them with the bread of tears,

and given them tears to drink in full measure.

6You make us the scorn of our neighbors;

our enemies laugh among themselves.

7Restore us, O God of hosts;

let your face shine, that we may be saved.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on your interior space.
  • Notice the tears in you.
  • Embrace the tears in you.
  • Release the tears to let them speak to you.
  • Invite the tears to feed you.
  • Journey toward the manger with tears.
  • Hear the good news of this Advent season.  Your tears will nourish you.
  • Give thanks to God for this gift of Tears 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 23, 2018, the Third Sunday of Advent (Year C)
Micah 5:2-5a
Canticle Luke  1:46b-55
Psalm 80:1-7
Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1:39-45 (46-55)

(c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

Advent – Canticle Luke 1:46b-55 – He Lifted Up the Lowly

Canticle Luke 1:46b-55

46bMy soul magnifies the LORD,

47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

48for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.

Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

49for the Mighty One has done great things for me,

and holy is his name.

50His mercy is for those who fear him

from generation to generation.

51He has shown strength with his arm;

he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

52He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,

and lifted up the lowly;

53he has filled the hungry with good things,

and sent the rich away empty.

54He has helped his servant Israel,

in remembrance of his mercy,

55according to the promise he made to our ancestors,

to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on your interior space.
  • Notice the pride in you.
  • How do you desire for the Shepherd to remove the pride in you and scatter it?
  • Embrace this freedom within you.
  • How do you desire for the Shepherd to remove your need to exert power over others?
  • Embrace this freedom within you.
  • How do you desire for the Shepherd to remove your greed for riches?
    Embrace this freedom within you.
  • Journey toward the manger with the lowly.
  • Hear the good news of this Advent season.  The Shepherd brings mercy to the lowly.
  • Give thanks to God for this gift of Mercy 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 23, 2018, the Third Sunday of Advent (Year C)
Micah 5:2-5a
Canticle Luke  1:46b-55
Psalm 80:1-7
Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1:39-45 (46-55)

(c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.