Exodus 33:12-23 – My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest

Exodus 33:12-23

12Moses said to the LORD, “See, you have said to me, ‘Bring up this people’; but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ 13Now if I have found favor in your sight, show me your ways, so that I may know you and find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” 14He said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15And he said to him, “If your presence will not go, do not carry us up from here. 16For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people, unless you go with us? In this way, we shall be distinct, I and your people, from every people on the face of the earth.”

17The LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing that you have asked; for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” 18Moses said, “Show me your glory, I pray.” 19And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you the name, ‘The LORD’; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20But,” he said, “you cannot see my face; for no one shall see me and live.” 21And the LORD continued, “See, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock; 22and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; 23then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Once you find freedom, let your attention move to your faith.
  • Where do you struggle with your faith today?
  • Where to you need God to show you whom God will send with you?
  • How will these people see God’s favor in you?
  • How do you need to experience God’s glory?
  • As you explore these questions, where do you notice tension in your body?
  • With each breath, inhale the goodness of God moving before you.  Allow the goodness in each breath to release the tension you hold.
  • Experience God’s grace and God’s mercy.
  • Name the freedom God is giving you.
  • 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, October 22, 2017, the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Exodus 33:12-23
Psalm 99:1-9
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Matthew 22:15-22

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

Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20 -Change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people

Exodus 32:1-14

1When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered around Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make gods for us, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” 2Aaron said to them, “Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” 3So all the people took off the gold rings from their ears, and brought them to Aaron. 4He took the gold from them, formed it in a mold, and cast an image of a calf; and they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” 5When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a festival to the LORD.” 6They rose early the next day, and offered burnt offerings and brought sacrifices of well-being; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to revel.

7The LORD said to Moses, “Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely; 8they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’” 9The LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are. 10Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation.”

11But Moses implored the LORD his God, and said, “O LORD, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people. 13Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’” 14And the LORD changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Our God is a compassionate and caring God.
  • Our God is a compassionate and caring God with feelings.
  • How do you see God’s people worshiping and sacrificing to other idols?
  • Watch these people and notice how you feel.
  • Imagine how these actions wound a caring and compassionate God.
  • It took one voice, the voice of a regular guy, Moses, to remind God of God’s covenant and his love for God’s people.
  • Imagine you are the one voice today to remind God of God’s covenant and God’s love for God’s people.
  • What will you say to God?
  • How will you pray for God’s people?
  • 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, October 15, 2017, the Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Exodus 32:1-14
Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23
Philippians 4:1-9
Matthew 22:1-14

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

Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20 – Ten commandments of compassion and caring

Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20

1Then God spoke all these words: 2I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 3you shall have no other gods before me.

4You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

7You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

8Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. 9Six days you shall labor and do all your work.

12Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

13You shall not murder.

14You shall not commit adultery.

15You shall not steal.

16You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

17You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

18When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they were afraid and trembled and stood at a distance, 19and said to Moses, “;You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.” 20Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Read the text aloud today.
  • Notice the foundation Ten Commandments are the caring and compassionate nature of God.
  • Which commandment gives you the most freedom today?
  • Why?
  • Give thanks to God for freedom.
  • Which commandment gives you the most unfreedom today?
  • Why?
  • How do you wish to invite God into this unfreedom?
  • Give thanks to God for being present with you in unfreedom.
  • 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, October 8, 2017, the Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20
Psalm 19:1-14
Philippians 3:4b-14
Matthew 21:33-46

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

Exodus 24:12-18 – Come up to me on the mountain and wait there

Exodus 24:12-18

12The LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” 13So Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. 14To the elders he had said, “Wait here for us, until we come to you again; for Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a dispute may go to them.”

15Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16The glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the cloud. 17Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. 18Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • After days, months, or perhaps years of wandering in the wilderness like the Israelites, God is calling you to the mountaintop.
  • The mountaintop is the place where God meets his people, and God is calling you to the mountaintop.
  • God calls you up, yet asks to wait once more.
  • It takes time for new things to be revealed.
  • You must be prepared to see the new thing that God has for you.  New things are transformational.
  • Notice how you walk up the mountain.
  • Notice how you wait.
  • Are you ready to climb that last bit to receive what God has for you?
  • Are you ready to be transformed?
  • 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, March 26, 2017, the Transfiguration of the Lord (Year A)

Exodus 24:12-18
Psalm 2
2 Peter 1:16-21
Matthew 17:1-9


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

Exodus 24:12-18 Moses was on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights

Exodus 24:12-18

12The LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” 13So Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. 14To the elders he had said, “Wait here for us, until we come to you again; for Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a dispute may go to them.”

15Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16The glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the cloud. 17Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. 18Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Bring your attention to the Breath.  Inhale freedom and exhale unfreedom.  Continue this exercise for 5 to 10 minutes.  With each breath, imagine you are ascending the mountain to be with God.
  • Notice the life that the freedom gives you.
  • Notice any resistance, tension, or obstacles that impede your ascent.  Allow the breath to reach these places and exhale the unfreedom.
  • When you reach the place on the top of the mountain, sit and wait for God.
  • What do you notice?
  • What do you need?
  • What do you anticipate?
  • What do you resist?
  • Return to the Breath.
  • Sit and wait.
  • 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 26, 2017, the Transfiguration of the Lord (Year A)

Exodus 24:12-18
Psalm 2
2 Peter 1:16-21
Matthew 17:1-9

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

Pentecost: A Breathing Space

Fire
What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.

So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.

When we are able to build
open spaces
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of the fuel
together, that make fire possible.

We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time.
A fire
grows
simply because the space is there,
with openings
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.

~ Judy Brown ~

  • 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.
  • Allow the warmth of the sun to shine upon your face.  
  • As you embrace the warmth, allow it to move through your body.
  • As you remember Pentecost today, allow the warmth to become the fire of the Holy Spirit.
  • The fire needs space to grow.
  • Where do you need to make space for the fire to blaze?
  • What needs to be moved?  What needs to be kindled?  What needs to be opened?
  • Or do you need more logs?
  • Consider how the Spirit is moving and growing in you.
  • How do you respond?
  • Consider again your breath. 
  •  How does the breath of God create breathing space within you?
  • How does the breath of God create breathing space in creation?
  • How does the breath of God create breathing space in the world?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • 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 27, 2012, the Day of Pentecost Year B

Acts 2:1-21
Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 104:24-34,35b
Romans 8:22-27
John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15

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.