We Played the Flute for You and You Did Not Dance: Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

16“But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another,
17  ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we wailed, and you did not mourn.’
18For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; 19the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

25At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; 26yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

28“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Do a scan of your body to reveal a heavy burden you are carrying.
  • Notice how you carry this burden with you.
  • Notice the energy this burden consumes.
  • Notice how this burden is harsh and heavy and judging.
  • Notice how this burden keeps you from dancing and mourning.
  • Notice how this burden numbs you.
  • Now, take on the yoke of Jesus.
  • Invite gentle and humble and rest.
  • Breathe deeply and rest.
  • Let go of your burden as you lean into the burden of Jesus the Christ.
  • Lean into the burden until you find freedom there.
  • How do you want to dance?
  • 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 5, 2020, 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) 2020 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.

I Do the Very Thing I Hate – Romans 7:15-25a

Romans 7:15-25a

15I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

21So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. 22For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, 23but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our 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 love.
  • Exhale sin.
  • Inhale love.
  • Exhale fear.
  • Inhale love.
  • Exhale hate.
  • Embrace your body as a holy temple.
  • Embrace your body as a holy temple that holds both fear and love.
  • What do you do that is the very thing you hate?
  • Hold that hate in one hand.
  • What love do you need from God?
  • Hold that love in the other hand.
  • How do you wish to invite God’s love to spread light to the hate?
  • How does love ask you to let go of the hate?
  • Lean into the desire to let go of the hate.
  • See the love grow as the hate dies.
  • 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 5, 2020, 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) 2020 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.

Arise, My Love, My Fair One, and Come Away – Song of Solomon 2:8-13

Song of Solomon 2:8-13

8The voice of my beloved! Look, he comes, leaping upon the mountains, bounding over the hills. 9My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look, there he stands behind our wall, gazing in at the windows, looking through the lattice. 10My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; 11for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. 12The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. 13The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”

  • 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 pay attention to your breath, invite your hearing to become heightened.
  • Gently silence any thoughts and distractions keeping you from hearing.
  • Invite the Holy to speak.
  • What does the beloved Holy One say to you?
  • How does the Holy One woo you to follow?
  • Notice any resistance in you to follow.
  • What do you need for the resistance to disappear?
  • Listen to the Holy wooing you to follow.
  • Notice the path the Holy has placed before you.
  • What peace do you notice on the path?
  • Take  mental picture of the path, noticing details of flowers, landscape, color, smell.
  • Carry this picture with you in case you lose your way.
  • 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 5, 2020, 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) 2020 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.

Christ the Bridegroom of the Church – Psalm 45:10-17

Psalm 45:10-17

10  Hear, O daughter, consider and incline your ear;
forget your people and your father’s house,
11       and the king will desire your beauty.
Since he is your lord, bow to him;
12       the people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts,
the richest of the people 13with all kinds of wealth.

The princess is decked in her chamber with gold-woven robes;
14       in many-colored robes she is led to the king;
behind her the virgins, her companions, follow.
15  With joy and gladness they are led along
as they enter the palace of the king.

16  In the place of ancestors you, O king, shall have sons;
you will make them princes in all the earth.
17  I will cause your name to be celebrated in all generations;
therefore the peoples will praise you forever and ever.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Reflect today on the relationship between Christ and the church.
  • Christ is the bridegroom of the church, the body of Christ.
  • Forget the false people.
  • Be led to Christ with joy and gladness.
  • Blessing awaits you there.
  • Authentic relationship awaits you there.
  • Love awaits you there.
  • 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 5, 2020, 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) 2020 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.