The First Sign: John 2:1-11

YouTube Poster

John 2:1-11

1On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come” 5His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. 9When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

  • 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.
  • Imagine being at the wedding, hearing of the miracle, and beginning to realize the depth of this first sign.
  • Rest in awe and wonder.
  • Inhale awe and wonder.
  • Exhale doubt and fear.
  • As you allow the breath to open you further, consider the signs Jesus has performed in your life and in the world around you.
  • Place these experiences before you.
  • Rest in awe and wonder.
  • Inhale awe and wonder.
  • Exhale doubt and fear.
  • 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 16, 2022, the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Isaiah 62:1-5
Psalm 36:5-10
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
John 2:1-11

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2022 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.

Gifts for the Common Good: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

1 Corinthians 12:1-11

1Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. 3Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Let Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.

4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

  • 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.
  • Focus on your spiritual gifts today.
  • What gifts are you using to glorify God and love your neighbor?
  • Where do these gifts live in your body?
  • Do a quick interior scan of your body.
  • Select one spiritual gift that most wants your attention today.
  • What is new about this gift today?
  • What does this gift has to reveal to you today?
  • Is there a new invitation?
  • 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 16, 2022, the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Isaiah 62:1-5
Psalm 36:5-10
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
John 2:1-11

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2022 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.

God’s Steadfast Love: Psalm 36:5-10

Psalm 36:5-10

5Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens,

your faithfulness to the clouds.

6Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,

your judgments are like the great deep;

you save humans and animals alike, O LORD.

7How precious is your steadfast love, O God!

All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

8They feast on the abundance of your house,

and you give them drink from the river of your delights.

9For with you is the fountain of life;

in your light we see light.

10O continue your steadfast love to those who know you,

and your salvation to the upright of heart!

  • 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.
  • Focus on the Breath that brings you steadfast love.
  • How do you desire to take refuge in the shadow of Love’s wing?
  • Notice the abundance and depth of flowing Love.
  • What new Light do you see?
  • 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 16, 2022, the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Isaiah 62:1-5
Psalm 36:5-10
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
John 2:1-11

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2022 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.

I Will Not Keep Silent, I Will Not Rest: Isaiah 62:1-5

Isaiah 62:1-5

1For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,

and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,

until her vindication shines out like the dawn,

and her salvation like a burning torch.

2The nations shall see your vindication,

and all the kings your glory;

and you shall be called by a new name

that the mouth of the LORD will give.

3You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,

and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

4You shall no more be termed Forsaken,

and your land shall no more be termed Desolate;

but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,

and your land Married;

for the LORD delights in you,

and your land shall be married.

5For as a young man marries a young woman,

so shall your builder marry you,

and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,

so shall your God rejoice over you.

  • 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.
  • Notice how you need to be freed from blame and suspicion today.
  • Invite a dialogue with Holy.
  • In a world that blames and shames, tell your story to the One who most desires to listen to you.
  • Notice how God embraces your story and asks to carry your burden.
  • Let God heal you and hold this burden for you.
  • Feel the weight being lifted from you.
  • What is God’s invitation 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 16, 2022, the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Isaiah 62:1-5
Psalm 36:5-10
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
John 2:1-11

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2022 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.

Baptism of the Lord: You Are the Beloved in Whom I AM Well Pleased: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

15As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

21Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, 22and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

The holy day of lights, to which we have come and which we are celebrating today, has for its origin the baptism of my Christ, the true Light that lightens everyone coming into the world, and effects my purification…. It is a season of new birth: let us be born again! We duly celebrated at his birth – I, the one who presided at the feast, and you, and all that is in the world and above the world. With the star we ran, with the magi we worshiped, with the shepherds we were enlightened, with the angels we glorified him with Simeon we took him up in his arms, and with the chaste and aged Anna we made our responsive confession…. Now we come to another of Christ’s acts and another mystery…. The Spirit bears witness to his Godhead, for he descends upon one that is like him, as does the voice from heaven…. Let us venerate today the baptism of Christ.

– Gregory of Nazianzus c.329-389/390
(A Christmas Sourcebook, Liturgy Training Publications)

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you sit, allow this artwork to become part of you.
  • Where are you in the art?
  • What element is surrounding you? (air or water)
  • Allow this element to hold you, giving you a sense of lightness.
  • Take on what you need from this element.
  • Give to this element anything you need to be washed away.
  • Savor the lightness.
  • Hear the words from above, “With you, I am well pleased.”
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Stay in the element as long as you like.
  • Then give thanks to the element for holding you, and feel the element gently leave your surround.
  • Breathe.
  • 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 9, 2022, the Baptism of the Lord (Year C)

Isaiah 43:1-7
Psalm 29
Acts 8:14-17
Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2022 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.

Baptism of the Lord: Acts 8:14-17:  Receive the Holy Spirit

Acts 8:14-17

14Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit 16(for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). 17Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

  • 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 settle into your breath, open yourself to the saints who have gone before you.
  • Remember the ways in which these saints touched you life, believing in you, sharing Christ with you, laying hands on you.
  • Open your imagination and open your mind and spirit to the days of the apostles.
  • Imagine hearing the Gospel for the very first time.
  • Notice the peace that surrounds you.
  • Hear someone praying for you to receive the Holy Spirit.
  • Hear someone praying for the crowd to receive the Holy Spirit.
  • Notice the peace that enters you.
  • Embrace the Holy Spirit that moves within you, among you, watching over you, holding you.
  • As you embrace the Holy Spirit, notice if there is someone you know who needs the peace of the Holy Spirit.
  • 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 9, 2022, the Baptism of the Lord (Year C)

Isaiah 43:1-7
Psalm 29
Acts 8:14-17
Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2022 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.