John 15:1-8 – Apart from me you can do nothing…

JOHN 15:1-8

1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Allow the breath to reach every inch of you, the branch.
  • What fruit is being produced in you?
  • Is it the same harvest time after time?
  • Or does Christ need to prune the branch for more fruit to grow?
  • Is there part of the branch no longer producing fruit that needs to be removed?
  • What new fruit will be made?
  • What temptation creates a danger for your branch to wither?
  • Turn away from this temptation and abide in Christ.
  • Savor the fruit that is growing.
  • 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 6, 2012, the Fifth Sunday of Easter Year B

Acts 8:26-40
Psalm 22:25-31
1 John 4:7-21
John 15:1-8

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.

John 15:1-8 – Apart from me you can do nothing…

JOHN 15:1-8

1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Allow the breath to reach every inch of you, the branch.
  • What fruit is being produced in you?
  • Is it the same harvest time after time?
  • Or does Christ need to prune the branch for more fruit to grow?
  • Is there part of the branch no longer producing fruit that needs to be removed?
  • What new fruit will be made?
  • What temptation creates a danger for your branch to wither?
  • Turn away from this temptation and abide in Christ.
  • Savor the fruit that is growing.
  • 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 6, 2012, the Fifth Sunday of Easter Year B

Acts 8:26-40
Psalm 22:25-31
1 John 4:7-21
John 15:1-8

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.

Matthew 21:23-32 Which one is doing the will of the father?

Matthew 21:23-32

23 When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24 Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, “From heaven,’ he will say to us, “Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, “Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 28″What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, “Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 He answered, “I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. 30 The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, “I go, sir’; but he did not go. 31Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend 5 to 15 minutes in silent meditation using your deep breathing to guide you.
  • As you pay attention to your breathing, let go of the responsibilities that are consuming you.
  • As you continue to pay attention to your deep breath, let go of the to do list you have today.  Allow yourself to be a blank slate.
  • Read the scripture again.
  • What do you believe?
  • What message is there for you in this belief?
  • Breath as you focus upon that message.
  • It there a call to action in the message?
  • As you go about your day, be reminded of the message you have received.  Allow God to be in the midst of your schedule today.
  • Give thanks to God for any new insights you have received today.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, September 25,  the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Exodus 17:1-7
Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16
Philippians 2:1-13
Matthew 21:23-32
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD.

Matthew 20:1-16 The last will be first and the first will be last

Matthew 20:16 (NRSV)

16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

 

 


  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend 5 to 15 minutes in silent meditation using your deep breathing to guide you.
  • Use the text for today as a focus of your breathing.  Breathe in as you remember “the last shall be first”, and exhale as you remember “the first shall be last”.
  • Use these texts as a mantra, allowing your mind to move into stillness as you let these words quiet you.
  • If any items on your to do list come up, write them down, put them aside and come back to your breath and let the words quiet you again.
  • Is there an image or a person that comes to mind?
  • How is this image or this person related to the text?
  • What is the message for you?
  • Is there a call to action for you?
  • Give thanks to God for the breath and for anything new you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, September 11,  the Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Exodus 16:2-15
Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45
Philippians 1:21-30
Matthew 20:1-16
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD