Early Rain for Your Vindication – Joel 2:23-32

Joel 2:23-32

23O children of Zion, be glad and rejoice in the LORD your God; for he has given the early rain for your vindication, he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the later rain, as before. 24The threshing floors shall be full of grain, the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

25I will repay you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent against you.

26You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. 27You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I, the LORD, am your God and there is no other. And my people shall never again be put to shame.

28Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. 29Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.

30I will show portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. 32Then everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Let you attention shift to a recent experience of abundant rain that has led to an abundant harvest.
  • Sit with and savor the harvest.
  • How are you eating in plenty and being satisfied?
  • How is God inviting you to let go of any shame that is still lingering with this experience?
  • See God pour out the Spirit upon you.
  • Be healed and freed of shame.
  • Call upon the name of the Lord.
  • Give thanks and listen for God’s call.
  • What message does God have 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, October 27, 2019, the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
Joel 2:23-32
Psalm 65:1-13
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
Luke 18:9-14

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.

Matthew 13:24-30 Wheat and weeds growing together in the field

Matthew 13:24-30

24He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; 25but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 26So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 27And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ 28He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 30Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”

  • Light a candle remembering Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend 5 to 15 minutes in silent meditation using your deep breathing to guide you.
  • Imaging the field of wheat and weeds growing together is a map of your life.  Draw it if you wish.
  • Consider what weeds might be growing in your wheat.
  • What enemy planted the weeds?
  • How might God be at work in the weeds?  If you feel led, invite God into this work.
  • What wheat is growing in your life?
  • How is God at work in the wheat.
  • What is sustaining the field?
  • What is missing in the field?
  • Give thanks to God for those things that are sustaining you.  Invite God into those things that are missing.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, July 17 2011,  the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Genesis 28:10-19a
Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24
Romans 8:12-25
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
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.