Advent – Hebrews 10:5-10 – A Body You Have Prepared for Me

Hebrews 10:5-10

5Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,

“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,

but a body you have prepared for me;

6in burnt offerings and sin offerings

you have taken no pleasure.”

7Then I said, ‘See, God, I have come to do your will, O God’

(in the scroll of the book it is written of me).”

8When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9then he added, “See, I have come to do your will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. 10And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on your interior space.
  • Notice the invitation to accept new life growing in you.
  • Embrace the new life in you.
  • Notice how your body creates a warm, cocooned space for this new life to grow.
  • Notice how your body wants to nurture and to be gentle.
  • Are there any obstacles to this new life that need to be removed?
  • Let the obstacles go to make room for growth.
  • Feel the warmth and light of this new growth.
  • Does it have a name?
  • Hear the good news of this Advent season.  There is new life growing in you and anticipating birth.
  • Give thanks to God for this gift of New Life and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 23, 2018, the Third Sunday of Advent (Year C)
Micah 5:2-5a
Canticle Luke  1:46b-55
Psalm 80:1-7
Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1:39-45 (46-55)

(c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

Acts 17:22-31 – In him we live and move and have our being

Acts 17:22-31

22Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. 23For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, 25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. 26From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, 27so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him — though indeed he is not far from each one of us. 28For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said,
‘For we too are his offspring.’
29Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. 30While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Which altars do you have to an “unknown God”?
  • How will you let go of these altars today, turning your attention to the Christ in you?
  • Which altars does the world have to an “unknown God”?
  • How will you let go of these altars today, turning your attention to the Christ in you?
  • How do you desire to embrace the Christ in you, savoring the ways in him we live and move and have our being?
  • How do you desire for the world to savor the ways in him we live and move and have our being?
  • 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, May 21, 2017, the Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Acts 17:22-31
Psalm 66:8-20
1 Peter 3:13-22
John 14:15-21

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

Praying with Mary Oliver: The Journey

The Journey

One day you finally knew 
what you had to do, and began, 
though the voices around you 
kept shouting 
their bad advice — 
though the whole house 
began to tremble 
and you felt the old tug 
at your ankles. 
“Mend my life!” 
each voice cried. 
But you didn’t stop. 
You knew what you had to do, 
though the wind pried 
with its stiff fingers 
at the very foundations, 
though their melancholy 
was terrible. 
It was already late 
enough, and a wild night, 
and the road full of fallen 
branches and stones. 
But little by little, 
as you left their voices behind, 
the stars began to burn 
through the sheets of clouds, 
and there was a new voice 
which you slowly 
recognized as your own, 
that kept you company 
as you strode deeper and deeper 
into the world, 
determined to do 
the only thing you could do — 
determined to save 
the only life you could save.”
― Mary Oliver

  • 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 consider Mary Oliver’s meditation in poetry, scan your body.
  • Notice what in you needs to be mended.
  • What voices need to be left behind?
  • As you let go of these things, notice God within you.
  • Allow the empty space to be filled with God’s love for you.
  • Claim this love of new life.
  • Let this love grow within you.
  • Hold this love.
  • Savor this love.
  • Remember this love.
  • Live saving love.
  • 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 11, 2012, the Third Sunday in Lent Year B 
Exodus 20:1-17
Psalm 94:1-14
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
John 2:13-22

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