Our Next step in “A Methodist Way of Life” says, “We will look and listen for God in Scripture, and the world.”
In Western Christianity, Lectio Divina is a traditional monastic practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God's word. In the view of one commentator, it does not treat scripture as texts to be studied, but as the living word.
Lectio Divina (literally divine reading) is a way of becoming immersed in the Scriptures very personally. It draws on the way Jews read the Haggadah, a text read during Passover that retells the Exodus story. Haggadah means “telling” and along with being a physical text, the word captures the practice of telling and retelling a story.
However, there can be a problem with the way we read scripture and we need to ask ourselves through which lens are we reading scripture. Fred Buechner puts it this way. “If you look at window, you see fly-specks, dust, the crack where Junior’s Frisbee hit it. If you look through a window, you see the world beyond. Something like this is the difference between those who see the Bible as a Holy Bore and those who see it as the word of God which speaks out of the depths of an almost unimaginable past into the depths of ourselves.
It is suggested that we take 30 minutes to read, reflect, and respond to the Holy Spirit’s promptings in Lectio Divina. To tune in, some like to light a candle, not because it’s necessary, but because the flame and fragrance serve as gentle reminders when collecting their thoughts and calming the mind. It is also important to start reading with God and pray a prayer of invitation, saying something like, “God, let me hear from you,” and spend a few moments sitting quietly so our mind is open to hearing from God.
Across the next four days we will begin to read a text by this means and discern what God is saying to us through our reading. 2 Timothy 2:15 says, For yourself, concentrate on winning God’s approval, on being a workman with nothing to be ashamed of, and who knows how to use the word of truth to the best advantage.“
“My Lord, in your presence I want to prepare my heart for this moment of prayer. Send your Holy Spirit to enlighten me and open my mind and heart to everything You want to tell me today. Thank you Lord, for nourishing me with your Word.” Amen