Friday, April 27, 2012

Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina (pronounced Lexio Diveena),  describes a process to read and interact with the scriptures. The latin translation is "divine or spiritual reading." This method, used often by the early church fathers and mothers, leans on the Holy Spirit to alert us to the Living Word's communication.

Books, not mere paragraphs, have been written on the Lectio, so I can only attempt to pique your interest. I pray it will energize your pursuit of God.

Before you start this process, please pray Psalm 119:18 and ask the God of Scripture to open your eyes to see wonderful things.

1. READ your selected passage of scripture as if it were your first time. Listen for the phrase that calls for your attention.

Searching with fresh eyes links you with the Holy Spirit. It is He who gives us the gift of discovery.

2. The second reading is to REFLECT or meditate, and especially on the phrase that waved flags at you. As you sit quietly, ask yourself, What does this mean for me? How might this address a situation I am in?

Again, imagine the Holy Spirit with you, steering your bike in the direction of discovery, spreading a picnic in a new place, and offering you food for nourishment.

3. Your third reading is a prayerful response. You RESPOND to God's revelations. The insights you receive become the content of your requests.

As you lift your insight to the God of all grace, you open yourself further to relationship. The rhythm of asking and receiving according to God's Word makes your confidence grow. 

4. Your fourth reading is for RESTing in God's presence. Like a baby weaned, imagine cares drained away and your self held in capable, loving arms.       

Lean into the heart of God. Know that the Holy Spirit has conveyed your request. Let the Lord's joy, peace, healing -- or whatever grace you requested -- fill you.

Then, from a freshly filled heart, thank God for lovingly meeting you at your point of need.

"I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content"  Psalm 135:2(NIV).

If you are unfamiliar with spiritual reading, consider trying it with Psalm 135 or another passage that comes to mind. 

Reference: Exploring the Way (Companions in Christ, Upper Room.See www.companions

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

It was God's Friday when God gifted His Son, Jesus, as the sacrificial Lamb. He prayerfully endured through betrayal to the brutal cross.

Jesus was clearly in charge of the timing. More than once He had escaped efforts to stone or snare Him. His time had not yet come. He did exactly as His Father instructed though He clearly knew what lay ahead as The Passover Lamb.

We often meditate on the high cost Jesus paid. Yes, God the Son drank the cup of wrath (the Passover Cup) for us, identifying it as His blood that would be spilled in place of ours. Our Creator who had put on flesh paid a horrid price for our salvation.

But there is another price: God the Father's.

Can we know what pain ripped the Father's heart to watch His sinless Son suffer? God knew there would be many who would spurn and spit on His beloved, His lavish gift. He knew many who would wear His Son's name as a religious badge without being changed by His life giving blood.

What does a holy Father do when His Son literally takes on sin and death for the whole world?  As Christ's body was torn and Father heard Jesus ask why He had left Him alone in agony, I imagine His own heart ripped in anguish. This was not merely a child getting a shot in a doctor's office. The pain was exponentially more complex, even unimaginable.

Both Father and Son gave the supreme gift of love. Both were torn. But that's not all. God caused the heavy temple curtain to be ripped from top to bottom, revealing it was now possible to come into His presence.

It was a horrible day. But it was a good day.


If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us?   (Romans 8:32, The Message)

Quietly allow the love that hung Jesus on the cross to penetrate your heart and bring you into God's healing presence.

Oh and then thank Him. Thank Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength!