- Stony Plain Alliance Church
The Psalms start with an invitation, “Blessed is the one... whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers” (Psalm 1:1, 3). A life of delighting in and meditating on the Scriptures is one that leads to blessing, as we not only learn the way of life through them but we also encounter God through them. We believe that not only did the Holy Spirit inspire the human authors to write what they did in the Scriptures, but he also illumines our reading of them today - speaking to us through the text. While the Spirit is with us whenever we read we think that there is a way of reading the Scriptures that allows us to be more attentive to him as we read. This is way is called Lectio Divina.
Lectio Divina (Latin for Divine Reading) is an ancient way of slowly and prayerfully reading the Scriptures. In Lectio you do what the Psalmist calls meditating on the text, the Hebrew meaning of the word meditate is to chew on the text much like a dog chews on a bone. In Lectio we go slow and we repeatedly read a passage, giving space for the Spirit to bring things to our minds drawing us deeper into life with him. Here is a pattern by which you can try Lectio for yourself.
Find yourself a quiet space, perhaps you can light a candle to help you focus. Read the passage aloud, or you if you have audio Bible (the bible app has many free ones) have it read it to you.
Step 1: Silence yourself before God then pray asking for him to be present with you, giving you ears to hear what He has for you today.
Step 2: Read the passage slowly, what words and images are standing out to you?
Step 3: Read the passage thinking what does this story mean? Try to engage with the passage through your imagination, visualizing the scene in font of you. See what is going on and watch the people in the scene. What does Jesus look like? How do the others react to him? What are the people saying to one another? What emotions fill their words? Is Jesus touching someone?
Step 4: Read the passage a third time asking Jesus what you should do based on the reading, what is it about God’s character that we are engaging and celebrating
Step 5: Have a period of silence focusing on what stuck out to you from the text. Pray or journal about it.