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Kingdom Practice 1: Lectio Divina

Kingdom Practice
Week 1

Lectio handout

Lectio handout

Introduction

This week, we are practicing Lectio Divina (pronounced lex-eo diveena), which means “divine reading.” This ancient practice stems from the belief that Scripture is alive and active (Heb. 4:12) and seeks to help us listen for what God’s word is saying to us in the present moment through the Holy Spirit.  Unlike other methods of reading Scripture, or our typical approach, in which we try to “figure out” a particular passage or understand it intellectually, Lectio is intended to open us to hearing what God is already saying to us.  Lectio is not a way to force or manipulate God to speak to us; we, of course, have no ability to do that.  It is simply one way we seek to be attentive.  Some days you may hear nothing but silence.

We have set forth below some suggestions about posture as you prepare to practice, the key elements of the process, a passage of Scripture to engage with each day this week, and some additional resources you might find helpful.

Posture

An important element of all spiritual practices is our posture.  This week, as you practice Lectio Divina, consider the posture of your body, your mind, and your heart.

Body.  Try to find a physical spot that is comfortable and relatively free from distraction.  Position your body in an open posture – uncrossed arms and legs, relaxed hands, and ability to breathe deeply.

Mind.  Set a timeframe on your practice so that your active mind can be at peace knowing that it need only set aside your daily responsibilities and duties for a defined period of time.  If this is your first time or first time in a while, start with 10 minutes.

Heart.  Express your willingness to be in God’s presence and to set aside any hurt or judgment you feel in the moment.  Try speaking this simple phrase, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”  (1 Sam. 3:9)       
[colorbox color=”” border_color=”” background_color=”lightgrey” border_width=”” border_radius=”” padding=”20px 20px 20px 20px”]Lectio Divina

As you practice Lectio, try remembering these three words – Read, Listen, Repeat.
Here is one way to engage in this practice:

Read.  Read the passage slowly.
Listen.  Sit silently for one minute and pay attention to what words or phrases stand out to you. 

Read.  Read the passage a second time and intentionally pause between phrases and sentences.
Listen.  Prayerfully ask: To what area of my life does that word or phrase relate?  Sit silently for two minutes and listen.

Read.  Read the passage a third time, again slowly.
Listen.  Prayerfully ask: Is there an invitation or next step for me, related to this word or phrase?  Sit silently for two minutes, and without trying to figure out the invitation or next step, just listen.

When you have completed this process, feel the freedom to sit quietly for a minute or two, or write down the words or phrases that stood out to you, or the invitation you heard God opening to you.[/colorbox]

Daily Scripture Readings:

Monday: Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

Tuesday: Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

Wednesday: Mark 10:46-52

Thursday:  Mark 10:46-52

Friday: Matthew 14:22-33

Saturday:  Matthew 13:44-46

 

Additional Resources about Lectio Divina:

Article: Lectio Divina: Engaging the Scriptures for Spiritual Transformation, Ruth Haley Barton,

Book: Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading, Eugene H. Peterson, 

Video:  Lectio Divina

 

 

 

 

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