The spiritual practice of lectio divina is a contemplative style of reading Scripture, a prayerful listening to a biblical passage and to our souls’ response to that passage, accompanied by an attention to God’s presence. (Here is BeliefNet’s overview of lectio divina, as one example.)
Lectio divina reminds me of the experience of searching for a lost contact lens: When I drop a contact lens, immediately I get down on all fours, I lean my head close to the floor so that my gaze is parallel to the floorboards, and I scan slowly across the floor. I’m looking for a gleam of the room’s light on the concave shape of my lens, just enough to distinguish the contact from the floor. Similarly, lectio divina looks slowly over a section of verses, watching to see what will glimmer — perhaps words or images or emotions or stories — and to listen for God within those glimmers.
As I read through the Narrative and Revised Common Lectionary texts for this coming Sunday, May 25, I catch sight of so many lovely glimmers — any one of which could be developed into liturgies and sermons — that I want to celebrate and savor the glimmers themselves, and to share them with you to see what these might reflect within your own spirit.
“What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.” (Acts 17:23b). In the unknown, in an unfamiliar space, there is still a story to be told and affirmed.
“Always be ready to make . . . an accounting for the hope that is in you.” (1 Peter 3:15) Can we ask honestly: what is our hope? what is my hope? Oh, we know the “right” answers, but what holds your soul together when your world crumbles?
“I will pay you my vows, those that my mouth promised when I was in trouble. (Psalm 66:13-14) What if we kept those promises we made to God in moments of panic?
“You will keep . . .
You will see . . .
You will know . . .” (John 14:15-21)
“This is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you determine what is best…” (Philippians 1:9-10, Narrative) Picture this: your love overflows — an outward, more-than-enough, blessing-others type of action — but it overflows with knowledge and insight — both inward-directed developments. An outward-flowing, inward-filling fountain?!
In this continued season of Eastertide, this season of resurrection,this season of wildly unexpected life and empowering joy, may we continue to seek and find glimmers.