We’re going to try something a little different this week. As we continue to learn about how we can “Love Where We Live” we are going to take some time to meditate on Scripture and ask God to reveal Himself to us through His Word. I would encourage you to use the practice of Lectio Divina. You might be asking – What in the world is Lectio Divina? Here is a definition that describes it beautifully!
“Lectio Divina is a contemplative way of reading the Bible. It dates back to the early centuries of the Christian Church and was established as a monastic practice by Benedict in the 6th century. It is a way of praying the Scriptures that leads us deeper into God’s word. We slow down. We read a short passage more than once. We chew it over slowly and carefully. We savor it. Scripture begins to speak to us in a new way. It speaks to us personally, and aids that union we have with God through Christ who is himself the Living Word.” (anglicancommunity.org)
Here’s how it works. You will read the Scripture 3 separate times, each time with a different focus. …or more times if you would like. You can try reading it in different versions as well.
First Reading – Listen. As you read the passage, listen for a word or phrase that attracts you. Allow it to arise from the passage as if it is God’s Word for you today. Sit in silence repeating the word or phrase in your head.
Second Reading – Ponder. As you read the passage again ask how this word or phrase speaks to your life and why it has connected with you.
Third Reading – Pray. As you read the passage for the last time, ask what Christ is calling from you. What is it that you need to do or consider or relinquish or take on as a result of what God is saying to you in this word or phrase?
Our prayer is that God speaks directly to your heart this week as you seek to grow in your understanding of how God is calling you to Love Where You Live.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”