Monday, 10 March 2008

Lectio Divina - ready to give it a go?

Thanks for the encouragement to engage in a group lectio divina. Let's give it a go, shall we?

First, a bit of an explanation. There's a good overview here that might be worth looking at first. And here's how the whole thing was explained to me and what I've been doing:
  1. Relax - take a few minutes to quieten down. Find a quiet place where you can spend some quality time with God.
  2. Read the passage slowly. Don't dwell on anything first time through, but just read the whole thing. Then read it again, and pay attention to what jumps out at you, or strikes you as particularly interesting. It might be a word, a phrase, a concept... anything.
  3. Focus on whatever jumped out at you and spend some time thinking about it. Reword it... roll it around your mind... see what thoughts it sparks off (it might take you off on a tangent, which is perfectly OK).
  4. Talk your thoughts over with God. Let Him speak to you through His word.
Here's the passage (this coming Thursday's one from SacredSpace.ie):

I tell you the truth, anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!”
The people said, “Now we know you are possessed by a demon. Even Abraham and the prophets died, but you say, ‘Anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!’ Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
Jesus answered, “If I want glory for myself, it doesn’t count. But it is my Father who will glorify me. You say, ‘He is our God,’ but you don’t even know him. I know him. If I said otherwise, I would be as great a liar as you! But I do know him and obey him. Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.”
The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I Am!” At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple.

Some things to bear in mind: this doesn't replace "study" of Scripture - study has its place, and lectio divina has its place too. They are both tools to be used at the appropriate time. Enjoy the experience and post any thoughts or insights here if you want to.

1 comment:

caldjr said...

thanks for the opportunity shared here Chris. Here's some thoughts I had on the passage:

The bit that jumped out for me first was v54 which in the version quoted has Jesus talking about not bringing glory to himself - my version said boasting about himself - but that God wanted to bring glory (say glorious things) about Him. The phrase came to my mind - I will boast in Jesus Christ. i knew this was from a song but also from Scripture and I thought Paul. And yet here Jesus is saying that the glory is to God and from God. But the only one I can find is Paul boasting in the cross of Jesus. What a difference. We are not to boast - speak highly - of the man Jesus, but on what God led Him to do... the ultimate sacrifice ... just so we can sit here and give Lectio Divina a go. But the warning follows - if we do so and yet do not truly know God, it would be just as much a lie as Jesus saying He didn't know God.

I think the crux of what I took from this section is that everything we do must be about God, ordained by God, and to bring glory to His Name and the amazing price He paid while watching His Son die on the Cross. There can be no half measures. everything ... thought word and deed ... must bring glory to God.

not sure if that helps anyone but its what i got. Look forward to another chance to study in this way - it was really helpful.