The practice of “lectio divina” or “holy reading,” found in this week’s GPS, has been significant in changing my relationship with Scripture.*
I first encountered this practice 25 years ago and was surprised I hadn’t heard of it before. Until that time, my understanding of Scripture had come mostly through Bible study. That way of relating to the Word focused on information and interpretation. I’m grateful for Bible study, its insights and commitment to knowledge.
Lectio divina, however, pulled me into a different way of living in the Word. Lectio divina is not so much about information as formation, more about being known than knowing. Lectio divina invites me to open up my life and let God speak into it. With each of the 4 steps, I let Scripture read me, allowing a word or phrase to enter like a shaft of light through the surface of my life to illumine something at a deeper level. Sometimes it strikes a chord in me that I didn’t know was there. Sometimes it stirs up in me a desire to follow Jesus more closely.
Lectio divina can be playful, imaginative and dynamic. Through this practice, I’ve learned to be more relaxed and vulnerable with scripture, because I’m not the one in charge here! Jesus, the Living Word, is the One who addresses me through scripture, in all its messiness and beauty.
Give it try. Experiment with this ancient Christian practice. Use the passage in today’s GPS, a psalm or favorite passage of your own. See what happens. Let the Word read you.
*to see March 20 GPS, toggle from Insights blog to GPS at this link.