Lectio Divina

In the practice of Lectio Divina you will choose a text of Scripture for meditation and prayer. For this exercise you are asked to use the text “Consider the Sparrows.” (Matthew 6:26-34 NIV) The Martin Institute Part 7 of 20

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?1

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

 

To begin:

Place yourself in a comfortable position and allow yourself to become silent.

  1. Read/Listen: Turn to the text and read it slowly, gently. Savor each portion of the reading, constantly listening for a word or phrase that speaks especially to you in some way. You may wish to read the passage through slowly two or three times.
  1. Meditate: Next take the word or phrase into yourself. Memorize it and slowly repeat it to yourself, allowing it to interact with your inner world of concerns, memories and ideas. Do not be afraid of “distractions.” Memories or thoughts are simply parts of you. Don’t try to chase them away, just return to the word, phrase or image you are pondering.
  1. Converse: Then speak to God. Whether you use words, ideas, images or all three is not important.  Interact with God as you would with one whom you know loves and accepts you.  Give to Him what you have discovered in yourself during your experience.
  1. Rest: Finally, simply rest in God’s embrace. Enjoy his presence.  And if he invites you to return to your pondering of His word or to your inner dialogue with him, do so. Rejoice in the knowledge that God is with you in both words and silence.

 

Additional: You may also want to experience the following two passages as a lectio exercise:

  1. See, the Lord’s eyes are upon the righteous and His ears are open to their cry. (Psalm 34:15 Paraphrased)
  1. The Hymn of Christ from Philippians 2:6-11:

 

 

 

Footnotes
  1. These are the classic, if you will, movements of lectio with some inspiration from the Monks of St. Andrew’s. See: https://www.saintandrewsabbey.com/Lectio_Divina_s/267.html
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