What is it like to do Lectio Divina? What is so special about this ancient method for meditating on Scripture?
The best way to know what Lectio Divina is like is to experience it personally, especially with someone who has been practicing being led by the Spirit in this approach. Perhaps the next best thing is for me to share with you a sample Lectio Divina from my journal.
Earlier this year I invited some pastors to join me in a retreat day. Leading up to a time of extended solitude and silence with Jesus we shared in a Lectio Divina on “Jesus’ Sabbath Day” from Mark chapter one. (See our list of Scripture passages with Lectio Divina Guides.) My journal entry features my responses to the three focus questions (one for each reading of the Bible passage) that we typically use in Lectio Divina.
May the Lord speak to you through his Word and help you to feed off of the fruit of my meditation on Scripture…
Jesus’ Sabbath Day
Mark 1:21-39 (NIV 1984) Lectio Divina Guide
1. What is one word or phrase the Holy Spirit impresses on you? Meditate on that.
“Jesus gives orders”
2. Enter into the Scripture passage. What do you feel? What specific situation in your life today relates? Write down a prayer or pray quietly.
Jesus, how did you know what to do and where to go? How did you respond to people’s urgent needs in such a calm, gracious way?
Often I’m unsure what to do next. Often I live scattered, pulled by what I feel or what people want from me in the moment. And when I live that way I’m not at peace. Like yesterday I slipped out of your easy yoke and got caught up in the press of trying to respond to all my e-mails from people and get all my desk work done.
Today I still have this long To Do List. Thankfully, you’ve helped me to set it aside for this retreat. But after my solitude and silence when I re-engage my work it I want to do so without hurry or anxiousness, but led by you in your peace.
3. What is God’s personal invitation for you from the Scripture? You can write down what God may be saying to you or a prayer of thanks. Or rest quietly in God.
You think my Sabbath day was not ordered in the way that you’d like to see. The contemplative side of you wants to see me relaxing all day and the activist in you wants to see my accomplishing great work. Let me show you the divine order. Look at the ways the Father cared for me and how I, with him, cared for the people near me.
I had been walking beside the Sea of Galilee and then into the village of Capernaum. I went to the synagogue with friends to pray and to read and discuss Scripture. I went to Peter’s home and his mother-in-law served us. I got up early and enjoyed quiet solitude with the Father, pouring out my heart to him and listening to his voice.
At the lake I invited Andrew, Peter, James, and John to become my disciples. At the synagogue and at Peter’s mother-in-law’s house I responded to the needs of the people, teaching and healing. I wasn’t straining — I was sharing the Father’s love that I was enjoying. I was following the Father’s orders and ministering in the power of the Spirit.
I invite you to join the Father’s ordered way. I share with you my orders. It’s an easy Sabbath rhythm of being with the Father continually — resting in his love and responding with his love to the needs of people. A divinely ordered life is a delight.