Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Wisdom of Lectio Divina

A week ago, we'd have been doing lectio divina for our morning devotions.  On Monday night, the 3 of us in charge of devotions realized we had nothing for morning.  One of us suggested a session of lectio divina.

There are probably a variety of ways to do lectio divina, but we proceeded in the way I've done it before.  I read the text, stayed quiet for a few minutes, read the same text again, stayed quiet for a few minutes, and read the text again, with more time for contemplation.

The question we tried to keep forward in our minds:  what is God saying to us? What words and phrases leap out at us?

We prayed before and afterwards, of course.

The text?  1 Corinthians 3:  10-16:  10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. 12Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. 14If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15If the work is burned, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire. 16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

It always feels a bit like cheating when I do lectio divina instead of a Bible study, a sermon, or a lecture.  Others don't seem to see it as cheating.  In fact, there are always some people who love the process and exclaim over the insights they've gotten.

Why do I think it's cheating?

Perhaps I think it's cheating because it seems to take such little effort on my part--although being quiet can be quite a struggle.

No, in lectio divina, it's not the leader doing the work and the guiding.  It's the Holy Spirit, at least, if we're lucky.

We had some time at the end for people to share what leapt out at them.  We talked about the variety of building materials and the fact that the builder will be saved, but only as through fire.  We talked about the creative process presented in the text, as you might expect from a group of people gathered to plan a creativity retreat.

And then we were off, ideas zinging back and forth, all sorts of great retreat planning taking place.

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