The Way of Lectio Divina
This past Sunday we explored the practice of Lectio Divina or Sacred Reading in worship. I invited us all to “try out”this ancient way of engaging the Bible (or other sacred texts, for that matter) by walking through one of our lectionary texts of the day (II Corinthians 5:16-21) in four movements: Lectio (slow reading), Meditatio (reflecting on the text), Oratio (praying and responding) and finally Contemplatio (resting). Based on the responses both in and after worship, my sense is that people found this to be a soulful and meditative way to read scripture and one that might become a regular part of the “spiritual diet,” at least for some.
What Is Lectio Divina? (a brief intro from the Order of Carmelites)
A helpful review of Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading by Eugene Peterson (I referenced this a couple of times in my sermon and highly recommend – it’s a rich, dense, but accessible read)
Here’s an excerpt from Eat This Book that talks specifically about Lectio Divina :
“Lectio Divina is the deliberate and intentional practice of making the transition from a kind of reading that treats and handles, however reverently, Jesus dead to a way of reading that frequent the company of friends who are listening to, accompanying and following Jesus alive…Lectio Divina is a way of life that develops according to the Scriptures…There is a sense in which the Scriptures are the Word of God dehydrated with all the originating context removed…Lectio Divina is the strenuous effort to rehydrate the scriptures…holding their original force and shape, maintaining their context long enough to get fused with or assimilated into our context” (pp. 85, 88-89).
So what are your thoughts on Lectio Divina as a way to engage the Bible? I’d love to hear from you!