I am delighted to hear that you have found it helpful to have a specific space in your home for stillness and meditation and that you have scheduled in time to pursue it.
While we have already looked at Lectio Divina in a previous letter… today I want to tell you about another way of engaging with this ancient practice.
Knowing your interest in words it may appeal to you!
It involves reading a short passage of the Bible slowly until a phrase or verse really strikes you. As before, you repeat your chosen phrase/verse until it sinks in and begins to really mean something to you.
You then take one word at a time and respond to it, in writing, in your Prayer Journal. You consider what thoughts, feelings, or memories emerge as you ponder on each word.
So for example, if you chose John 17:12 from the Good News Bible, you would read that Jesus said, “I protected them and not one of them was lost.”
You would begin with ‘I’, asking yourself who is it that is making this claim?
Who is this ‘I’ and what do we know about him? You would then move on to ‘protected’, asking yourself what does this mean? What thoughts or feelings does the word conjure up for me today? Going word by word in this way, allows us to soak up the words of scripture and is akin to Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus and soaking up his words.
On a side note, it can also be helpful sometimes to look up words in the dictionary. Sometimes our perception of the meaning of individual words is not as full as their dictionary description!
When I responded to this verse word by word, awhile ago, I ended up with the following:
I: I am the way the truth and the life. I am the Lord your God. I and the Father are one. I am the real vine. I chose you. I am the alpha and the omega. I have conquered death and sin……this ‘I’ is Jesus of Nazareth the Son of God.
Protected: Kept safe, keep out of danger, safe from harm or ill. Free from being attacked, as a shepherd watches over his flock, as a mother watches her children so they do not harm themselves. Protect by holding, leading by hand. Removal from adverse conditions. Covering eg blankets to protect from cold!
Them: The disciples then, and now and since then, it is all who know him.
And: Implies something more, that a further phrase will follow.
One: A single item/person. Not one disciple which Jesus was given was lost apart from Judas, who was fulfilling scripture by his actions.
Of: Belonging to. Was: Past tense of verb to be!
Lost: Gone away, hidden disappeared, removed from sight, removed from being. Lost re: a person, meaning they have gone from this life. Lost from a cause, meaning they have left the group/ideology. Lost here means none of the disciples lost Jesus, i.e. he did not lose any of them and they kept with him/followed him and were with him(apart from Judas). Lost involves a sense of regret/sadness/pain and sorrow.
When you have finished writing, pause and in the silence listen for what else God might want to show you about your chosen verse. Then end with praise and thanksgiving for what you have gleaned through this time of reflection and writing.
Let me know how you get on with this!
P.S. So glad you had a great time in Geneva…..have you any other trips planned?!