Lectio Divina – a holy reading of the Bible slowly, savoring it, and enjoying it with the Lord – is the spiritual practice of sacred reading of the scriptures. The intention is not to learn or gain information but to deepen our relationship with God. St Benedict encourages us to “to listen with the ear of our hearts.”
Join me once a week for Lectio Divina. I will share a verse and a word that spoke to my heart. Read and listen to the verses here. And gently ask God for a word or phrase that speaks to your heart for that day – that is what lectio means. Once we find that gift, we hold it, meditate, and savor its meaning. This step is called meditation.
Then offer that word back to God in prayer or the third step of oratio. In prayer we allow our real selves to be touched and changed by the word of God.
Finally, we simply rest in the presence of the One who has used His word as a means of inviting us to accept His transforming embrace. No one who has ever been in love needs to be reminded that there are moments in loving relationships when words are unnecessary.
Come into the presence of the Lord.
So here’s what I think: The best thing you can do right now is to finish what you started last year and not let those good intentions grow stale. Your heart’s been in the right place all along. You’ve got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it. Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can’t. 2 Corinthians 8:10-11 (The Message)
Every year, Lord, I start with a bang of enthusiasm, launching new goals and plans for the coming year. I ask you for your blessing and guidance on each year’s new beginning.
But this verse in this unique translation stopped me cold.
“Finish what you started last year” shouted to my heart and shook my good intentions into the light of day.
What does this mean, Lord?
I recognize the sound of your quiet whisper and am aware of your tiny ripple upon my spirit. I feel your nudge – “look again upon 2009 – finish what you have started.”
I wanted to close the door on 2009, yet know you are calling me to intentionally look at that year of my life. I am not sure what I will find, but will take the time to reflect, listen, and learn.
The inscription at the National Archives in Washington DC reads:
THE PAST IS PROLOGUE.
So instead of throwing away or ignoring last year, I will dwell within its confines once again searching for what yet needs to be finished. May last year not be discarded into the trash, but used as a prologue, an introduction to 2010.
I live in human time, Lord, forgetting in you time has no boundaries. My years are arbitrary brackets. My calling to serve, worship and reflect you continues beyond my imagination. Show me Lord your lessons.