Yesterday (April 15th) we turned our regular morning service into a small groups all practicing one of the most ancient practices of Christian prayer called lectio divina, which is Latin for "divine reading".
What we did was use the passage from 1 John 1:5- 2:2 as our foundation....
After prayer and worship to quiet our hearts and be "still"...
1) We read the passage slowly and with just personal reflection... no comment... just allowing it to "sink in" asking and listening for the LORD to speak to us through HIS WORD
2) Someone in the groups read the scripture slowly again. After this... everyone was to give a word or a verse that caught their attention... no reason why... just what word or verse or phrase that was discovered in the first phase that found it's way into your heart.
3) Someone in the groups read the scripture slowly again a third time. This time we made room to share and comment on why the word verse or phrase was important to you... gave some time for sharing...
4) A final reading of the passage.... then the groups prayed for and with each other. A prayer that we may live out that what the LORD has shown us...
WE concluded the service with a time of communion together...
A beautiful morning it was... and yes Hebrews 4:12 is true...For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing apart of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Here is another point of view from the website http://www.fisheaters.com/lectiodivina.html
(we are not endorsing what is being communicated on this web page. It is just for more reading...)
Lectio Divina (pronounced "Lec-tsee-oh Di-vee-nah") means "Divine Reading" and refers specifically to a method of Scripture reading practiced by monastics since the beginning of the Church.
The early centrality of reading of Sacred Scripture, and then meditating and praying over its meaning, is evident in the 48th chapter of the Rule of St. Benedict (A.D. 480-453), a book written by the Great Saint to guide monastic life.
But it was an 11th c. Carthusian prior named Guigo 1 who formalized Lectio Divina, describing the method in a letter written to a fellow religious. This letter, which has become known as Scala Paradisi -- the Stairway to Heaven -- describes a 4-runged ladder to Heaven, each rung being one of the four steps in his method of Bible reading. Those steps, and Guigo's brief descriptions of them, are:
- lectio (reading): "looking on Holy Scripture with all one's will and wit"
- meditatio (meditation): "a studious insearching with the mind to know what was before concealed through desiring proper skill"
- oratio (prayer): "a devout desiring of the heart to get what is good and avoid what is evil"
- contemplatio (contemplation): "the lifting up of the heart to God tasting somewhat of the heavenly sweetness and savour"
Through the practice of Lectio Divina by monastics in group settings, three other steps are sometimes added to the four above such that the steps become:
- statio (position)
- lectio (reading)
- meditatio (meditation)
- oratio (prayer)
- contemplatio (contemplation)
- collatio (discussion)
- actio (action)