Dear Members of the Kentucky Annual Conference, As we prepare for the called General Conference, we invite you to reflect upon the following Scripture passage through the discipline of Lectio Divina. Instructions for Lectio Divina can be found at the bottom of this email.
12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles,[a] some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.[b]
14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part.15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?
18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”
22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.
1 Corinthians 12:12-27 NLT
A guide through lectio divina – “divine reading”
1. LECTIO – READING
Read the Scripture passage humbly and prayerfully. Begin with a prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to ‘lead you into all the truth’ (John 16:13). Read the passage slowly and carefully. Make a note of any words or phrases that stand out to you. Write down any questions that occur to you. Read the passage several times and read it aloud. Give yourself time to understand and appreciate what is being said.
2. MEDITATIO – MEDITATION
Ponder and ruminate what was read. Quietly savor the Word, and meditate upon it in expectation. God might highlight an attitude or behavior of yours that needs to change, or the Lord might show you a promise to encourage and strengthen you. We will find promises and encouragement, challenges and demands.
3. ORATIO – PRAYER
In the Psalms we see how the writers pour out their feelings to God, often mixing hopes and fears side by side. God values our honesty. We also join with the prayer of our Lord saying, “thy will be done.” Bring what is happening in our own life and in our community before God. We speak and listen, listen and reflect – it is a conversation with God.
4. CONTEMPLATIO – CONTEMPLATION:
Contemplation gives us the opportunity for an intimate time of communion with God. Be still before God and invite God in. Few words, if any, are necessary here. Consider the gaze of Christ and how it purifies our hearts, illumines our eyes to see with the eyes of Jesus, and teaches us compassion for our neighbor. The aim is to allow the Holy Spirit to shape us into the form of Christ. After you have finished, you may want to write down any experiences or thoughts that particularly impressed you.
Peace of Christ,
Conference Prayer Team
This resource has been adapted from Encuentro Con La Biblia/Encounter With the Bible and The American Bible Society.