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.
36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:36-40 NLT
Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31 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.