A Deeper Experience: An SLD Lectio Divina series
In our western culture we have become masters at gathering information. We have 24-hour news channels, talk radio, and the news is at our fingertips anytime through the Internet. This is especially evident in how we approach the discipline of study. We often open our Bibles with a specific agenda in mind. That may be research for a Bible study or class of some sort, it may be in preparation for a Sunday school lesson, devotional or even a sermon. We have an idea in mind that we want to reinforce, an outline to complete, or we’re looking for our three words that all start with the same letter. Thus, our engagement with Scripture in these moments is primarily informational. We have ideas in mind already, we take a sort of control over the text that will confirm or expand those particular ideas. There’s an openness to the Spirit, but it tends to conform to what we’ve already brought to the text. We are reading for informational purposes. (This is not a “bad” thing at all. Study is an important discipline and it’s fundamental to quality teaching.)
While reading for informational purposes is important, there’s a deeper experience waiting for us in the Scriptures. We are less proficient at reading the Word and listening to the Holy Spirit in a way that speaks to what concerns us right now.
There is a difference between reading the Word for information and for transformation. Perhaps the best way to illustrate this difference would be to compare reading a newspaper and a love letter. Reading God’s Word for information is similar to scanning the newspaper for facts so you can participate in discussions in an educated manner. Informational reading helps you keep up with the conversations, plan lessons, settle on talking points and craft outlines. Reading God’s Word for soul transformation is like reading a love letter from an admirer. You savor every word, drinking in its meaning as to how it relates intimately to you at that moment. Reading for information engages your mind, but when you read the Word for transformation you are engaged spirit, soul and body!
Spiritual Life Development is launching a Lectio Divina series tomorrow, coming off our Old Orchard Beach prayer guides, that is intended to help you find that deeper experience. Stay tuned each week for another installment in this Scripture series as Major Lauren Hodgson guides us through God’s love letter to us.
May you hear His voice, may you be transformed, may you find the deeper experience.
Find more information on Lectio Divina…
- Sacred Rhythms, Ruth Haley Barton
- Opening to God: Lectio Divina and Life as Prayer, David G. Benner
- Divine Intervention: Encountering God Through the Ancient Practice of Lectio Divina, by Tony Jones
- The Message Solo New Testament and Journal: An Uncommon Devotional
(all available on Amazon.com)