Lenten Practice: Lectio Divina
Daily Act: Share a scripture passage that is meaningful to you with someone who needs encouragement.
Weekly Prayer Phrase: Repeat this phrase slowly as you breathe deeply. You may choose to memorize this phrase and repeat it throughout your day.
“LIVING WORD, LIVE THROUGH ME.”
by Katie Harmon-McLaughlin
Sometimes I yearn to experience sacred text the way my ancestors did; out loud, pouring forth from wisdom voices they loved. I am fascinated by the oral tradition, this diligent story keeping and telling of what felt important enough, true enough to pass on generation after generation, a holy preservation.
I don’t know if this is how it happened, but I imagine that we are around a fire together in a night where there is no light but flame and star. There are no conveniences to distract us, no shows to watch on TV or radio to dull the sound of silence. There is just us, our lives, our hopes, our questions, and these words made flesh by the lips that speak them. How might I hear differently?
My relationship with sacred text has been an up and down one. At first, the Bible was the warm blanket of my devotions and anything that did not feel comfortable I did not read! During my religious studies, I dissected meaning as if in a laboratory- the text a cold, lifeless thing to analyze.
Today my relationship with scripture is multifaceted.
I search for truths that live beyond what actually happened or did not happen, for the living story that is pulsing in the page, what is still happening.
I read for comfort and find confrontation.
I read for confrontation and find comfort.
I read because I am drawn to poetry and metaphor and prophetic vision and letters and dreams.
Some days I find myself opening the text with caution- like I’m in a mystery and the uncatchable God is on the loose. There are clues in every passage as I pursue the great I AM.
I dare to open these pages because…
I want to hear about living water that flows unceasing.
I want to hear the voice crying out in the wilderness.
I want to see Jesus flip the tables of our complacency.
I want to hear that the kingdom of God has come near.
I need to hear in my heart again, “DO NOT BE AFRAID.”
I crave the invitation, “Come follow me.”
I yearn to let the oppressed go free.
I want good news.
I want to see.
I imagine the potency, the power, of the text for the first hearers- true enough, real enough, to pass along.
And now in my hands is this holy puzzle of words that somehow still stirs my response and quiets my fear. If I listen closely enough into the silence as I read, I can hear the breath from the words spoken through the ages- passed along in sacred purpose, voices still alive from the telling as they find home in my heart now.