Continuing Revelation

Lenten Practice: Lectio Divina
Daily Act: Pay attention to God’s continuing revelation. How is the Living Word being spoken today through loved ones, nature, and your life?
Weekly Prayer Phrase: Repeat this phrase slowly as you breathe deeply. You may choose to memorize this phrase and repeat it throughout your day.


By Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

I desire and resist this deeper seeing. What is unresolved in me rushes to slam shut the awareness door. Gazing upon the divine presence written in all living things costs my transformation. It is also my liberation, but change doesn’t always feel that way at first.

I won’t lie. This God-life can be daunting and unpredictable. To live in the Spirit of the One who is continuously being revealed means something like I can’t get too comfortable in any one place for too long. I can’t put up fences around my beliefs for a while. I can’t lay a foundation around just one experience and call it faith enough. To imagine that I am created in the image of this God is too staggering to comprehend!

This may be overwhelming to consider, this immensity of mystery, but what is revealed is so intimately relational that there is assurance even as there is humility. What we find never says to us- you don’t matter. It is always an invitation to belong. It is always an invitation to enter more deeply into the marrow of this life. It is always an invitation to become more fully alive.

So many times in our heritage, our ancestors have been tempted to build campsites and altars around a place of holy encounter only to discover that the God they desired to see had moved along to another place, doing a new thing. We can stay stubborn in stagnation of ritual or belief, but if we want relationship we are called to be a people on the move- attentive to the Divine who is being written in all things.

Sometimes this requires some dying of old assumptions and attitudes and beliefs. It requires a releasing of anything you are holding too tightly. It may crash through your fences and wreck your foundations. It will cost your transformation, but is also your liberation. If you are seeking the Living God, you are in for a wild ride!

It is not a chase as much as it is a dance, swirling through the world with this holy partner, wrapped up in each movement as the beloved of God.

In relationship with the continuously revealing God, what is unresolved in me is named holy, creation, sacred mystery beckoning in love.

“God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.”- Martin Luther

“Some people, in order to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you! Read it. God, whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink. Instead, He set before your eyes the things that He had made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that?” –St. Augustine

“We bloomed in spring. Our bodies are the leaves of God.” St. Teresa of Avila


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.


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.

Seeds of Tomorrow

Lenten Practice: Lectio Divina
Daily Act: The Living Word speaks anew in each generation. What are your hopes for those who will come after you? What are you doing to live a life oriented toward that future? Do something today that will make a difference to God’s unfolding story in the future.
Weekly Prayer Phrase: Repeat this phrase slowly as you breathe deeply. You may choose to memorize this phrase and repeat it throughout your day.


by Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

I believe in planting trees, even if I am not in a place long enough to watch them grow.

When we moved to Ohio, our first act as new homeowners was to plant a young maple in the front yard. Twenty years from now, the tree will grow large enough to provide shaded relief for the front of the house. It will be a beauty to behold while walking on our block. I have no guarantee that I will be in this exact house on this exact piece of earth twenty years from now, but it still felt worth it to reach down low releasing roots into fertile soil.

I am trying to find a way to say that this is about more than landscaping.
It is about choosing to enact a future I may never fully see because I have a love and hope for those I will never meet.
Sometimes what we do that we will never see is what matters most.

“All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them.” Hebrews 11:13

Immediate gratification is so alluring (and increasingly normative) that it is becoming harder to hold a long view. What of our grandchildren’s grandchildren? What will be the state of the earth when they walk upon it? What stories will they be telling about us, their ancestors? Are our actions now leaving them with a future of hope or despair?

Lent is a time for releasing whatever is getting in the way of the thriving of life made new. It is for finding our way on this journey that crosses the thresholds of time, a way walked by our ancestors and those whose hearts have yet to beat alive with hopes of their own.

May we make our lives the seeds of God’s vision of hope for the whole creation.

It is worth planting what we may never see.