This is a guest post from a good friend of mine, Jewel - a proud member of St. Maurice & St. Verena church in Toronto who has guest posted on this blog before. In today's post, Jewel shares about a beautiful method she uses to meditate on God's Word: 'Lectio Divina' (explained below). If you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
For unto us a Child is born Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
As I prepare for Advent this year, I’ve been meditating on this verse. I cannot seem to get away from it; it’s like a meal that I am savouring. I am lingering at the table, inhaling the fragrant scent, the fullness of flavours on my taste buds, enjoying the vivid sights this passage provokes.
Here’s how I’ve been spending time with this verse and I encourage you to do it too. It’s a contemplative way of experiencing the Word. May I invite you to light a candle, and take only 10 minutes to……
linger a little,
stay a little,
experience a little…..
of what Jesus may have for you?
You’ll be reading the verse over three times and each time you will have a question in mind. In italics, I’ve written my own personal reflections to the verse. Before you begin, ask for the Spirit’s guidance. Your answers may be as little as one word or as long and in-depth as the Spirit leads.
Holy Spirit, please speak to me as I meditate on Your Word today. Make me aware of the gift that My Father has to offer me in the Word. Do not allow me to leave empty-handed. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Read the verse and ask yourself: What phrase or word pops out to you?
Read a second time: How does that word or phrase apply to your life?
Read a third time: What is one action you can take in response to this verse?
This method of reading the Word is known as Lectio Divina (Latin for “Divine Reading”). The emphasis is on experiencing the Word of God.
How did God speak to you during your time of contemplation? This is how I'd say He spoke to me:
1) What phrase or word pops out to you? Peace
2) How does that word or phrase apply to your life? As I face the holidays, I feel nervous and know I need His peace.
3) What is one action you can take in response to this verse? God whispers to me: Jewel, as you approach these next two weeks, you can make a choice. CHOOSE PEACE. Every time a person, situation, or mindset threatens to disturb your peace, visit with Me and CHOOSE PEACE.
I shared with you the first layer of my meditation to illustrate how simple Lectio Divina can be. However, my meditation was much deeper. This verse transports me to a sacred evening centuries ago, the very first Christmas. As I enter this space, frankincense fills the air. I immediately see St. Mary and St. Joseph, fatigued by a very long journey that has been filled with challenge. I pause to gaze at them, and drink in the peace that is etched on their faces.
PEACE-in the midst of –
unexpected visitors and
PEACE. The wonderful gift of the Prince of Peace.
And I’m back to my reality again….
The holidays provide me with some extra time…this can be a time to think about big questions that are yet unanswered for me, a time to tackle the to-do list, a time to visit with friends I don’t usually see. Although these things are good, they are distraction that rob me of my focus and take me away from the manger. Through my meditation Jesus asks me, “Jewel, in the midst of your to-do list, your unanswered questions, your search for purpose and meaning, in the midst of the messy middle, can you choose to accept the delightful gift of peace offered by the Prince of Peace?”
In the midst of this Christmas season, Jesus urges me to choose peace, to kneel before the Christ King in adoration and worship.
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:13-14)