Today I have an article on Sacred Reading over at the Kingdom Life Now magazine. Here’s a taste.
Recently I led an exercise of meditative reading of the Bible. Four times I read the passage of Isaiah 43:1-8 with instructions to the women with a different emphasis in engaging with the text each time. About a month later, I was humbled to hear from one woman about how God spoke to her through the exercise. She said how she and her husband had been to Brunei in Southeast Asia a couple of weeks before the conference in Somerset, England, to visit their daughter and family (including three young grandchildren), who have lived there for the last seven years. While there, she learned that her son-in-law decided to apply for teaching jobs in Belgium, Singapore, and Oman. With Belgium being far closer to home, she and her husband were hoping this would be their final destination. She said,
When you read Isaiah to us the only sentences that I heard were verses 5 and 6, where it says, “I will bring your children from the East and your daughters from far-off lands.” How relevant to me were those words and I held onto them as a promise to me from God – that He was telling me that my son-in-law would get the job and my family would come close. I was so convinced that I told others what God was saying. So imagine the great joy when we heard on that he had been offered the job in Belgium and they were to start in September! No more 17 hour flight to see them! God truly had gathered my children from the East and my daughter from a far-off land.
She said that although before my talk she had never heard of lectio divina – a Latin phrase for the act of sacred reading – but now she had come across it several times.
This ancient practice of a slow, contemplative praying of the Scriptures moves what can be a merely rational process deep into one’s heart, for as we chew over a piece of Scripture, it sinks into our being. We begin to slow down, receive, and make a personal response. Continue reading.