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Lent – Week 5

LECTIO DIVINA | Prayerful Reading of Scripture

Ref. Sacred Companions by David G. Benner

Introduction

Lectio Divina is an ancient spiritual practice from the Christian monastic tradition. It is the practice of “divine reading” or praying Scripture. It involves a balance of silence and God’s word, seeking to encounter God as he speaks directly and personally through his word. It involves listening to a short passage, setting aside understanding and analysis, to open oneself to receive God’s word “expectantly and passively” (Benner).

Process

Read the passage four times, paying attention to different aspects of the passage as it is read.   Feel free to try a couple of different Bible translations.

     First and Second Reading

Read the passage aloud, twice, attentively listening for words or phrases that stick out. The purpose of this reading is to hear the text and listen for a word or phrase or idea that captures your attention.

     Third Reading

Focus your attention on that word, phrase or idea, repeating it to yourself silently as you read through passage a third time. After the third reading and a time of silent reflection, write down what you’ve heard from the Lord.

     Fourth Reading

During the fourth reading, consider what God is inviting you to do or become. After the reading and a time of silent reflection, write down or share immediately with others what God is calling to you.

 

John 1:1-18

ESV

John 1:1–18

The Word Became Flesh

[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] He was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. [4] In him was life, and the life was the light of men. [5] The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

[6] There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. [7] He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. [8] He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

[9] The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. [10] He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. [11] He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. [12] But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, [13] who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

[14] And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. [15] (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) [16] For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. [17] For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. [18] No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

 

The Message
1 The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, 2 in readiness for God from day one. 3 Everything was created through him; nothing – not one thing! – came into being without him. 4 What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. 5 The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out. 6 There once was a man, his name John, sent by God 7 to point out the way to the Life-Light. He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in. 8 John was not himself the Light; he was there to show the way to the Light. 9 The Life-Light was the real thing: Every person entering Life he brings into Light. 10 He was in the world, the world was there through him, and yet the world didn’t even notice. 11 He came to his own people, but they didn’t want him. 12 But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves. 13 These are the God-begotten, not blood-begotten, not flesh-begotten, not sex-begotten. 14 The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. 15 John pointed him out and called, “This is the One! The One I told you was coming after me but in fact was ahead of me. He has always been ahead of me, has always had the first word.” 16 We all live off his generous bounty, gift after gift after gift. 17 We got the basics from Moses, and then this exuberant giving and receiving, This endless knowing and understanding – all this came through Jesus, the Messiah. 18 No one has ever seen God, not so much as a glimpse. This one-of-a-kind God-Expression, who exists at the very heart of the Father, has made him plain as day. Thunder in the Desert