Suzanne Lederer leads us in connecting with God through Lectio Divina, or “Sacred Reading”.
Luke 10:30-37 (NLT)
30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.
31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.
33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’
36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.
37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”
Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
Christians have been practicing Lectio Divina for 1,500 years. It was designed to cultivate a slower, more reflective reading of Scripture, a devotional approach. Think about a letter you receive from a special friend or lover, you can’t wait to open it, you savor every word, and it is personal and intimate; words just for you. This is the heart of practicing Lectio Divina! It forces you to get out of your head and tap into your heart, your emotions, and to stop and listen to what God has to say to you, paying attention to the deeper layers of your soul which are often hiding and need to be surrendered to God where you will receive grace and love. This can be scary at first, which was my experience. I was not really in touch with my deeper feelings and motives, and wondered: will God meet me as things begin to surface? My desire for Him to change me in the deepest places propelled me to move forward, to be open and make myself available through the practice of Lectio Divina.