As a Church we have practiced Lectio Devina several times in our large worship gatherings on Sundays. We do so in a rhythm, practicing it at least once per quarter together. We also practice Lectio Devina in our missional communities (Life-Connections groups), women’s ministry gatherings and other various gatherings.
Lectio Divina means “Divine Reading.” This method of reading Scripture comes from our Benedictine traditions. This is not a theological analysis of Scripture. It is simply about reading and reflecting with the desire to commune with God while trusting the words of Hebrews 4:12-13 & 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
The roots of Scriptural reflection and interpretation go back to a Church Father named Origen in the 3rd century, after whom St. Ambrose taught this approach to St. Augustine. The “formal” monastic practice of Lectio Divina was first established in the 6th century by Saint Benedict. It was then formalized as a four-move process by the Carthusian monk, Guigo II, in the 12th century.
There are four basic moves in Lectio Devina. They are called moves and not steps, because it is not intended as a four-step linear process. I encourage it you to view it as a movement between states of awareness. Let it each move be a natural progression.
Lectio is about Listening: “Reading Deeply”
Get into a comfortable position and begin with silence before God in preparation for you heart to listen. Now read the text out loud.
Savor each word. Listen for a particular phrase that speaks to you.
Ask God, “What word or phrase do you want me to hear today?
Take a few moments to reflect
Share Aloud with a word or phrase
(No elaboration is needed. Do not give a word that isn’t present in the text. In other words, don’t make application. Simply let God speak through His word slowly and identify a word or phrase directly from the translation of Scripture you are reading.)
Meditatio is about Meditation: “Thinking Deeply”
Read the text out loud again. If in a group, allow someone else to read it as a different voice provides a different experience.
Slowly repeat the phrase that seems to be for you while I read the passage again. Think on it.
Ask God, “Where does this phrase touch my life?”
Take a moment to reflect.
Share Aloud using phrases such as “I hear…” “I see…” “I feel…”
Oratio is about Prayer & Response: “Living Deeply”
Read the text out loud a third and final time. If in a group, allow someone else to read it as a different voice provides a different experience
To yourself, speak to God in words or images what He put on your heart. That response may be confession, thanksgiving, joy, or even pain.
Ask God, “What do You want me to do in light of this phrase?”
Take a moment to reflect
If in a group, share aloud your response to the aforementioned question. If alone, talk with God in prayer.
Contemplatio is about “Rest”
Simply rest in silence in God’s presence, meditating on this experience with His Living Word.