This quiet time focuses on one short verse, but its message is rather weighty. The goal of this time is to sit in God’s Word and focus on connecting with the truth God is speaking to you. I was introduced to Lectio Divina at Greek Conference. Lectio Divina, which translates “divine reading”, really helps me connect with God’s Word and hear the Truth he is communicating. It’s a way of applying Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.” As Greek students we are often not great at making space for God and being still. By practicing Lectio Divina I create space to slow down my pace of life and quiet my mind and heart to hear from the Lord and acknowledge him as Lord over my life and choose to respond to what he is prompting me to do.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Lectio Divina Reflection
Step 1: Become Fully Present Take some time to find a quiet place. Center your heart make yourself fully present. Turn off your phone, push aside your mental to-do list and quiet your mind.
Step 2: Become Comfortable with the passage Read through the verse once so you can become familiar with its length and flow.
Step 3: Hear the word that is addressed to you Read through the verse again, listening for a word or phrase that jumps out to you. Don’t analyze that word or phrase, repeat it to yourself for one minute.
Step 4: Ask “How is my life touched by this word? Read the verse a third time thinking about how you are impacted noticing any sensory perception you experience by what it is saying. Engage your imagination and note what you feel “I am touched by... ,” “I hear...,” “I see...,” “I sense...,”
Step 5: Ask “Is there an invitation for me here?” Read the verse a fourth time thinking about a possible invitation that God is inviting you into for today, next month or next year as you go back to your Greek chapter. Write down your thoughts and the ‘invitations’ you sense God is making to you.
Step 6: Spend some time in Prayer Take some time to praise God for speaking to you through His word and ask Him to give you the strength to follow through on the invitation He made to you.
When I read Ephesians 2:10 ( not doing Lectio Divina on purpose) I had a number of words and phrases jump out to me. Let me share them and How God used them to speak to me. God’s handiwork was the first word I noticed and it instantly made me think of carpentry - the feel of sweat, sound of saws and smell of wood stain and saw dust. My dad does carpentry for a hobby and last summer I asked him to help me make a picnic table; nothing crazy, just something cute. Being the perfectionist (aka engineer) that my dad is he didn’t just help me nail some boards together and screw in some nuts and bolts. We had to go shopping and compare prices to get the best quality; take measurements, cut the boards; sand and stain for hours. I could go on but that would get boring. Basically what I thought would take 3 weeks instead took 3 months and I didn’t have just a picnic table I had a masterpiece. So when I read that I was God’s handiwork, I thought of my picnic table with awe - a handiwork that was made with loving, hardworking hands, that was the best quality, that fit together perfectly, and was designed as a piece of art – not just something average. I am God’s Handiwork.
Having wrapped my mind a quarter around that thought that I was God’s handiwork, I could move on to what I was created to do: “being created in Christ to do good works.” How have I been fulfilling what I was created to do? What good works did that entail? I spent some time thinking about since I’m created in Christ my good works don’t make me ‘better’ or more acceptable in God’s eyes but they come from the Spirit living in me. I have the tendency to make my list of ‘good works’ that I should start doing: serve the community, clean up after myself in the kitchen, call my parents more often, tell the people I love “I love you” more often. But then I stop and let the last part of the verse comes to mind – “which God prepared in advance for me to do.” Basically that concept blew my mind. It stopped me in my tracks of trying to ‘figure it out.’ I know what I am to do – "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" Luke 10:27 . If I do that, all the details will fall into place and knowing God created me IN Christ, the perfect Son of God whose Spirit is living within me, reminds me that I am completely capable and equipped for whatever he has “prepared in advance for me to do.”
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.