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Meeting God in Scripture

A Hands-On Guide to Lectio Divina

by Jan Johnson

Do you strug­gle to con­nect with God in Scrip­ture? It’s easy to get bogged down in the lin­guis­tic, cul­tur­al and his­tor­i­cal details and to lose sight of the whole point: hear­ing the voice of Jesus speak­ing to us here and now. Lec­tio div­ina is a tra­di­tion­al Bene­dic­tine prac­tice of Scrip­ture read­ing that treats the Bible not as a text to be dis­sect­ed, but as the liv­ing Word of God spo­ken anew to us. Expe­ri­enced Bible teacher Jan John­son has led lec­tio div­ina work­shops for many years. Here she presents forty scrip­tur­al med­i­ta­tions, orga­nized top­i­cal­ly, with a view toward giv­ing us the tools we need to prac­tice lec­tio div­ina on our own. Each med­i­ta­tion can be used both indi­vid­u­al­ly and in group set­tings, and includes

  • an intro­duc­to­ry space of silence to help us relax and refo­cus, along with an option­al prepara­to­ry ques­tion or exercise;
  • the full text of a pas­sage from Scrip­ture with expla­na­tions of unusu­al or impor­tant words, and with cul­tur­al and his­tor­i­cal back­ground as needed;
  • ques­tions and cues to help us enter the text (and in nar­ra­tive pas­sages, prompts to help us vivid­ly imag­ine how the action would have unfolded);
  • space to con­tem­plate the pas­sage and to respond to God in prayer;
  • space to sim­ply rest in what God has said to us; and
  • an exer­cise to try on” one of the main ideas of the pas­sage in our dai­ly lives.

Meet­ing God in Scrip­ture moves us beyond mere­ly under­stand­ing what the text meant in its orig­i­nal con­text to a direct spir­i­tu­al encounter with Christ as he speaks to us in each pas­sage. The method of Scrip­ture read­ing mod­eled here offers to revi­tal­ize our under­stand­ing of Scrip­ture permanently―even long after we’ve fin­ished these par­tic­u­lar med­i­ta­tions. (from Ama​zon​.com)


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