June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
This week’s sermon text: James 5:13-19
As we prepare for Sabbath, we’ll use an ancient frame for reading scripture, Lectio Divina. This particular format was published in “Companions in Christ” by Upper Room Ministries. It was adapted from an article written by Joe Paprocki, author of The Catechist’s Toolbox.
Questions for the Field
“Lectio engages scripture through prayer and meditation, rather than study and analysis…Study and prayer are both important…where study informs us about the words; lectio forms us as a people who practice God’s word.”
- Before reading scripture verses, relax and settle your breathing into a gentle rhythm. Prayerfully give God any distractions that might interrupt your focus.
- Now slowly read the assigned scripture aloud. When finished, sit quietly for a minute to let the passage rest in you. Before reading the passage for a second time, prepare to listen for a word or phase in the text that catches your attention (resist analyzing why one word or phase stands out for you).
- Read the phrases a second time, and after a word or phrase stays with you, silently repeat it to yourself over and over for one to two minutes.Now, read the scripture a third time but with this question in mind, “How is my life touched by this word?” What feelings, images, sounds, or thoughts come to mind through the word or phrase given to you? How does this word or phrase intersect with your life right now? Use the next three minutes to consider what comes to mind.
- After three minutes, read the passage one last time, asking, “Is there an invitation here for me?” Does your word or phrase invite you toward you toward a change or response in the upcoming days? Does it nudge you toward some action or new direction? Take two or three minutes to receive and consider any invitation that God may have for you. Is there a response you are being prompted to make?
- Finally, ask God to help you hear, receive, and respond to this invitation, then close with “Amen.”
Family Field Talk
Repeat this exercise with family and/or friends. Share the words or phrases that spoke to you. How will you respond? How might group members respond together?
Holy God, how many ways can you invite us, how many ways can you call us before we hear your sweet, soft whisper of love? Before we hear the roar of a strong wind? Before we seek your face with every dawn and give you praise at every sunset? May it ever be so, again and again. Amen.