Grace and peace of the Lord be with you!
Let me start today's Spiritual Formation Program by asking you a question:
How often do you read your Bible?
Well, I hope this question stirs you up to realize that perhaps you’re not spending enough time to read and meditate on the Word of God. If you are staying home pretty much all day these days, you don’t even have excuses, right?
As I am asking this question, as a pastor I also confess that I feel indicted by the very question I am asking to you. I’ve been busy with making contents for Sunday worship, having zoom meetings, leading zoom bible study with youth and checking on our church members. I actually feel like I am busier now than before this COVID-19 crisis. I can even boast about that I’ve been spending a lot of my time to do some meaningful and fruitful things these days.
Today, however, after watching Nathan’s video I realized that I’ve been missing the most important part of my spiritual journey: to simply read and meditate on the Word of God.
So, we’d like to invite you to spend this time to simply sit with a scripture. Nathan will walk us through. After this session, I hope and pray that you and I will be more motivated to practice “divine reading” in our daily spiritual journey.
How to do Lectio Divina by Nathan
Scripture: Psalm 13 (NRSV)
To the leader. A Psalm of David.
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me for ever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all day long? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God! Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death, and my enemy will say, ‘I have prevailed’; my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.
But I trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
What is Lectio Divina?
In Latin, it literally means "divine reading."
It’s more of a personal encounter with the Word than an intellectual study of the Scripture.
So, How Do We Do It?
We read the passage three times
Simply sit, listen, and meditate on the Word
Focus on a key word or key phrase and try to listen to what God is saying to me.
What is God asking me to do? How should I respond to God’s word to me today?
We do not know exactly when David wrote this Psalm 13. We can only imagine.
Perhaps he wrote this heart-felt poem when he was in the Wilderness of Ziph at Horesh, Maon or En-gedi, when king Saul had come out to seek his life(1 Samuel 23:15). Can you imagine the fear and level of stress he might have felt when the most powerful person in his country wanted to take his life? He is hiding with his people in the wilderness, where resources necessary for survival such as water and food are extremely limited. He didn't do anything wrong except killing Goliath and saving his country, which made the king jealous. So he's crying out to God: "How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?"
"How long, Lord...", today I believe many of us say these words with a sigh.
"How long the church building will be closed?"
"How long will I be locked in my house?"
"How long do I have to search for toilet papers?"
However, we also know that there are more people out there who are desperately crying out to God dealing with more dire situations...
"How long will I have to suffer from a disease that does not have any cure for?"
"How long will I have to deal with the surge of patients in my hospital?"
"How long must I endure this time without home, without food, and without health care?"
So, brothers and sisters in Christ, what is God saying to you today? How are you going to respond to God? How should you spend your time based on the Word of God that is given to you today?
May God allow us to have necessary courage and wisdom to do His will. Amen.
* Please feel free to comment, ask questions, or share your prayer requests.