I love learning about new practices of faith. One of my favorite of the last decade is the practice of Lectio Divina (Latin for “Divine Reading”). Lectio, as I affectionately call it, is a Benedictine practice of reading scripture, meditation and reflection designed to promote communion with God and engagement with the text. It does not treat scripture as something that should be studied, but as a living, dynamic and active interaction with the Divine.
As a part of our Missional Community (aka small group), we practice a 5-fold approach. We eat together, the read scripture together, we pray together, we engage with each other in spiritual formation questions and we commission each other to do the work of Jesus until we meet again. Our practice of engaging with scripture shares its roots with Lectio. We listen. We listen, again. We don’t read commentaries. We don’t teach each other. We listen and let the text transform us. It’s beautiful.
Tonight we read together from the first chapter of Luke. There was a phrase that leapt off the page for me. It read, “that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear” Luke 1:74.
Today, that is what hope looks like for me. I have been asked to serve in many capacities in my life. Sometimes, I am excited to serve Jesus in my places of calling. But there are the places that I would rather do all the things and yet leave my faith at the door. These places may be filled with judgement. Or hate. Or even those that proudly wave the flag of Christianity and to be quite honest, I just flat don’t want to be associated with them. As I listened to the text teach me, I knew that the only way to be holistically true to Jesus is to serve him without fear – fear of mistrust, fear of hatred, fear of judgment, fear of condemnation. Even, fear of association.
May I walk into the new rooms of my service with a heart grounded in Christ and a willingness to listen and trust in the face of fear.