Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
I moved to Minnesota a little over a year ago to serve as a missionary at a university up here in the Twin Cities. When I signed on to be a missionary with Saint Paul’s Outreach, my biggest prayer was that the Lord wouldn’t send me to Minnesota. Whenever anyone asked where I wanted to go, my immediate response was, “ANYWHERE but Minnesota!” You see, fall is my favorite season and winter my least favorite, and from all that I heard about Minnesota winters, fall only lasted a few weeks whereas winter lasted a few months.
But of course, Jesus has a HILARIOUS sense of humor, so I moved up to Minnesota, cringing in fear every time anyone mentioned the words winter or snow. When the leaves began to change and the mornings began to cool, I soaked in as much outdoor time as I possibly could, terrified that I would only have 3 weeks to enjoy my favorite season.
But here it is a year later, and I’m sitting on my front step in 65 degree weather in October looking at my yard that is covered in beautiful fall leaves. And as I read today's psalm, I was struck at how fitting it was for my current activity. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims his handiwork […] through all the earth their voice resounds.”
Sometimes it’s very difficult for me to see the Lord’s love in a tangible way in my life. I don’t know about you, but unless He’s speaking clearly His love for me in prayer, I’m pretty oblivious to it. And far too often, my life is filled with too much noise to hear his voice outside of the time I set aside each day for prayer. But lately, an invitation that the Lord has been placing on my heart is to quiet my life: to turn off the podcasts and the music, to carve space in my schedule to rest, to be satisfied with the still and the silent. He’s been inviting me to make space to make space in my heart and in my life for Him to pursue my heart.
And as I turn off the music that I usually keep playing as low background noise, as I choose not to watch that episode of Gilmore Girls to fill the extra hour, as I take an hour in the afternoon to go for a walk or to sit on my front porch, it’s amazing how quickly my eyes are opened to the subtle ways that Jesus wants to show me His love through the world around me. Sitting here now on this porch, feeling the gentle breeze swaying the trees and blowing leaves into my front yard, my heart is overflowing with love from my Father. It’s not snowing or freezing yet. We’re now in our fifth week of fall and I still haven’t had to dig out my winter coat. What a love letter from the Lord to my heart! The whole world declares His glory and throughout all the earth His voice declares that I am loved.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
What are some of the noises or distractions in your life that you need to turn off for a little while?
In what subtle ways is Jesus showing you His love for you?
How can you glorify God today? Where do you see God's glory surrounding you?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"I praise you, Lord."
"In the silence, Lord, you speak."
"Rest in His love."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Take some time today to turn off the noise in your life and open your ears to listen to the symphony of creation’s song of love from the Father for your heart specifically. Go for a walk, drink a mug of tea by the window, hunt down some good vibrant fall leaves. Our Father wants to use His whole creation to shout to the world that you are His beloved one. Open your ears to hear His voice of love.
Smartphone Lock Screen
The following image is here for you to save and use as a background or lock screen on your smartphone or device to help you carry today's Lectio Divina with you the rest of the day.
Today's prayer was prepared by Catie Destatte, a St. Paul's Outreach Missionary at University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, MN.