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).
Joy to the world the Lord has come! We have been celebrating non-stop feasts on feasts on feasts! Today is no different.
We continue to celebrate the birth of Christ our Savior even after the Octave of Christmas, but now we set our sights on the Feast of the Epiphany, which is the revelation of God Incarnate to the world. Specifically, it is His revelation to the wise men who come with gifts of glad tidings!
All of the readings thus far have been focused on the birth of Jesus, but today we have a departure from the norm – the testimony of John the Baptist. Why? The early church celebrated two events that mark the revelation of Christ’s divinity: the Epiphany to the wise men and the Baptism of Christ.
In today’s reading we have priests and Levites from Jerusalem questioning who John is. He openly admits he is not the anointed Messiah, nor Elijah come again in the flesh, nor the Prophet who comes like a new Moses. “Then who are you?” He responds by quoting Isaiah: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’”
These words are certainly familiar as most of us have probably sung “Prepare the Way” by Charlie Hall for every week in Advent, but there is something incredibly profound here. This prophecy of Isaiah opens up a whole valley of promises of who the Messiah will be. He will rescue the poor and the oppressed, he will pour out his spirit, he will restore Israel, he will show mercy to his children, he will bless all the nations and atone for sin. No wonder John felt unworthy to even untie his sandal strap!
What a great hope we have!
The God of the universe does not descend down from a cloud, nor is He born to a family of social power and prestige, nor even brought up in a royal palace. No, the God of the universe meets us in the desert. He is born in a stable to poor and humble parents, and reaches out to humanity from a trough to show his glory!
Are you reaching back? Sometimes we can get caught up in the merriment of the Christmas season and the worldly buzz, but have you stopped to realize that He has come to rescue you? He wants to come and fulfill all of the promises spoken to Isaiah in your life, but are you making straight the path to receive the Lord in your life? John might be the voice, but Jesus is the Word that makes all things new.
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 has been one way God has revealed Himself to you this Christmas season as we prepare to celebrate His revelation to the world at the Epiphany?
In what ways have you sometimes gotten caught up in the craziness of the joy of Christmas celebrations and missed the face of Jesus in it all?
How does Jesus want to make your life new in this new year? Ask Him to reveal to you the ways that He wants to fulfill this prophecy to Isaiah as He comes alive more and more in your life.
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.
"You make all things new."
"You come after me."
"I choose You, Lord."
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 to look at your nativity scene in your house and specifically at the three wise men who are on their way to Jesus. Reflect on what it means that Jesus wants to reveal Himself to the WHOLE world and give Him thanks for that revelation.
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 Mike Monette.