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).
Every single action has various levels of reason behind it, whether we’re aware of it or not. I brushed my teeth this morning because it’s what I always do. It’s what I always do because I enjoy not hating my own breath…and I care about my health. I slept last night because I was tired and sleeping would fix that. I wanted to be more awake because I had class this morning, and I wanted to be awake for class to do my best and ultimately set myself up for success.
We could take both examples further and further, but narrowing down each reason begs the question “what happens next?” “What’s the reason behind the next reason, the driving reason behind every other reason?” We hit a point where we need to make a choice, to decide on our main reason that drives everything else. For the apostles, that reason was clear: it was God.
Everything the apostles did, they did it because of Christ. They ate in order to better prepare themselves to serve and love God that day with all they had. They slept in order to be well-rested to do everything God had for them the next day. They refused to be quiet, even under threat of a very public and painful death, because they knew with every fiber of their being that Jesus Christ is Lord.
And that changed everything for them.
So when Peter turned to the Sanhedrin, the ones supposedly appointed by God Himself over all the people, and told them point-blank “We must obey God rather than men”, he wasn’t excusing his actions: Peter was laying down very clearly the one foundation of the apostles, their driving principle behind absolutely every action. Jesus was so influential that He changed each of the apostles lives within 3 short years of ministry, to the point that they left everything and would rather die than fail to stand up for their new faith. By separating men from God and placing the Sanhedrin’s authority in the first category, Peter demonstrates this and stands his ground, clearly calling out the Sanhedrin on their corruption, while also proudly giving the one truth he knows to be true: Jesus Christ is Lord.
The dedication and steadfast love that led the original apostles to constantly live out the will of God even in the face of execution is exactly what God calls us to as well. Does it seem intense? Good; a religion centered on someone who suffered and died a brutal death out of pure and perfect love for you isn’t meant to be fluffy and feel-good.
So, what’s your one truth? What’s the defining reason behind every single action throughout every single day, big or small? If it’s not God at this moment, then be honest; take some time to figure out why and what you’re still looking for. Don’t be afraid to be honest with God, He wants nothing more than to meet you where you’re at. If it is God, what does that mean for your actions? How can you use even the small things in your day to give more glory to God?
Please don’t be afraid or intimidated by this: God loves you more than you will ever know and He’ll never ever leave your side throughout it all.
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’s your "one truth"? What’s the defining reason behind every single action throughout every single day, big or small?
What is holding you back from having the radical faith the apostles did? If we believe this same one truth, why are we not living it the same?
Jesus Christ is Lord. What does that mean for you? How could your life change if you believed that more than you believed anything else in this world?
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.
"Jesus Christ is Lord."
"For the greater glory of God."
"I give you everything 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?
AMDG. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. For the greater glory of God. Let this be your motto, your anthem today. Let everything you do be for the greater glory of God and watch your life change today.
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 Tatiana Schaffer, a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying Engineering and Psychology.