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).
Sometimes I wonder what Earth looked like before the fall of man. While I am so often overcome with awe at the beauty of nature, I cannot imagine how much more beautiful it was before disorder and destruction were introduced to the scene.
Although you were made to live in paradise with God, you have a choice in the matter. You can choose to strive towards holiness, beg for God’s love and mercy, and work hard to do God’s will. Or, you can choose to live a selfish life, reject God’s love and mercy, and ignore all of God’s commandments and plans for your life.
Following the second coming of Jesus Christ and the final judgment, all those who have chosen eternal life with God by their lives will stand in their glorified bodies and be witness to the indescribable pure love and beauty of God.
“Nothing accursed will be found anymore.”
Do you long for that? It is tempting to think that the choice is either pleasure now and eternal suffering later or suffering now and eternal pleasure later, but it is not that black and white. Rather than the choice being one or the other (in regards to what happens now vs. later), the choice is really one for the other.
Yes, choosing eternity with God requires sacrifice, but the thing about choosing eternity with God is that He allows the joy and happiness to start now. Even to just meditate on our end goal of paradise can be joy-filling!
In the midst of your struggles and trials, take a moment to think of Heaven! Let your imagination dwell on the thought of perfect union with God, the river of life-giving water, the tree of life, and the Light that will never fade. Be refreshed and renewed in hope and perseverance. Excuse yourself from the deadlines, stress, and busyness to rest for a moment with God and remind yourself of the purpose of your existence.
Tomorrow, your checklist/purpose for today will be behind you. What will tomorrow’s purpose be? What are you ultimately striving towards? Every little moment of selfish pleasure or selfless suffering matters and affects your end goal. Realize where you’re headed and think about it! Let it revitalize and motivate you.
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.
When you think of heaven, what do you think of and see? How does your small vision of heaven line up with what God has in store for you, the eternal joy and happiness for which you were made?
In what ways is God calling you to sacrifice today in order to prepare your heart and mind for ultimate glory? In what ways is God beginning even now to reveal His glory in your life?
How can you turn your heart and mind more directly towards heaven in this moment and each moment of your day today?
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, I trust in you."
"I long for heaven."
"Let me be with You forever."
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 time today to ponder the beauty of God's creation around you. Whether you look at sunset, climb a mountain, or marvel at a beautiful relationship God has given you, marvel at the joy of the present moment and let your heart be drawn to eternity as we prepare for a new year beginning tomorrow with Advent, preparing for the Lord's coming.
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 Katie LoBosco, a student at the University of Dayton studying Music Therapy.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.