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).
If there is one thing I got out of the readings for today it is that the Lord knows what He is doing. Both readings today are about barren wives being told they will conceive a baby boy - and not just any boy…
In today’s first reading from Judges, the angel tells the mother of Samson that “this boy is to be consecrated to God from the womb. It is he who will begin the deliverance of Israel from the power of the Philistines.” Then again, in today's Gospel from Luke, the angel tells Zechariah that his son “will be great in the sight of the Lord…He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb, and he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.”
God’s plan is perfect. This is sometimes hard to see because his timing is not always what we have in mind. This happens all the time: you really want something and you don't get it, but then something better comes along. The Lord loves us and wants to give his children good gifts. Our role is to keep our eyes open to the good things that are coming our way. There are blessings all around everyday, but how often do we let them pass without notice? My hope for this advent season is to not let a single blessing escape me, but to “rejoice in all things."
I learned a valuable lesson this past time I was in Haiti from an incredible Haitian family. They live in true poverty, yet had mastered the art of sharing blessings. I was talking to them one day about their losses after Hurricane Matthew and the oldest son told me this: “everything will be okay. Our community knows how to handle tragedy, tragedies happen everyday, and when our neighbor is in need we give up whatever we need to in order help them, so I have no fear when I am in need because my neighbor will do all they can do to make sure I am okay. Therefore, everything is a blessing because either I am giving or I am receiving, but it is all for the greater glory of God!”
I was stunned by his incredibly raw outlook. He knew the truth that God is faithful, and though sometimes things aren't going as planned, God always takes care of him, and when God does provide for him he can then use that blessing to bless others. May we take this beautiful mindset into this Advent/Christmas season; this is a time of waiting, giving, and receiving, and we can use this time to make sure that all that we do is to glorify our God. Zechariah had been waiting and waiting for a son, but when he was finally told he would have one he did not believe.
Let us believe that our Lord will provide.
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 are some times that you have seen God's plan work out in your life? How have they been different than your plans? How did you come to see that God's plans were perfect?
Go read what that boy from Haiti said again. Do you live in that way to help those in need and trust that God will care for you? How can you grow in this trust in your life?
God is faithful to us. What is God doing right now to show you His faithfulness? It might take some time to be quiet and let Him tell you. Ask him, talk about what you've seen Him doing, and see how He has been faithful by looking at different areas of 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 are faithful."
"Your plans are perfect."
"I trust You."
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 Lord bear fruit in you today?
Find a way to listen and let God show you His faithfulness. Build some quiet time into your day today in order let God speak to your heart and show you how He was faithful, and then live out of a place of His faithfulness. This means you love others and you find joy and hope in knowing He is faithful to you.
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 Jen Mason, the Mission Trip Coordinator for group missions to Haiti.