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).
“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” –Luke 1:45
Today is December 21st, which means that by the time you are reading this I will be basking in the glory that is Star Wars Episode XI: The Rise of Skywalker, which I watched last night. I’ve had the release date marked on my calendar for months, and have been discussing all my theories about the plot with my wife over dinner for longer than I care to admit. For me, the anticipation and build up to the movie is almost more fun and the film itself. The days and months of counting down, speculation, watching and re-watching trailers, and ultimately buying tickets has just as much to do with my enjoyment of the movie than the 2 hours I actually spend in the movie.
As good as the movie was, something funny happened to me this morning. I woke up and life was … well, life was the same as it was before. My old knee injury from hockey is still a bit sore, I tried to spend time reading the Scriptures and praying to start off my day, and hopefully unload the dishwasher and make coffee before my wife wakes up.
A movie is just a movie, and no matter how much time I’ve spent waiting and anticipating how great it’s going to be, it does not have the power to change my life. It does not have the power to bring me happiness, or help me find the deep fulfillment my heart longs for.
Today’s reading is a perfect advent one because the promise of a Savior has been clearly proclaimed to Mary, and yet, the child hasn’t yet arrived! Mary is still waiting. In fact, as soon as the angel departs from Mary she goes immediately to Elizabeth’s home, so Mary probably isn’t showing any signs of pregnancy yet. And even so, she “believed that what was spoken to [her] would be fulfilled.” Because she knows the word of God is reliable and true, it fills her with confidence and joy and she cannot help but share it with her cousin Elizabeth.
The good news of Jesus is worth celebrating, and is worth waiting for. When you wake up on Christmas will everything be the same as before - like it was when I woke up this morning after last night’s movie - or will you wake up expecting to encounter Jesus Christ in a new way? Because when you encounter Jesus everything changes. Only Jesus can bring you the happiness, fulfillment, and salvation you long for. Advent isn’t just a time of waiting, but also a time of expectation. Do we expect to encounter a God who can totally transform our lives? Mary recognized the gift of Jesus even before his birth.
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 you doing this Advent and, more importantly, allowing God to do in you, that is preparing you to wake up on Christmas and not simply be the same as before?
Do you live with an expectation that you will encounter a God who can totally transform your life?
What is an area of your life that you want to invite Jesus to be born in this Christmas? Where do you want to let him be Lord in a new way for 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 long to encounter you."
"You are my Lord."
"You are our Savior."
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?
Whatever Christmas-y things you are doing today – shopping, baking, cleaning, spending time with family, etc. – do them with peace and joy. So many people are stressed at this time of year; let God work in you to be different than before and live out of your encounter with him, helping be a light to those you encounter because of your peace and joy!
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 Chris O'Hara, an evangelist in Canada.
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.