Here, at the beginning of November, let’s take some time with this Lectio Divina . We’ll be reading from the book of Matthew. Set this time apart to be with God, to encounter God, and to hear from God - in particular, through this Scripture in Matthew’s Gospel of Jesus Christ. As you follow these steps, do everything you can to hear from God - not thoughts you’ve had before or the study of others.
Simply, “be still and know”, listening for the “still, small voice” of God.
Lectio Divina Steps
- Place yourself in a comfortable position and allow yourself to become silent – slow your breathing, calm your mind, and enjoy the silence for a few moments.
- Begin to read the text slowly – pay particular attention to any word or phrase that might jump out at you as you read.
- Take the word or phrase and focus on it. Repeat it to yourself and maybe even memorize it.
- Speak to God using whatever means you like – write a poem, draw a picture, sit in silence listening, talk to God, or just do nothing. Experience God by using the word or phrase from your reading.
- Rest in the silence and the reality that God is with you – that God has spoken to you, is speaking to you, and will speak to you.
- Carry the word or phrase with you throughout the day (or the whole month) and allow it to transform the way you view yourself and others, and the way you interact with others in everything you do.
Following the passage of Scripture, you will find quotes and a closing prayer that are connected with the passage and the topic of God’s justice. These can be used to further your contemplation of the passage. When you are finished with your devotion time, we encourage you to use the prayer to set your mindset for the day, the week and the rest of the month. Also, we would love to hear how God is speaking to you.
Matthew 6:16-18 (The Message)
When you practice some appetite-denying discipline to better concentrate on God, don’t make a production out of it. It might turn you into a small-time celebrity but it won’t make you a saint. If you ‘go into training’ inwardly, act normal outwardly. Shampoo and comb your hair, brush your teeth, wash your face. God doesn’t require attention-getting devices. He won’t overlook what you are doing; he’ll reward you well.
"A fast is not necessarily something we offer God, but it assists us in offering ourselves." ~ Jen Hatmaker
"The light of the world will illuminate within you when you fast and purify yourself. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Jesus takes it for granted that his disciples will observe the pious custom of fasting. Strict exercise of self-control is an essential feature of the Christian’s life. Such customs have only one purpose—to make the disciples more ready and cheerful to accomplish those things which God would have done. ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
A courageous religious (individual) finds opportunities of practicing mortification without allowing it to appear to others. ~Saint Philip Neri
Father, help me to humbly and rightly live my life for you, not for the sake of being seen by others.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.