To Hear and See Joy (Lectio Divina and Psalm 126)

On Sunday, we spent time thinking and talking about joy. Jer talked last week about hope as the certainty we find in God's character, and on Sunday I suggested that joy was a response to God's actions and the activity of God's people congruent with God's character. So hope is certainty that God will act and joy is the response when God does act. Jesus frequently said "those who have ears, let them hear," which, at least in part, means that everyone is capable of hearing but not everyone choose to. Part of our formation is to become people who can see and hear God's activities around us.

One way to do this is through the ancient practice of lectio divina ("divine reading"). Lectio is a practice of listening for God to speak as we meditate on Scripture. Lectio is an invitation to trust that:

  • God speaks.
  • God speaks through Scripture.
  • God speaks to you.
  • God speaks through you.

This week, we practiced lectio divina together and I'd invite you to carry that practice with you throughout the week. Here are some guidelines using Psalm 126 as a starting point.

  1. Find some comfortable space for silence. Read Psalm 126 slowly, listening for a word or phrase that rises to the surface for you. What images or ideas come to mind as you dwell on that word or phrase?
  2. Read Psalm 126 a second time. Focus on the same word or phrase, and spend time reflecting on how that word or phrase speaks to the current reality of life. Think about your week in the context of that word or phrase. What's happened or what's on the schedule that resonates with that word or phrase?
  3. Read Psalm 126 a final time. As you continue to meditate on the word or phrase God has lifted to the surface for you, consider what God might be asking you to do, see, hear, or become in response. What is an invitation, loving reminder or promise God has for you in this?

Let this practice cultivate in us an awareness of God's presence and work in our midst so that we might be people of joy!