Today’s reading is possibly one of the most profound pieces of Scripture in the Bible. I don’t want to try and write about this amazing piece of scripture, I’d rather let it speak for itself. So today I’d like to encourage you to try an ancient art of Bible reading called ‘lectio divina’.
These are some guidelines taken from the Bible Society’s leaflet on Lectio Divina:
Lectio divina dates back to the early Church Fathers around 300 AD. The four steps were ???rst recorded by a monk, Guigo Cartujo, in 1173. These steps Lectio (Reading), Meditatio (Meditation), Oratio (Prayer) and Contemplatio (Contemplation) remain central today although methods di???er.
In essence lectio divina is a simple way to meet with the Lord through re???ection and prayer based on Holy Scripture. It is not a study method. Background knowledge can be helpful but is not essential. Our aim is meeting God, not just completing the steps themselves. So when the Lord impresses something on us we need to stop and wait. We can always come back to the steps another time. We don’t want to lose what God is saying to us.
LECTIO – READING
Before you begin, ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you through His word. Read today’s passage slowly and carefully. Make a note of any words or phrases that stand out for you. Read the passage several times and if you can, read it aloud. Give yourself time to understand and appreciate what is being said.
MEDITATIO – MEDITATION
Meditation deepens our appreciation of the passage and helps us to explore its riches. Spend some time reflecting on the parts of the passage that stood out for you, asking God to reveal Himself to you.
ORATIO – PRAYER
Prayer opens up a conversation between God and us. Let the passage lead you into prayer of whatever kind – silence or praise, petition or thanksgiving.
CONTEMPLATIO – CONTEMPLATION
Contemplation gives us the opportunity for an intimate time of communion with God. Be still before God and invite him in. Few words, if any, are necessary here. Enjoy time in his presence. Just be with him and let him love you. Let him refresh your soul.
So read this passage slowly and carefully, asking God to speak to you:
John 1: 1-18 –
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe.He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'”) Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
To aid your meditation, here is a video showing the whole universe – zooming out from earth and then back again. As the video comes to a close, think about ‘the word becoming flesh to be among us’ – it will blow your mind!