Flickr photo of The Bible by Ryk Neethling

Finding God in the Text

By Ernesto Tinajero

Recently I have been praying through Ephesians as a Lectio Divina, and blogging about the insights God has been giving me. Lectio Divina has been a practice of the church for a long time. Martin Luther prayed through the Psalms by Lectio Divina, which help him understand the power of grace over works and led to the Protestant Reformation. All Protestants, even if they do not know it, are children of the spiritual practice of Lectio Divina.

Lectio Divina aims at hearing God through Scripture by framing the reading with a series of questions. What is the word from God in the reading? What is the word of God saying to me in the reading? How do I apply this word to my ministry and life? After each question, there is a period of being still and knowing God is God. As we meditate with the word of God, it becomes part of us and new insights arise as we let Scripture lead. It is slow going, which is contrary to our impatient age of wanting everything now. Reading Ephesians like this, I have made it through just half of it in two weeks.

Such reading of Scripture differs from our trained Enlightened way. After the Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries, we now want meaning in our readings. We read our Bibles for what it means and less for a point of contact with God. In other words, we less view the Bible as living text in which we can commune with God, but as a rule book to find propositions to apply to our lives. God, in such reading, is ironically ignored in such a reading. It also the kind of spirituality St. Paul warned so powerfully against. Such a reading of the Bible will turn us into either moralist that define the Bible (or our interpretation of it) or skeptics who reject the morality of the Bible. Without love and an opening of the Spirit, the Bible becomes a pawn in our wanting to control the world and others.

It has been powerful to blog about my praying through Ephesians. I have felt the Spirit of the Lord upon me as I write about my prayer, as I read Ephesians. The reality of being present to God means to take effort in getting out of my own way. I share the human weakness of wanting to be God without God. The insight into mystery and the mystery of God I wrote about lives inside of me as does the Lord Jesus.  Love always sends us into a sense of wondrous mystery. Entering into the Kingdom of God brings us into a world of beauty and love. Playing Chess takes me to this world as does being with Lace and Tito. Pray also takes me into this world. The beauty of being alive makes me bless all that I have been given. I have been given more so very much and I can see grace throughout my like. This is what I must focus on each and every moment. I remember to be grateful for all that the Lord has given me. Not to get caught up in the toil of life and work, but to transcend it in the glories of being alive in Christ.


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