Leader Guide

Leader version

Sacred Reading/Lectio Divina (45 minutes)

Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas, is the traditional beginning of the Christian calendar year. As such, advent provides an opportunity for reflection and recalibration for all who follow Jesus. In this season, we focus on anticipating the coming of Jesus, celebrating his birth, and experiencing his presence with us as light in our darkness.

This week, we return to a practice we used earlier this fall: Lectio Divina. Lectio Divina is focused on soaking in scripture rather than analyzing the text. We’ll read the same passage over four times, listening for a different aspect each time. Consider appointing a time keeper if you’re a larger or more talkative group.

This week’s passage: Luke 1:46-48, 50-53 

46 And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord

47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

48 for he has been mindful

    of the humble state of his servant. …

50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,

    from generation to generation.

51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;

    he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.

52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones

    but has lifted up the humble.

53 He has filled the hungry with good things

    but has sent the rich away empty.

Four steps to Lectio Divina (you will do these 4 times)

1Read A different group member read the passage aloud slowly each time. (2 minutes)

2Listen As the passage is read, listen carefully.

Here’s what to listen for each time:

*During the first reading, listen for a word or phrase that sticks out to you

*During the second reading, allow an image to come to mind from the text

*During the third reading, listen for how this passage relates to you at this very moment

*During the fourth reading, listen for an invitation from God

3Reflect: After each reading, spend 3 minutes in quiet. (3 minutes)

4-Share: Share with the group what stuck out to you each time. There is no right or wrong answer. It’s okay to pass! (3-5 minutes)

Once you are done with all four readings (5-10 minutes)

Debrief Share with one another aloud in the group. What image or word or thought moved you the most? Does God have an invitation for you following this practice?