Hello fellow listeners,
Every Monday and Thursday a new SLOW Word Lectio Divina appears right here. Today we’re spending time in Isaiah 40:1-5. Can you hear Handel’s Messiah? “Every valley shall be lifted up. Every mountain and hill made low and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed.”
Kris Camealy in her book, Come Lord Jesus, invites us to meditate on the question, “What are the valleys in my life that cause me to stumble repeatedly?”
If you’re interested in traveling with Kris and I to the manger, you can pick up her book right here on Amazon.
(For those repeating, the scripture begins at 1:35.)
Welcome dear friends!
Throughout Advent we’re using scriptures with Kris Camealy’s beautiful devotional, Come Lord Jesus, in our Lectio Divina every Monday and Thursday. Get the first five days of her devotional free on her site here or buy the devotional on Amazon here.
Let’s travel to the manger together.
Curious about Advent? Find more here.
Finding this a gift? Pass it on to a friend and subscribe on the right for it to be slipped into your email.
Good morning friends, remember we have a SLOW Word lectio divina right here every Monday and Thursday. It’s such a privilege to set the table for you and God this morning. Send it to a friend or post to Facebook to set a feast for someone else. #drawNeartoListen
Our Lectio Divina verses will be coming from Kris Camealy’s lovely Advent book, Come Lord Jesus, this Thursday. Buy it on Amazon and still be on time. Curious? Download the first five days on her site.
Happy Thanksgiving dear ones!
I hope today you are nested in the midst of your family, surrounded by your people and all that abundance. I hope you soak there, sit back and look at everyone’s face in the light of the candles. I hope you sit still in the moment and let the thanks rise.
What a joy it has been to journey with you!
Confession: This SLOW Word video was number 5…yup 5. My phone doesn’t upload more than 15 minutes worth and oh, friends, aren’t you glad? This SLOW Word would cease to be a gift if it was any more. But, I had the hardest time getting this particular lectio divina under 15 minutes and trying again is easier than cutting and pasting in a video program. This is why #5 is significant; it wasn’t until number 5 that this scripture started making its way deep.
Sometimes we need repetition in order to receive.
I want to be child-like in joy. I never want to just receive the abundance and keep walking down the road, into the next busy moment. I need to be healed of my spiritual entitlement, and instead, return with a response that comes from overflow.
I want to be one who rises to sing: “I have seen the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” every. single. time.
Love you all. Happy Thanksgiving!
Remember dear friends, every Monday and Thursday a new SLOW Word Movement Lectio Divina is posted.
(Remember dear ones, every Monday and Thursday find a SLOW Word Lectio Divina right here. Want it slipped into your inbox? Subscribe on the right and pass on the Wordfeast.)
Sometimes we encounter a familiar chapter (like this one?) and we pass it by thinking that it’s been squeezed of it’s power through overuse. That’s when lectio divina can be such an incredible gift. There’s something about the silence and the slow meditation that allows the breath of God to breathe over tired words (or our tired minds?) and open the gift back up.
Perhaps it’s the same with a season. Lent? Been there. Advent? Done that. Yup, we can rush right over the holy without listening for the whispers of the Spirit because well, it’s been so well-trafficked. It’s a lie born of the consumers of God.
Instead, lets lean into this beautifully rich season together. Right here at aThirstforGod, I’m going to hold open the doorway to Advent through Kris Camealy’s brand new Advent devotional, Come Lord Jesus. It fits hand in glove with our SLOW Word movement giving short devotionals and gorgeous scriptures which will work well with our twice weekly Lectio Divinas. Our SLOW Word videos will correspond twice a week to the devotionals which begin on December 1st.
Sunday a man with a gentle way about him walked up to the table where Madeline and I were selling cupcakes for 60 Feet and whispered a tender word: “Summer, you are in a season of waiting and it may look like nothing is going on, but underneath the surface, hard, beautiful work is being done.” His kindness took me by surprise. My tears surprised me even more. I had thought the lament was over. I had thought the waiting was over.
Doesn’t sitting with unfulfilled longings take courage? Sometimes it’s easier to lay the heaviness down instead of stand in the discomfort of waiting. This sojourn of a book invites us to stay in that limbic state, our hands open and expectant. But you know what I love friends? Kris reminds us that one of the beautiful gifts of Advent is that we can find joy in worship while we wait singing, “O Come O Come Emmanuel.” I won’t spoil the rest of the journey. I just know you’ll want to come along.
All of these gorgeous pics are Kris Camealy’s own property.
I walked past the chip aisle to reach for my triscuit box and saw her, an early-store-stocker, sitting on the floor with small plastic Pringles containers sliding on top of her. She looked up at me exasperated, “I just can’t get these annoying little packages to stay. Every ten minutes they fall and I’m rearranging them and begging them to stay until the next person reaches for their favorite flavor.” My eyes twinkled, “Sounds like my life,” I laughed. She shot me a questioning look. “I just feel like I do the same inane things over and over.” She nodded and made one of those sounds women give to each other, “Uh-huh,” the universal: “I hear you girl.”
But friend, I see you.
I see you wondering if your small matters.
I see you taking laps around the grocery store with your handwritten list.
I see you with your Monday morning ministry hangover wondering if your Sunday sermon stuck.
I see you writing words again in the early morning and daring to push publish while its still dark.
I see you sliding into bed wondering if your small acts of faithfulness matter.
I see you friend, and your small, ordinary, courageous acts of love.
Here’s the truth that I’m leaning into as I go about my dizzying array of the very small: small can be extraordinarily lavish. “Do small things with great love,” Mother Teresa taught.
And then Jesus showed us how to open our arms just that wide.
What small things with great love are you doing today?
When the ground underneath us quakes, (from a death, a shock, a debilitating fear, a lament, even a hard fight with a loved one), we can lay ourselves right down.
Nine years into our marriage, Andrew and I were battling I don’t even remember what. We were exhausted and overwhelmed parents of two babies, carrying the responsibility of a parish under stress.
And let’s just say high stress brings out blame and it’s easier to point the finger away from us. We’d fight until I would lay down and remember God was the ground of my being and stable enough to carry us both. Gravity became a gift of prayer. We weren’t holding ourselves up on the earth. He was. “For in Him we live and move and have our being.”Acts 17:28
Two years ago my sense of vocation was rocked. Once again, I often laid down cruciform in front of the altar. The lament was so darn heavy, laying it down in front of the altar was the only way I could hand it back to God. As I lay down on the red carpet, I would sense Him lay down next to me, look into my eyes and whisper, “I do this all the time.”
Cruciform, our bodies teach our minds and spirits to empty.
Cruciform, we lay down our own toxic self-righteousness.
Cruciform, we lay down knowing that even in the pit and pain of life, we are not ever alone.
Cruciform we join His suffering, and still choose to serve.
Cruciform we give up demanding our rights and choose to focus on our Redeemer.
There are many who found their prayers answered during Tuesday night’s election and they are rejoicing. I find myself sitting with this bizarre election cycle trying to remember how to breathe. Everything was downright messy and many got smeared. Some of us experienced the roller coaster of this last year more like an earthquake. But whether you are rejoicing or rocked from Tuesday night’s election outcome, it’s time to lay ourselves right down on the ground facedown, cruciform. It’s time to seek the healing of our land.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and I will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
The healing always starts with the humbling.