This method of studying Scripture was originally established by St. Benedict in the 6th Century. Lectio Divina means “divine reading.” It focuses on Scripture as the Living Word and engages us holistically: heart, mind, spirit and body. Use this method when you want participants to go deep into a particular Scripture passage and come away with personal Words from God.
- Optional – Slide that describes the four parts of Lectio Divina to use as a handout or to project on a screen (You can download the slide from the “Lesson and Material Downloads” page at www.teachingthem.com. It’s named, “Lectio Divina – Slide.”)
- Optional – Computer, LCD projector and screen if you want to project the slide
- Optional – set up screen and projector to project slide or make copies of the handout for all the participants.
- Practice the script.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “We’re going to use a method of studying Scripture that was originally established by St. Benedict in the 6th Century.”
- “It’s called Lectio Divina, which means ‘divine reading.’”
- “It focuses on Scripture as the Living Word and engages us holistically: heart, mind, spirit and body.It is made up of four steps: (Advance slide each time as you mention “heart, mind, spirit and body.”)
- We Read or Hear the Word and allow it to speak to our hearts. (Advance slide.)
- We Reflect on the Word with our minds. (Advance slide.)
- We Respond to the Word by praying through our spirits. (Advance slide.)
- We Rest in the Presence of God with our bodies. (Advance slide.)
- “Let’s practice this. I need a volunteer to read the Scripture we’ll study today.” (Have a volunteer read the Scripture you have chosen.)
- “This was the Read step.”
- “Now, I would like you to Reflect.”
- “Take about five minutes and think about what you’ve heard.”
- “What is God’s personal message for you through His Word today?”
- “If it helps you to journal your thoughts as a way of reflecting, feel free to do so.” (Allow five minutes for reflection.)
- “Would anyone like to share a personal Word or insight given to you by the Holy Spirit.” (Allow several people to share.)
- “I need another volunteer to read the same Scripture again. Listen carefully for words or phrases that God wants to highlight for you.” (Have a volunteer read the same Scripture. Sometimes it’s good to try different translations or even different languages if your participants are multi-lingual.)
- “Let’s Reflect again, but this time, do it in your groups (or in pairs).” (Allow groups or pairs 10 minutes for discussing what they are hearing from the Scriptures.)
- “Okay, let’s read the same passage one more time, listening carefully for God’s unique message for you.” (Have a volunteer read the passage again.)
- “Now it’s time to Respond and Rest.”
- “Take the next 10 minutes, and pray and rest in God’s Word for you.”
- “You’ll take the first few minutes to pray – or take as long as you need.”
- “When you finish praying, just sit quietly, and try to keep your mind clear.”
- “Allow the Holy Spirit to continue to speak to you during this time. (You can have participants pray individually or in pairs or in a group. After they finish praying, they will sit quietly until the time has expired and just allow the Holy Spirit to continue to speak to them. When the time is up, you can ask people to share what they heard through the study and how they feel about Lectio Divina as an approach to doing devotions.)
This object lesson teaches that spending time with God can have a contagious impact on everyone around us.
- One large jar of gold glitter
- A drop cloth or piece of fabric (about 4 feet long and 3 feet wide)
- Open the Bible up to the passage in Exodus, and sprinkle some gold glitter onto the page.
- Open up the drop cloth or sheet, and sprinkle a large amount of glitter all around.
- Carefully conceal the drop cloth / sheet or fold it up and put it aside.
- Arrange for two helpers to come and help you open the sheet when you give the cue.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “Here’s what happens when we spend time with God.” (Ask for a volunteer to come to the front.)
- “When you read your Bible or spend time in prayer or worship, a little bit of God rubs off on you.” (Have the volunteer read Exodus 34:28-29 out loud. It’s okay if he/she has to move some of the glitter out of the way in order to read the passage.)
- “Moses spent 40 days on the top of a mountain in the presence of God, and when he came back down, his face glowed with the glory of God.”
- “When you spend time with God, your face may not actually glow, but God’s glory still shines through you.” (Have volunteer put his/her fingertips into the gold glitter and then touch his/her face.)
- “Then, as you go out and live your life, everyone you come in contact with gets a little bit of contact with the glory of God.” (Have the volunteer go into the audience and shake hands with a few people and then return.)
- Now, if you spend time with God every day, a lot of His glory is going to rub off on you.” (Have volunteer put his/her entire hands into the glitter and then touch his/her face.)
- “Now when you go out and live your life, you’re going to really bless people with the glory of God. Their lives will be better, because they had contact with you after you had spent time with God.” (Have volunteer go out and shake hands with different people this time and then return.)
- “But what if, like Moses, you spent a lot of time praising and worshipping God, praying to Him and reading His Word?”
- “What would that look like?”
- “I think it would look a little like this.” (Have the two helpers you selected before your lesson come and lay out the drop cloth or sheet with glitter on it. Then, have your volunteer lay down on it and roll around a few times. When they are pretty well covered in glitter, have them go around hugging people.)
- “The more time we spend with God each day, the more we will be able to share His glory with those we come in contact with.”
- “As Christians, we should always leave people, places and things better than they were when we found them.”
Filed under Annointing, Bible study, blessing, Christianity, Daily walk, Great Commission, light, Light of the world, Love, Moses, Object Lesson, prayer, Relationships, sanctification, Shekinah Glory, spiritual disciplines, Testimony, Transformation, Veil, Witness
This object lesson teaches how we reflect Jesus to those around us.
• Software that distorts photos with special effects (similar to the effects you see when you look into the warped mirrors at the circus – Mac computers typically have a software entitled “Photo Booth” that will do this.)
• Optionally – software that morphs one photo to another
• Distorted pictures of kids in your class
• Normal pictures of the kids in your class
• Optionally – a picture of Jesus
• Computer, LCD projector and screen
Take pictures of the kids using the distorting software.
Take normal pictures of the same kids.
Practice the script.
Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):
• (Show a normal picture of one of the kids.)
• “Do you see Jesus in that face? I do! In fact, I see the image of God in every one of your faces!”
• “When Jesus left earth to go back to heaven, He asked us to be His reflection in the world (look up scripture for this).”
• “You see, no one can see Jesus in person until He comes back.”
• “Until then, you may be the only Jesus some of your friends ever see.”
• “You may be the only Jesus your teachers ever see, or your parents, or your foster parents, or the school bully, or the cashier at the store or the person who delivers your mail…”
• “So, if you’re the only Jesus those people will ever see, you should be the best reflection of Him that you can be, right?”
• “But sometimes, we aren’t very good reflections of Jesus.”
• “We’re more like those mirrors at the amusement park. You know, the ones that show you to be taller or shorter, fatter or skinnier than you really are. (I haven’t found the one that makes me skinnier yet.)”
• “So, when people look at us, they don’t always see Jesus. They see something more like this…” (Show several distorted pictures with kids’ faces from the group.)
• “Now, I can still see Jesus in that face, but I have to look a lot harder.”
• “We don’t want people to have to look hard to find Jesus in us. They should be able to see Him right away.” (Show normal pictures of kids.)
• “The best way for you to reflect Jesus is for you to love Him and love other people and always do what you know is right.”
• (Optionally – Show kids’ pictures morphing into a picture of Jesus’ face.)