John 7:37-52 (NRSV)
37 On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, 38 and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
40 When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, “This is really the prophet.” 41 Others said, “This is the Messiah.” But some asked, “Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he? 42 Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” 43 So there was a division in the crowd because of him. 44 Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.
45 Then the temple police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not arrest him?” 46 The police answered, “Never has anyone spoken like this!” 47 Then the Pharisees replied, “Surely you have not been deceived too, have you? 48 Has any one of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49 But this crowd, which does not know the law—they are accursed.” 50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before, and who was one of them, asked, 51 “Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?” 52 They replied, “Surely you are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee.”
I preached on part of this passage a few weeks back, so I have things I could say, but today, we’ll follow up on yesterday’s musings on Bible reading by practicing what I called lectio divina.
Again, this is a Latin phrase that means “divine reading.” In it, you read the text not for full comprehension, but to pay attention to words or phrases that speak to you today. You notice what grabs your attention. Then you read again, thinking about these things, letting the words and ideas that come to mind bounce around your head a bit. As you meditate on these things, you try to practice non-anxious presence. You don’t need to master the text. You don’t need to figure everything out. God is in charge of the Universe today, holding all things together, not you. Try to enjoy some being still, and resting in God. If concerns or anxieties come to mind, speak them to God and ask God to take care of them. And then, before you are done, read a final time, asking God what action your reading can lead you to.
See how your lectio divina goes for you today.