As we move toward the second Sunday in Advent, we hear the opening of the Gospel according to Mark. In their familiarity, it is easy to lose the impact of the Gospel. This week, I invite you to read this passage using the steps of Lectio Divina or Holy Reading.
If you find it difficult to dwell in this practice instead of rushing through it, you could consider writing down each of the five steps on cards which you can flip through as prompts. Use a meditation time or interval time such as Insight Timer to give you three to five minutes for each step. You might also find it helpful to put away your device and use a physical Bible so there are no notifications to distract you.
Lectio - Begin by slowly reading the text multiple times.
Meditatio - Meditate on it, listening for a particular word or phrase that resonates. Ask yourself: How do these words call out to me? What is God saying to me?
Oratio - God has spoken to us through the text and then we offer words of prayer in response.
Contemplatio - Move away from words and into presence, stillness and being with God. Use this time to listen for God.
Actio - Faith calls us into action. What is the invitation to live out what I just absorbed into my soul?
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” ’, John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’