So, I (along with many in the congregation I serve and also friends on social media) have been working on a Bible in a Year reading since January 1. Each day, there’s a section of the Hebrew Scriptures, the Christian Scriptures, and selections from Psalms and Proverbs.
For the last few days, the readings have felt like driving on the interstate at 70-80mph. Yes, there’s a lot to see and take in, but it is going so quickly that it is hard to really dwell on what is happening. Into this came words from Sister Joan Chittister (who I referred to a few days ago) as she wrote about Lectio in The Monastic Heart. She refers to a conversation between a Rabbi and a disciple…
“Rabbi,” the disciple said, “have you really gone through the entire Torah?” And the rabbi answered, “My friend, the question is not Have you gone through the Torah? The question is Has the Torah gone through you?”… Sacred reading is about prodding thought, not finishing pages. It is meant to begin a long and deliberate conversation with God about what it means to be alive, to be holy, to be “in the Spirit,” to be a disciple—now and here. Lectio divina is meant to prod thought. To grapple with a holy idea until its depth and call reshape our souls.Chittister, Joan. The Monastic Heart (pages 57 & 60). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
At times these first 41 days have felt more like finishing pages and not prodding thought. They feel like driving at interstate speeds through these stories and songs and wisdom from which the Spirit of God has spoken through the ages. So, as I read Sister Joan’s insights, I felt like I needed to slow down a bit. I’m still going to be doing the daily readings but I feel like I need to dwell with a smaller piece each day rather than finding ways to connect these wide and deep sections of Scripture. So, I’m slowing down and sharing maybe in some different ways here. Maybe it will be a single word that speaks or a single sentence. Maybe it is just sharing a verse and a photo and nothing more. But slowing down and dwelling and moving from just going through the Scripture to letting the Scripture go through me.