Candles and Cords

I took this photo during church this morning. I loved the contrast of the candles (which have been used an worship throughout ages) with the cords (which power a very modern sound system).

This image of the ancient mixing with technology sits well with me. Perhaps it speaks because I find myself a mix of the two....a contemporary woman immersed in a fast-paced digital world with a faith that connects her with those that once walked in leather sandals down dirt-paved roads.

This morning the scripture was from the book of Luke. Jesus healed 10 lepers and only one came back to say, "thank you." The passage reads like this in the Message, "It happened that as he made his way toward Jerusalem, he crossed over the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten men, all lepers, met him. They kept their distance but raised their voices, calling out, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!Taking a good look at them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." They went, and while still on their way, became clean. One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God. He kneeled at Jesus' feet, so grateful. He couldn't thank him enough..."

Pastor David mentioned going through this passage in his personal prayer time with the art of Lecto Divina. A very ancient art, practiced at one time by all Christians and now in practice by the monastic tradition, it is a slow, contemplative praying of the Scriptures. Essentially, you choose a passage and read it through four times. Each time with a different lens.

The first, lectio is about listening. You read aloud trying to hear the "still small voice of God" to tune into God's presence in the words. The beauty is that two people could practice lectio and "hear" completely different things as they gently listen.

The second step is meditatio...meditation. Whatever was lifted out during lectio becomes focused on in meditatio. Some people compare it to the example of the Virgin Mary “pondering in her heart” what she saw and heard of Christ (Luke 2:19).

The third step in lectio divina is oratio...prayer. In this prayer, we allow the word that we have taken in and on which we are pondering to touch and change our deepest selves as it is lifted to God in prayer.

The final step is contemplatio or contemplation. The idea is one of wordless, quiet rest in the presence of the One Who loves us. The practice is silence, letting go of our own words to enjoy the experience of being in the presence of God.

Lecto Divina is something I've only discovered recently. In all my Christian education, I never came across it until now. Apparently it takes intentional effort to let both candles and cords sit comfortably side by side.

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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall