Creation, Our Sabbath Companion
[The LORD] makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains. They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. The birds of the sky nest by the waters; they sing among the branches…He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate – bringing forth food from the earth. – Psalm 104:10-12, 14
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. – Matthew 6:26-29
This week, as we explore God’s presence in creation and what God’s creation can teach us when we allow the wider created world to become a Sabbath companion, I invite you to engage in Lectio Divina using the images and scripture passages above. I’d encourage you to do this outside, if possible!
Lectio Divina (which means “Sacred Reading”) is a way of praying the scriptures that helps us encounter and engage more deeply and personally with God’s word. When we pray Lectio Divina, we slow down by reading a scripture passage more than once, allowing ourselves time for contemplation.
If you’ve never done Lectio Divina before, here’s what you need to know: Traditionally, Lectio Divina consists of four movements: 1. read (lectio), 2. reflect (meditatio), 3. respond (oratio) and 4. rest (contemplatio). In the first movement, the chosen scripture passage is read for the first time. As the passage is read, you listen for the word(s) or phrase that calls to you in the moment. During the second movement, the scripture passage is read again. During this second reading, you are invited to savor the word(s) or phrase, allowing it to unfold within you. The passage is then read a third time. During this third movement, you are invited to listen for God’s invitation to you in the word(s) or phrase unfolding within you. Finally, during the fourth movement, you are invited to rest in stillness.
Scripture assures us that God reveals Himself through God’s Word and through God’s creation. How and where and in what way will God reveal Godself to you this week?
From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea
Creations revealing Your majesty
From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring
Every creature unique in the song that it sings
You placed the stars in the sky
And You know them by name
You are amazing, God
-Lyrics from the song Indescribable by Chris Tomlin