Posts Tagged ‘Lectio Divina’
Lectio Divina: Luke 19:28-44
“…because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.” (Luke 19:44 NRsV)
These tragic words fall at the end of the narrative in Luke’s Gospel describing the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Triumphal Entry, sometimes I wonder if that really is the best description of what takes place in this account, but I’ll save that thought for another time.
These are horrific words coming from the mouth of Jesus. The strange, if not ironic thing about this indictment, is that the people were recognizing something about Jesus, but they failed to recognize THE THING about Jesus. It is apparent in their accolades, greeting, and cheers, they wanted a savior, but they were not interested in a visitation from their God.
As I read this account, the tragedy here was not so much the “wrong want” as much as the big miss. I think it was natural—is natural—to wish to be freed from oppression and injustice. Desire for a leader to push back the Roman was an acceptable want. The heartbreaking reality is in the course of intently searching for a fix for their desires they missed the greatest blessing of all: God was in their midst.
The focus of their search was no longer vertical, with eyes looking to and for God, but horizontal…toward an immediate and felt relief of their most obvious aches and pains. I think, had they been looking for and attentive to God, they may have realized their deeper needs over their felt needs and had both met…instead of having neither met.
Herein lies a broader lesson for me. The people onsite for Jesus’ triumphal entry had no realization of their true identity. They thought they were the people of God; yet, on another occasion Jesus had told most of them they were deceived even calling them sons of the devil (John 8:39-47). They did not know who they were, so they did not know what they needed…consequently, they were not looking for the right remedy for their true need—
And they did not recognize the time of their visitation from God.
I wonder how many times a day this happens to me. God is omnipotent, imminent, and transcendent. His Spirit is everywhere and sustains all things—even in me and sustains me as it did those ancient Jews present on the day of Jesus’ return to Jerusalem. How often do I not recognize my own personal visitations from God? Am I present to His grace and nearness, His voice of guidance and comfort, throughout my day? Too often, I might be found looking for an immediate fix for my most present desires; I’m probably looking for the wrong need in the wrong place. The truth is that I rarely understand any of my real needs without first opening myself to God and consequently I do not recognize the time of my visitation of God.
O Gracious and Eternally Present God,
Help me to be attentive and open to You always. I know I am easily distracted and often mistake what my needs are. I know, O God, that you are my sustaining Bread of Life and Eternal Living Water. Help my heart to remain focused upon You, so I might never miss Your visitation. I need You and You alone ever present and always the center of my days. Thank You for Your mercy and thank You for Your grace. All glory and honor to You reigns eternally together, The Father, The Son, and the Blessed Holy Spirit. Amen.
Book Review: All Manner of Things
Author: William Meninger, OSCO
Publisher: Dove Publications ISBN: 9781931598194
This is no ordinary book. This is an extremely contemplative book. This is a deeply spiritual book. It is not a book that should be read lightly or quickly; it is not a book that is to be read straight through. My personal experience has been that a single reading (which may be a page or two) requires more than a day or even a few days of meditation before I am prepared to move ahead to the next reading.
What is it that makes this book so special? I will answer this question in more detail in a moment, but first I should share some detail about the book in general. All Manner of Things is written by Fr William Meninger, OCSO, a Trappist monk and member of the St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado. I had the fortunate privilege to meet and be instructed by Fr Meninger in the summer of 2011 while attending the School for Spiritual Direction at Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery in Pecos, New Mexico. I found Fr William to be a brilliant and engaging speaker and teacher.
The subtitle of the book reveals great detail about the nature of the book stating that it is, “Lectio Divina with Julian of Norwich.” Lectio Divina means divine reading and the expectation is that the Spirit of God will guide the reading and “speak” through the words to the one who reads. From the back cover of the book we learn more background information; Julian of Norwich (1342-c.1416) is considered by many to be one of the greatest English mystics. In 1373, she received a series of sixteen visions centered on the person and sufferings of Jesus and on the Trinity. A short time later, she wrote a short account of them, and much later, after much prayer and reflection, she wrote eighty-six chapters. This book is not a translation or a paraphrase of Julian’s Showings of Divine Love. Rather, it is a commentary intended to provide information, reflections, and further theological understanding that may enhance the modern Christian’s reading of Julian’s book. It may be read independently,, prior to reading her book, or together with it chapter by chapter. My opinion is that it is helpful to be familiar with Julian’s writings. I am familiar with Showings of Divine Love and still, I found myself returning to the chapters I was correspondingly reading on occasion.
Summarizing then, this book is a divine reading of divinely inspired writings from a series of divine visions. This is why it is no ordinary book. There is much to be gleaned from through the prayerful reading and meditation of these short chapters. In the introduction, Fr Meninger writes that some of his writing style, vocabulary, and sentence structure may seem a bit awkward because he wished to retain some of the Middle English flavor of Julian’s writings. I did not notice this awkwardness for the most part if at all.
In conclusion, I will say again, this is a deeply spiritual and prayerful work by Fr Meninger. I recommend it highly as a devotional aid that will inspire much reflection and meditation. It can be the impetus of a very rich time of union with God through prayer and contemplation. I think the words from Fr Meninger describe it best from the closing paragraph in his introduction, he writes; “It should never be forgotten that ‘lectio divina,’ whether Julian’s or our own is the first step on the ladder to contemplation. This book should not be read straight through as something that must be finished. The goal of ‘lectio’ is not to finish a book but to savor it, to allow it to sink from the mind to the heart. Then allow the heart to be touched and raised by a gentle stirring of love for God. We should rest in this love whenever and for as long as we feel inclined. The mind and the heart are companions on the journey to union with God. The heart is roused through love and ht mind through wisdom both of which are manifest in the workings by and reflections from dame Julian.”
Thank you, Dove Publications and Brother Anthony for your gift of this book, All Manner of Things; I will cherish it for years to come. It is a wonderfully moving and inspiring prayer companion.
Divine Reading: Psalm 119:162-168
I am enjoying the comforting presence of God and His Word to me this day. Prayerful meditation in the Psalms this morning with my family with our selected reading from the Book of Common Prayer, Psalm 119:145-176. The Word to me came from the passage as follows:
I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil. I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law. Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules. Great peace have those who love your law; can make them stumble. I hope for your salvation, O Lord, and I do your commandments. My soul keeps your decrees; I love them exceedingly. I keep your precepts and decrees, for all my ways are before you. -Ps. 119:162-168
“My soul keeps your decrees…” I love this. I receive an affirmation of the highest order when I read these words. My soul keeps your decrees. Yes. I am comforted to know that regardless of what or how I might miss the mark in the throes of my own frailty, the realty I can depend upon is that God’s Law is written on my heart and my soul keeps His decrees. As I go through my day, I know the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, my guide and counselor—my teacher and advocate—communes non-stop with my soul. The two are united in a sacred dance, the dance of the sacred and mysterious divine union… I have been invited to participate and enjoy this beautiful, holy, perechoretic dance (John 17:21-24).
“My soul keeps your decrees…” I know that I am not perfect. I know that I am subject to failure. I also know that I have been released from the oppressive nature of imperfection. Likewise, I am not condemned by or fearful of the idea of failure. While it is God’s best for me that I not miss the mark of reflecting His image fully, if I miss the mark, there is One who is greater than I who intercedes on my behalf (1 John 2:1-2). My confidence and my comfort come from the knowledge that my heart has been replaced by a heart of God’s own design (Ezekiel 36:26-27), my heart can be and is pure because God has made it that way!
“My soul keeps your decrees…” Yes, even when I do not know what to pray—even when I do not know what to say—my soul keeps your decrees. My deepest desires are no longer driven by my self-idolatry. My deepest desires are coordinated and mapped by the Spirit of the Living God who lives within me. My soul keeps your decrees. In my darkness and in my doubt, I am comforted by the word that speaks truth to me; “My soul keeps your decrees.” This word I tell myself, confirming truth when my physical senses would attempt to betray my soul. Yes, praise be to the Most High God, my soul keeps your decrees. Amen.
Divine Reading (John 8:37)
“Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because there is not room in your hearts for my message.” (Jesus speaking) John 8:37 NLT
Jesus is throwing down some heavy duty on his listeners with these words. The entire passage is pretty hard stuff as he actually calls his kinsmen “sons of the devil,” but I think the crux of the conversation is found with the words found in this verse above.
What I find rather ironic is that Jesus affirms their heritage and acknowledges their birthright; “Yes, I realize you are descendants of Abraham…and yet…” I think these words also apply to you and to me.
It seems a day doesn’t go by where we are not reminded of our rich Christian heritage. In some sense, we too are descendants of Abraham. We’ve been taught God’ law. We have been “brought up” with teaching about Jesus, “and yet…” I think we are no less guilty than Jesus’ audience is with our own attempts at trying to “kill” him.
Every time we try to redefine Jesus we try to kill him. Every time we try to change his teaching to conform to our ideals and societal pressures, we try to kill Jesus. Every time we refuse to enter his kingdom, we effectively try to kill Jesus.
We look to one another even as we try to kill Jesus and tell each other we are good people; see how we “prophesy in your Name and cast out demons in your Name, and perform miracles in your Name,” Jesus? “And yet…” Jesus responds to us “I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws” (Matthew 7:21). We miss the point. We break God’s law because there is no room in our heart for his message.
When Jesus was asked what the greatest of God’s law (commandments) was, he answered; “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength’” (Mark 12:28-31). We are incapable of honoring and following the greatest commandment because there is no room in our heart for it. Most of us choose to love ourselves most. The result of this self-idolatrous behavior is that many of us want to “kill Jesus.” We refuse to love God with all our heart, because “we can’t.” Therefore, we substitute other “acts” of obedience in the place of loving God and accepting the message of Jesus in our hearts. We build buildings, we cast out demons, we institute programs, and perform miracles, we hold audaciously superior Vacation Bible Schools, form awesomely cool Worship Bands, and prophesy about the mighty works of God… “and yet…” There seems to be little room, even no room in our hearts for Jesus and his message. He said love with ALL your heart, ALL your soul, All your mind, and All your strength. Are you? Or… is there enough room in your heart with you in there too?
Today marks four weeks since returning from the monastery. I’ve taken an entire month to reflect on the month spent in Pecos and think it was a good exercise. I’m pleased with the return on my reflection (RoR). The past few weeks have seen an introduction to some new practices and at least one shared discipline with Laurie. I am excited to see the long term results of these exercises. Even now over just a few weeks we are blessed and encouraged with the early blessings and manifestations we see of God working through our efforts.
I’m still struggling to find a rhythm in the midst of my return and “new” schedule. I like routine and rhythm, but I sense that I’m still processing where it is that God is taking me in the disciplines of my life or my personal rule of life. I’m open to these changes and trying to discern where I’ll land. This is an exercise in trust and patience for me. Fortunately, I’ve been through a few of these “cycle” changes over the years so I’m familiar with dips and peaks. I trust that God is in control and I will maintain flexibility in my spiritual exercises until I find the rhythm God wants me in for this next season.
After I returned to Jerusalem, I was praying in the temple and fell into a trance. I saw a vision of Jesus saying to me, “hurry! Leave Jerusalem, for the people here won’t accept your testimony about me.” I argued…but the Lord said to me, “Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.” (Acts 22:17-19, 21)
Prayers and Psalms—
Grant to me, LORD, I pray, the spirit to think and do always those things that are right, that I, who cannot exist without you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will; through Jesus Christ my LORD, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever.
“Be still and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:11)
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. (Psalm 23:1-3)
But he also turns deserts into pools of water, and dry land into springs of water. He brings the hungry to settle there and to build their cities. They sow their fields, plant their vineyards, and harvest their bumper crops. How He blesses them! (Psalm 107:35-38)
My heart is confident in You, O God. With God’s help we will do mighty things… (Psalm 108:1, 13)
Father, I abandon myself into your hands. Do with me what you will. Whatever you may do, I will thank you. I am ready for all; I accept all. Let only your will be done in me, as in all your creatures. And I’ll ask nothing else, my Lord. -Prayer of Charles de Foucauld
Lectio Divina Meditation—
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile. (Mark 6:31)
“…From prophets to priests, they are all frauds. They offer superficial treatments for my people’s mortal wound. They give assurances of peace when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:13-14)
Monastic Notes (Pt.9—June 28th 2011)
(Pecos: Day 9—June 28th 2011)
Reflections and Recollections…
Today was another marvelous “God-day!” My Lord continues to show Himself in evermore tangible ways. It’s almost as if He is taking special delight in giving me beautiful spiritual presents that I have “secretly” longed for. Today, especially, He was bearing multiple gifts handed out to me throughout the day… just as I would be delighting in one, He would shower me with yet another. What a great and loving God!
The first gift was a blessing of affirmation and confirmation with regard to my own spiritual gifting. These affirmations usually come from other men and women of God who recognize God’s gifts operating in you. While we are suspect of our own gifting, we can often be biased and are not the best judge to determine whether these gifts are real or not. When gifting is affirmed in you through your peers, it can be joyous and humbling in a delightfully encouraging way. This happened for me today and I am still reeling over it.
I also met with Ezra (my Spiritual Director while at Pecos) and he provided me with quite a bit of feedback regarding the proposal I shared with him about the Kairos Community Church and Spiritual Renewal Center. Every comment, suggestion, and observation was positive and affirming. He shared with me a number of helpful considerations and suggested that I speak with one of the monks here at the monastery about some of the aspects of intentional communities that might help me in the development of Kairos. He also thought Father Paul might be able to connect me with some additional resources that might be helpful to me with this endeavor. I considered this a second special gift from God today.
I continue to meet new people and make new friends and tonight was no exception. At the evening meal tonight we had a new arrival to the monastery, Kenny Mirman (Kenny is an artist, author, filmmaker, video producer living in Los Angeles, CA). Kenny will be teaching one of our sessions in the School for Spiritual Direction. His lectures will be on the subject of Life Scripts and how the stories of our lives connect with our spiritual journey. I believe our meeting on this particular evening was providentially ordained by God. I think there was a deep connection in the similarity of our life journeys. Both of us come from very different places, but the passion and intensity of our search for truth is so very much alike. The time we talked and shared together seemed like it passed as a few seconds, but we chatted for over a couple of hours. It was a great time getting to hear his story as I also shared mine with him.
Lectio Divina and Scipture Meditations for the day…
Psalm 19:1-14 –> What great thoughts to remember: “The instructions of the LORD are perfect, trustworthy, right, clear, pure, true, desirable, sweet, and a great reward. They revive the soul, provide wisdom, bring joy, give insight, last forever, are always fair, and provide warning for those who obey.”
And how do we respond to the God shared in the Psalm 19:1-14? Peter writes that our response should be as follows:
5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. 8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins. (2 Peter 1:5-9 NLT)
Monastic Notes (Pt.7—June 26th 2011)
Lectio Divina Reading:
“He is not impressed with the might of a horse; He has no pleasure in the strength of a man; but the LORD has pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who await His gracious favor.” (Psalm 147:11-12)
“Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool…All these things my hand has made, and so all these things are mine, says the LORD. But this is the man to whom I will look, he that is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” (Isaiah 66:1-2)
What does a “strong man” look like? The picture of a strong man that God describes here is very different than the picture that I grew up with…the prototypical American tough guy. We were taught that “big boys” don’t cry, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” We were taught that when you get knocked down, you get back up again or you pull yourself back up by your boot straps. We were taught to “stand up and fight.” These are just a few of the “tough guy” mottos I can remember. I also remember (and it stills stands true today) that to be “self-made” was or is a high praise. These Scripture passages from the mouth of God don’t seem to quite line up with these quotes from American ideology. I think the stigma and influence those ideas have on us are pretty deeply ingrained and are difficult to overcome. They have resulted in more false selfs that we try to live into because that is who we are told we are… or we are told we should be in order that we might be successful and highly accepted. The problem is that we spend our energy and our lives becoming the antithesis of what God desires for us. The things that impress our friends, family, and society are not the things that impress God. The things that we will measure as success are often just the opposite of what God deems a success. A healthy examination of our values might be the first step in the dawning of a new day and the beginning of freedom from the tyranny of a false self.
Reading—New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton
“Mere living alone does not isolate a man; mere living together does not bring men into communion. The common life can either make one more of a person or less of a person, depending whether it is truly common life or merely life in a crowd. To live in communion, in genuine dialogue with others is absolutely necessary if a man is to remain human. But to live in the midst of others, sharing nothing with them but the common noise and the general distraction, isolates a man in the worst way, separates him from reality in a way that is almost painless. It divides him off and separates him from other men and from his true self.”
Monastic Notes (Pecos: Day 7—June 26th 2011)
Today is Sunday; a week ago I was arriving at the monastery unsure of what to expect. After my first full week of “living in community” and getting acclimated to the environment (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually), I am feeling more comfortable and “at home.” There are still quite a few things that are unfamiliar to me, but I’m learning quickly and I’m feeling less and less awkward with each passing day. Today is a day of silence and a day of rest, so I’m going to embrace this Sabbath day for the gift of grace that it is. Lectures resume tomorrow, so we’ll pick back up with more thoughts and conversation then.
LENT—Day 1: Into the Desert [2011MAR10]
Marking the first full day of Lent, we will begin our Scripture meditations with Matthew 4:1-11. We will be examining and meditating upon other passages as well, but special focus will be given to the Matthew selection through Sunday.
All God’s plans have the mark of the cross on them, and all His plans have death to self in them.” (E. M. Bounds)
I would like to begin today’s reading with a portion of the preceding verses to provide context for what captures my attention this morning; beginning with Matthew 3:16, 17 we read as follows:
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matt.3:16-17)
1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God…” (Matt. 4:1-3)
Allow me to paraphrase what I read:
As soon as Jesus was baptized a voice from heaven said, “I am well pleased with my Son.” Soon (perhaps immediately) after he was baptized, Jesus was led into the desert by God, so he could be tempted by Satan.
Things I immediately notice are highlighted in my paraphrase, but I’ll clarify them here. (1) A glorious moment occurs with the obedience and submission of Jesus to John’s baptism. (2) The affirmation and witness of God Almighty falls upon Jesus (3) An extreme “high point” (consolation) is followed by an extreme “low” (desolation) (4) God is the author of the desolation (5) testing and temptation are often found during times of desolation.
The path of Jesus’ journey is not Jesus’ alone; it is our path as well. The Bible teaches us that Jesus was shaped and formed as a man in similar ways as we are. The suffering that he underwent over the course of his life was what made his sacrifice for us “perfect” (Hebrews 2:9-10). Jesus made perfect? Wasn’t he perfect already? Yes and yes. Some of the “suffering perfection” that Jesus underwent was in the form of withstanding temptations while in the desert (more on this in the coming days), as well as other suffering that is experienced in the wilderness places of life. These can be loneliness, forsakenness, physical needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs, intellectual needs, to name a few. The Bible teaches us that no temptation or suffering is foreign to Jesus (1 Corinthians 10:13). Jesus, while he was sinless, personally experienced the repercussions and manifestations of sin during his earthly life so that his atoning sacrifice might be perfect for our saving reconciliation. What does all this mean?
What it means is this… our lives (as believers in process) are on a journey of testing and purgation. We also experience glorious consolations of the physical-spiritual-emotional presence of God and sometimes without warning are immediately led into the desert. By God. We might feel completely abandoned. We might feel completely forsaken. We might feel betrayed. We might feel we are being treated unfairly; and on and on and on… This is part of our process, and it is necessary for our emptying of self. We are disciplined and mentored by our heavenly Father who knows our needs more than we could ever understand on our own. Trust him. Learn from the lesson of Jesus the Son, our Savior. He too was led into the desert. He too was perfected in suffering. He too felt the consolation and the desolation that are common to us. May we welcome this season of the desert as an exercise to focus on the areas of our self that we continue to hold onto. May God reveal to us the areas we may not even be aware of that are slowing our journey to perfection.
Undistracted prayer is the highest intellection of the intellect. Prayer is the ascent of the intellect to God. If you long for prayer, renounce all to gain all. Pray first for the purification of the passions; second, for deliverance from ignorance and forgetfulness; and third, for deliverance from all temptation, trial, and dereliction. Evagrios the Solitary; Philokalia
I invite you to participate in an exercise of imaginative prayer. I do this as a spiritual exercise to help me become one with the text. I rewrite or rephrase the passage to insert myself into the lesson, imagining myself as the subject and meditating on my response and impressions. In the following words, I will do this with our reading today. I invite you to do the same and ask God the Holy Spirit to direct your meditation revealing the areas He desires to work in your spirit.
16 Things seemed on the upturn for Jeff, he had recently joined a Christian community and was really experiencing the presence of God in his life. 17 His times spent in prayer and worship were indescribably glorious, almost as if he could hear God voicing His approval audibly. Jeff truly sensed that God had affirmed him as an “adopted” son. (Matt.3:16-17 The J.B. Paraphrase Ed.)
1 One morning after an especially intense time of meditating in prayer over God’s Word, Jeff departed for work. Upon his arrival he learned that he was being permanently laid off from his job. 2 During the course of the next forty days, Jeff’s home went into foreclosure and he developed physical illnesses that went untreated because of the loss of his medical insurance. 3 Feeling at the point of breaking, head down on his kitchen table feeling broken and helpless, haunting thoughts came to his mind saying, “So, you think you’re a child of God…?” (Matt. 4:1-3 The J.B. Paraphrase Ed.)
The point of this exercise is to help me examine my heart. What do I do in this situation? What leads me to it? How do I perceive my life with Christ? What do I do and how do I respond when I am ushered into the desert? There are other questions that I might ask as well, but I’ll leave some to your own imagination. I hope you’ll try this exercise and I pray that God will speak to you and teach you through the process.
If you’d like to follow along with us during the Lenten Season devotionals, please subscribe to get updates in your email!
Scripture Meditation: Speaking to Me [24FEB2011]
“Come now, let us reason together,” Says the LORD (Isaiah 1:18).
From the most general sense of the word (Logos—Greek), we understand the non-technical meaning of Logos to infer meaning of language, talk, conversation, story. It can also mean reasoned thought, consideration, and proposition. If we assume the Biblical, Judeo-Christian, understanding of Logos, we bring into the mix the belief of the Divine. Specifically, we consider (as illustrated from the first chapter of the Gospel of John) Jesus Christ as the Logos: The Living Word of God. I mention this in the form of this long introduction to say; “I love reasoning together with the LORD, hearing from the Living Word as I read through the written word.”
This morning my prayers began, and continue still, with the following verses from the Psalms:
LORD, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp. Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel (and Jeff too), put your hope in the LORD—now and always (Psalm 131).
My soul thirsts for the strong, living God and ll that is within me cries out to him.
As I sat down with this prayer in my heart and still on my lips, these following readings were the “conversation” I was having with the Lord:
- “I have heard how you left your father and mother and own land to live here among strangers. May the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done (Ruth 2:11-12).
- And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image (2 Corinthians 3:18).
- “I will not go home; I will not let myself rest. I will not let my eyes sleep nor close my eyelids in slumber until I find a place to build a house for the LORD, a sanctuary for the Mighty One of Israel” (Psalm 132:3-5).
“Come Now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. [I answer] Yes, my soul thirsts for the strong, living God and all that is within me cries out to Him. Thank you, Lord Jesus, who is Logos, for speaking and conversing with me. Amen.