This past Sunday we finished up our discussions around Acts 2. For worship, we had a more meditative tempo. The host for Sunday’s worship led the congregation in a simple prayer, shortly after one of the women in the congregation shared about her growing concern for child trafficking in the world, but especially in the Portland/Vancouver area. I found her discussion to be deeply moving.
We did a few Taize songs and then, after our petitions and thanksgivings, we did Lectio. Here is the intro I gave, followed by the actual flow of the service so you can use it if you would like:
Letio is a way to pray the scriptures. It is letting the Inward Christ speak to us through his inspired and inspiring word. It also gives us space to respond to that word, to allow the word to speak through us. Then as we go you go from worship you “Take a word with you.” The hope is that whatever word you are given you can hang onto it and allow it to shape your life during the week.
Some may find the method of Lectio praying to be limiting, as it follows a certain pattern and restricts one from swerving too far from the intended rhtymn, if this is you I ask for your willingness to experiment. Others may find it freeing to have the guidance and repetition. Hopefully we will all hear the Spirit in a new way. As Quakers we are never locked into any method of worship, rather “We use this method [of praying] only insofar as it actuallyhelps us to do what we want to do” (Basil Penington, xii).
This is a practice for daily prayer, a tool that you can practice at home. It’s not simply about the substance of worship, but the practice of it. In worship, we seek to experience the living Christ, as well as practice how to listen and experience Christ daily. Lectio is one such tool for this.
We will read through this passage three times in a prayerful manner. After each time we will enter into a time of silence. You are welcome sit and pray through this passage in whatever way works best but I encourage you to reflect on the query offered after each reading.
If you feel led to respond vocalling please to not withhold that word from us.
We take this moment together as a community held together by your Holy Spirit to listen and be made aware of your presence within these Words.
O Holy One,
we hear and say so many words,
yet yours is the word we need.
and help us listen;
and, if what we hear is silence,
let it quiet us,
let it disturb us,
let it touch our need,
let it break our pride,
let it shrink our certainties
let it enlarge our wonder. Amen
(Prayer: 137 Sing the Journey (Mennonite Worship Book))
First reading of the passage:
So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. (Acts 2:41-47 NRSV).
Silence: Allow a chosen word or phrase from the reading quietly to repeat itself within you.
Sharing: Each person share the word or phrase, without any elaboration.
Second reading of the passage
Silence: Reflect for a few minutes, asking, “What has the Lord said to me in this reading with regard to my life today?”
Sharing: Each person may share briefly: “I hear the Lord saying to me:…”
Third reading of the passage
Silence: Now reflect for a couple of minutes on “I believe the Present Christ is leading me to respond…”
Sharing: Share what came forth in the course of your reflection on this text.”
I really enjoyed this past Sunday’s worship and hearing everyone share the words they were given and what the Lord was saying to them.