February 16, 2021 at 12:19 pm
Comments Off on Praying the Scripture with Pastor Mike, Mark 1:40-45
Dear Members and Friends of First UMC Colleyville:
This is our second week of praying the Scripture Lesson for Sunday together. Once again I have provided you with a variety of experiences from both Protestant and Catholic prayer traditions..
The passage is Mark 1:40-45 and is the story of Jesus healing of a leper. Make sure that with each mediation you have a pen or pencil and paper. You might even want to invest in a journal or notebook to record your experiences.
This week Nikki Rach of the Bible Meditation Podcast leads us in a verse-by-verse meditation on Mark 1:40-45. Be sure you’re in a comfortable place without any distractions before you begin. Let Nikki help you put yourself in the place of the leper and see and feel with the leper sees and feels. The recorded meditation will take you 12 minutes and 49 seconds to complete. Spend another five minutes or more on Luther’s questions that Nikki invites you to consider at the end of the meditation.
1. What lesson did you find in this story?
2. What cause for thanksgiving arises in this passage?
3. Is there something you need to confess that was brought to mind in this story?
4. How does this passage lead you into a time of prayer?
Today is the day when we practice the ancient prayer method of Lectio Divina. Lectio Divina allows us to go deeper into the Scripture by reading it several times, each time focusing on a different layer of the text. As with the meditation on Day 1, we should have paper or our journals as well as something to take down our responses.
The handout from the link offers us a beginning prayer to center us before we start our meditation. We start by reading (Lectio) the passage two or three times aloud.
Once we have a firm sense of the characters, the setting, and what is happening in the story we move on to the second step: Meditation (or Meditatio). Again we read the passage aloud and then respond to the three questions.
With the third step we respond to what we’ve read with Prayer (Oratio). As before, we read the Scripture passage aloud and then offer up to God whatever comes to mind: a word of praise, a request, or a word of thanks.
The fourth step is Contemplation (Contemplatio). We read the text one final time and wrestle with the four questions beginning with “What conversion of mind, heart, and life is the Lord asking of me?”
After an important time of silence, we pray the Lord’s Prayer and a portion of Psalm 32. We conclude our time of prayer by resolving to do something positive in response to what we’ve read.
Pray-As-You-Go takes you on a guided mediation of Sunday’s scripture. As I mentioned last week, the opening music is often eclectic but stick with it even if it’s sung in a different language. This week’s song is actually a famous prayer by Ignatius of Loyola known as the Prepatory Prayer. Here are the words in English: “‘Grant, Lord, that all my intentions, actions and operations be directed purely to your praise and your service.”
Our second Lectio Divina meditation is from a book on pdf offered by the British United Bible Society. The pdf has several mediations for the first part of the year. Scroll down to the meditation for Sunday on page 17 (that’s the second page from the end). The date on the upper left side of the document is February12.
This meditation was part of a Lenten retreat in 2019. It’s from a group called Sacred Space. After clicking the link below, you begin on the first page and click your way through the prayer time. Note that you can click the upper left hand corner and have music and narration. When the narration moves on to text that does not appear on your screen, be sure to click the arrow at the bottom left to advance to the next page.
This link offers commentary that sheds light on Jesus’ initial response to the leper’s request, “If you want, you can heal me.” Depending on the Greek manuscript, Jesus responds with either or anger or compassion. As Sarah Henrich of Luther Seminary points out, evidence is strong that his response was anger and that he even “snorted.” I think you’ll like where
Professor Henrich goes with that as well as her discussion on how Jesus and the leper change places.
Thank you for praying with me this week. I hope this not only makes the sermon more meaningful but that you find yourself drawing closer to Jesus each day.
Grace and Peace –