I found this exercise very useful, and the two times I have done it, I have been drawn by different things. Here is the key difference between this and Lectio Divina: you do the same passage each time. This means that new meanings arise in each context. Also, it is not about a personal reflection, as Lectio is, but is about listening to your partner, and listening is a key value to get into frame with at the beginning of a meeting.
How we Dwell in the Word
- Listen to the passage read (below)
- Consider where it “captures” you, speaks to you and/or what question(s) it raises for you
- Find a person in the group you do not know or know less well, a ‘reasonably friendly-looking stranger’.
- Listen to that person as he or she tells you what they heard in the passage. They may mention something they’d never heard before, something odd or something comforting, or something about which they’d like to ask a Bible scholar.
- Listen well, because your job will be to report to the rest of the group what your partner has said, not what you yourself said. Some people take notes to help them focus and remember.
At the end:
A prayer as we Dwell in the Word
Though our destination is not yet clear,
May we trust in Your graceful promises;
Though we are uncertain of ourselves,
May we be rooted in Your loving regard;
Though our attention is inclined to wander,
May we hear the things You are saying;
Though we often neglect Your influence,
May we be convicted of Your power to change,
In Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
The Text: Luke 10:1-12 (NRSVA)
After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 2 He said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. 3 Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace to this house!” 6 And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. 7 Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the labourer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house.
8 Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; 9 cure the sick who are there, and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 “Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.” 12 I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town.