Surprise the World Week 3

This week at Veritas we explored the two L's in the BELLS Habits of Rhythm of Life.  And so we did something totally different than a normal sermon.  We do a group Lectio Divina.  So I didn't record the message this week.  

But here is the introduction of the message and then the way we did the Lecio Divina.  Feel free to use this as a guide to engage in the practice of Lectio Divina yourself.  

Today we continue our series inspired by the book by Michael Frost entitled Surprise the World.  The book used to have the title “Five Habits of Highly Missional People” and lays out 5 habits or 5 rhythms of life that missional followers of Jesus (actually each and every follower of Jesus is missional and if they aren’t they aren’t truly a follower of Jesus) live their life by.  5 Rhythms that shape, form, guide and help us become more like Jesus in our everyday lives.  These 5 Habits or Rhythm of Life that Frost lays out in Surprise the World is an acronym- BELLS.  


The first habit or rhythm that Matt Wheeler helped us explore together 2 weeks ago was the habit of Blessing.  The challenge in adding this rhythm of life to your life is to bless 3 peopleBlessing 3 people- 1 person from this community, 1 person who isn’t a Christian/follower of Jesus,  and 1 of your choice.  


Now what does it look like to bless someone each week.  There can be 3 different forms of blessing.  1.  Words of Affirmation.  2.  Acts of Kindness.  3.  Gifts.  Who might God be calling you to bless this week in one of these 3 ways both within this community and outside this community?  


The second habit of rhythm that we explored last week was the habit or rhythm of Eating.  The challenge in this rhythm of life is to eat with 3 people this week.  One from our community, one not from our community, and 1 of your choice.  This can take many forms including coffee, dinner, breakfastAt home, at a restaurant, at a coffeehouse, etc..


Today we are covering the next two habits or rhythm of life, both staring with the letter L.  The first one being listening.  The challenge of adding this habit or rhythm of life to your life is that you would spend one period of time each week listening to and for the Spirit’s voice.  Here are 4 pieces of advice as you seek to add this habit to your weekly life and schedule.  1.  Set a designated time.  2.  Eliminate distractions.  3.  Let God in.  4.  Follow God’s promptings.  


The second L habit or rhythm is learning Christ and the challenge is to spend one period of time each week learning Christ.  Here are 3 suggestions of ways of living out the habit or rhythm of learning Christ to your life.  1.  Study the Gospels.  2. Read books about Jesus.  3.  further viewing…watch some film version of the life of Jesus.  (See me for a list of books and films that you can read or watch)


So today’s “sermon” is a SURPRISE…and is not a traditional message/discussion that we normally have but a corporate way of seeking to live out these two habits or rhythms of life.  We will be spending this time together listening to the Spirit and learning Christ.  To seek to live out these two habits of listening and learning we will use an ancient spiritual discipline entitled Lectio Divina.  


Lectio Divina which is latin for divine reading, is a traditional Benedictine practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God's Word. It does not treat Scripture as texts to be studied, but as the Living Word.

So let me run down how we will do Lectio Divina today using our text for the morning- Romans 1:1-6.  

  1. Lectio Divina Shared in Community

(A) Listening for the Gentle Touch of Christ the Word

(The Literal Sense

1. One person reads aloud (twice) the passage of scripture, as others are attentive to some segment that is especially meaningful to them. 

2. Silence for 1-2 minutes. Each hears and silently repeats a word or phrase that attracts. 

3. Sharing aloud: [A word or phrase that has attracted each person]. A simple statement of one or a few words. No elaboration.

(B) How Christ the Word speaks to ME

(The Allegorical Sense

4. Second reading of same passage by another person. 

5. Silence for 2-3 minutes. Reflect on “Where does the content of this reading touch my life today?” 

6. Sharing aloud: Briefly: “I hear, I see...”

(C) What Christ the Word Invites me to DO

(The Moral Sense)

7. Third reading by still another person. 

8. Silence for 2-3 minutes. Reflect on “I believe that God wants me to . . . . . . today/this week.” 

9. Sharing aloud: at somewhat greater length the results of each one's reflection. [Be especially aware of what is shared by the person to your right.] 

10. After full sharing, pray for the person to your right. 

Note: Anyone may “pass” at any time. If instead of sharing with the group you prefer to pray silently , simply state this aloud and conclude your silent prayer with Amen.