Christmas Lectio Divina
We have had quite a few people comment on how they are curious about Lectio Divina. It’s a new term and concept for a lot of people, and even if you are familiar with it, the thought of doing it with kids can be intimidating. We thought it would be fun to provide you with some scripture passages so you can do a Lectio Divina or two with your family over the rest of the Christmas season. You can read our original post about Lectio Divina and read a more in-depth example here, but the following is a summary:
God’s Word is alive and filled with the Spirit-- Lectio Divina challenges us to tap into that and allow the scriptures to speak to us in a new way. Lectio Divina is not a Bible study, instead, it is a way of reading Scripture that is slow and intentional. It invites us into God’s presence and His word and it asks us to remove our will and listen for God’s will.
A Lectio Divina is traditionally broken into four parts:
Read- reading the text out loud until a phrase stands out, this is what the Holy Spirit is drawing your attention to.
Meditate- repeat the phrase out loud, asking what God is saying to you through this text.
Pray- take your thoughts and offer them back to God giving thanks, asking for guidance or forgiveness, or resting in His love.
Contemplate- simply move from prayer into resting in God’s presence. Listen to God and enjoy His stillness and quiet peace.
The concept of doing this with kids may be overwhelming, but try it! If your child can follow along when you read them a book, they can do Lectio Divina too. To do it with kids, break it down like this:
Get in a comfortable position.
Read the passage. Say, “Okay, I am going to read part of the Bible to you. I want you to close your eyes and listen to the words I am saying. Know that God is all around you and can speak to you through these words."
When you are finished reading, ask what their favorite part was. They can pick a favorite phrase, sentence, or word.
Tell them you will read that part again and read their selected phrase.
Ask questions, “How does that make your heart feel?” “What does that tell you about Jesus?” “What does that tell you about yourself?”
Pray and thank God for speaking to you through Scripture.
Be patient with yourself and your kids, this can take some practice, but it is a great spiritual discipline once you get the hang of it.
Here are the passages we suggest using to do a Christmas Lectio Divina with your kids. You can adapt as needed depending on the ages and attention spans of your kids.
John 1:1-14 (New Living Translation)
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
Luke 2:8-20 (New Living Translation)
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified,but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.