We studied John 15 Sunday, so each day this week will be a spiritual practice that will help you to abide more deeply in Christ. For more Spiritual Practices, please visit our website: https://www.efcc.org/resources/

Lectio Divina or “Scripture Reading” is slowly reading through a passage of Scripture, setting aside our agendas, and listening for God’s voice. This practice encourages conversational intimacy with God, taking us through five steps that encourage our spiritual formation and connection to our Creator over simply gaining information.

1. Silencio (Silence):

Make yourself comfortable in a place that is free from interruptions. Begin with silence, humbly asking your Heavenly Father to quiet your heart and make you aware of His loving presence. When you are ready, begin reading.

2. Lectio (Read):

In this first reading, simply open yourself to the presence of God. Read the passage slowly and prayerfully, allowing short pauses between sentences. Take in the words and the overall flow of the passage. Follow with silence as you listen for God’s Spirit.

John 15:1-17: The Vine and the Branches
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.

3. Meditatio (Meditate):

During the second prayerful reading, listen for a particular word or a phrase through which God wants to speak to you. Silently meditate on that word or phrase. Reflect on why God would highlight this for you today, ask Him any questions that come to mind, and note things that seem important as you meditate on what He has given you.

4. Oratio (Prayer):

In the third prayerful reading, listen now for your Father’s invitation, and respond from your heart. Is the invitation to let go of something, or to take hold, to do, or to be? Following the reading, continue listening then respond from an honest heart.

5. Contemplatio (Rest):

The fourth prayerful reading is to simply rest in your Father’s love. Let the words wash over you, allowing the Spirit to draw you close and fill you with His love, grace, and peace. Linger in this place of deep connection as you are filled and refreshed for your continuing journey. Take the God given word, phrase or image with you as something that you can return throughout the day, reminding you of your Father’s infinite love.

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