How We Used Lectio Divina at Fall Retreat


Lectio Divina is designed to be a slow contemplative way to not only read the scriptures but to interact with them.


A Few Guidelines:

  1. Use the blank spaces as your journal.
  2. Go with your small group & your small group coach (or cabin leader).
  3. Each group will go at their own pace.  Don’t wait on the group ahead of you to finish.  Don’t speed up if a group is coming up behind you.  Give each other space at each stop.

Get Started:

  1. First, each person in your group is to search around the conference center for a dead tree branch.  Not a twig.  Not a log.  A good branch.  You will each carry your own branch with you the whole time.
  2. After you have all found your branch, go to stop #1.

@ Stop #1

  1. Read out loud:

John 15:1-3 “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. (NIV translation)

  1. Pause for silence.
  2. This reading is designed to give you a “first impression” of the passage-you should listen for a word or phrase that sticks out to you, then write about it or draw a picture describing your reaction.  After the silence, each person should share what they’ve written or drawn and why.
  3. Go to stop #2
Journal 

@ Stop #2

  1. During this reading focus on “hearing” or “seeing” how the text relates to your everyday life.  Write or draw how the text intersects with your reality.
  2. Read out loud:

John 15:1-3 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. (ESV translation)

  1. After the silence, share what you’ve “heard” or “seen.”
  2. Go to stop #3
Journal 

Stop #3

  1. For this reading, pursue Jesus about what He wants you to do with how you’ve engaged the text.  Ask yourself what Jesus is calling you to do or to become as a result of your understanding of the passage, then journal what comes to you.
  2. Read out loud:

John 15:1-3 “I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken. (The Message translation)

  1. After the silence, each person shares.
  2. You’re halfway done.  Slow down.  Let the scriptures teach you.  If you hurry through this you may miss what God wants to say to you.  (Still have your dead branch?)
  3. Go to stop #4
Journal 

@ Stop #4

  1. Read out loud:

John 15:4-6 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. (NIV translation)

  1. Pause for silence.
  2. This reading is designed to give you a “first impression” of the passage-you should listen for a word or passage that sticks out to you, then write about it or draw a picture describing your reaction.  After the silence, each person should share what they’ve written or drawn and why.
  3. Go to stop #5
Journal 

@ Stop #5

  1. During this reading focus on “hearing” or “seeing” how the text relates to your everyday life.  Write or draw how the text intersects with your reality.
  2. Read out loud:

John 15:4-6 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. (ESV translation)

  1. After the silence, share what you’ve “heard” or “seen.”
  2. Go to stop #6
Journal 

@ Stop #6

  1. For this reading, pursue Jesus about what He wants you to do with how you’ve engaged the text.  Ask yourself what Jesus is calling you to do or to become as a result of your understanding of the passage, then journal what comes to you.
  2. Read out loud:

John 15:4-6 “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. (The Message translation)

  1. After the silence, each person shares.
Journal 
  1. Bring your branch to the fire pit in front of the conference center.
  2. Toss your branch into the fire.

Before you go, consider how this branch compares with your own spiritual life.  Think about its shape, appearance, texture, smell…  As you watch it burn, ask Jesus to help you abide and bear fruit.

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