Many of us cherish the time we find in closer communion with God through the practice of lectio divina, literally “divine reading”. Even if those Latin words are unfamiliar to you, the practice may be one you’ve kept for years. A quiet, slow, attentive reading of a small portion of Scripture; meditating on it, listening for what the Spirit stirs; maybe memorizing some words; raising to God what prayer the Spirit prompts; contemplating, resting, waiting in the presence of God.
As we journey through Advent, we have the blessed opportunity to pray deeply into very familiar words and to hear the voice of God through old words in new ways, through familiar words in unexpected ways. It’s a spiritual experience quite a bit like noticing a house or a tree or a sign on a regular daily route and asking, “Has that always been there?”
Among the wonder-filled images in Luke’s nativity, I’ve been lingering with two words: no place. “And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7 NRSV) Maybe you, too, have lingered this Advent in no place. Maybe you’ve been scrambling around like an over-booked innkeeper and are struggling to squeeze Jesus in. Maybe you’re praying, as I’m praying, over making a place for Jesus, over making more space for Jesus in my mind and heart and in the witness of my daily choices. Maybe you, too, have listened in these purple and blue Advent weeks of preparation, penitence, and hope for the Spirit pointing out the tight quarters we’ve provided Jesus. May the Spirit stir with wise light as we sort out the stuff that needs to go so that Jesus can come – and find within us a welcome place and ample room.
—Jonna Jensen, Associate Conference Minister