In our fast-paced world, we are ever being challenged to be more, to do more, to accomplish much, so that we do not live a life of regret. As a result, we are a people marked by anxiety, depression, and a struggle with simple faith in God. We need Jesus’ invitation more than ever right now. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt. 11:28).
On July 19-20, Friday evening and Saturday morning, we will have a local retreat focused on reading Holy Scripture in ways that bring rest, refreshment, and peace. Too often, we approach the Scriptures like a text book, looking for something to learn from God and to apply to our lives. In an overworked culture, reading the Bible becomes just more work for us to accomplish. Instead, God cries out through
the Psalmist, “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). We need ways to read the Scriptures that help us rest in God and in His love and peace.
Reading large portions of Scripture with others is one way God’s peace is extended to us. Reading the Scriptures and hearing them as letters and stories, as God intended, engages the heart as well as the mind.
Lectio divina, or divine reading, is another way of reading the Scriptures restfully. The focus of lectio divina is listening: listening to the Scripture passage, listening to the Holy Spirit. Lectio divina is practicing to be attentive to God through reading the Scriptures and responding to the guidance of the Holy Spirit from what we have heard.
Praying the Psalms is another way of reading Scripture and entering into God’s rest. For most, prayer and reading Scripture are two different activities. When we pray the Psalms, we combine the two. As we read a Psalm, we enter into prayer listening to the Spirit. Praying the Psalms teaches us that reading Scripture and prayer go hand in hand.
We will practice these three ways of reading Scripture at our retreat. If you are overworked and God is hard to hear from, then come and read Scripture and rest in God’s love. Come and practice ways of listening to God so that we might find rest for our souls.
Be on the lookout for more details. A signup sheet will be available in the foyer beginning Sunday, June 16. Feel free to attend Friday evening or Saturday morning or ideally both.