“Bloom with Reverence: Trinity” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

May 27th,2021 Categories: Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter

Beloved Church,

What a week! I hope you have found time to be outside this past week. God’s creation is in full bloom, and I hope you are too. This week we are gathering online again to celebrate all that God is doing in our midst with Bible Study, Worship, and Children’s ministry. We hope that you will join us for everything.

This week as we end this month of reverence, I wanted to invite you into a time of Lectio Divina. Some of us have done this together before but, especially as we think about how we give reverence to something, I wanted to give you these tools to engage with scripture in a new way. Lectio Divina has been around for centuries, and it is a way of engaging scripture deeply. Fr. Christopher Jamison, former Abbot of Worth Abbey in Sussex, England in his book Finding Sanctuary writes of three key features of lectio:

  • The first is that “the text is seen as a gift to be received, not a problem to be dissected…Let the text come to you.”
  • The second is that the lectio tradition “teaches us that in order to receive what the text has to offer we must read slowly.”
  • The third is that lectio is “a way of prayer. Before reading pray that God will speak to you through the text. During reading, allow the reading to evolve into meditation and then into prayer and finally contemplation. When the reading is concluded, keep some phrase in mind and repeat tit throughout the day so that prayerful reading becomes prayerful living.”

This Sunday is Trinity Sunday. The Trinity is what we use to describe the relationship between God, Christ, and Spirit and the works that all three do both together and individually. We all have a different understanding of how each of them are at work in our lives, but to be able to see it with more depth and nuance, I think it’s helpful to turn to scripture. The how of Lectio is quite simple. First you pray for God to open your mind and Spirit to receive the message. Next, read the scripture slowly. Let the words fill your mouth as you say them out loud. Next, reflect on what you heard, felt, thought. What are you curious about? Then, read the passage again. Have you been able to hear the answers to your questions? You close lectio in many ways, but I like to do two things. One I think of the next steps – the actions – that this scripture is calling me toward. And finally, I pray a prayer of thanksgiving for this time with God and that God continues to speak and inspire from this text. So, with that in mind, I invite you into a time of Lectio Divina for our Trinity Sunday text from the book of Romans.

12 Therefore, we are under an obligation, my siblings—but not to the flesh or to live according to the flesh. 13 If you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if you live by the Spirit, you will put to death the evil deeds of the body and you will live.
14 Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 For the Spirit that God has given you does not enslave you and trap you in fear; instead, through the Spirit God has adopted you as children, and by that Spirit we cry out, “Abba!” 16 God’s Spirit joins with our spirit to declare that we are God’s children. 17 And if we are children, we are heirs as well: heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, sharing in Christ’s suffering and sharing in Christ’s glory.

[Romans 8:12-17 (ILB)/ Romanos 8:12-17 (NVI)]

What questions came up for you as you read this text? Where did you feel God calling you? Who in your life came to mind as you read this text? What might God be calling you to do next?

Friends, the wonders and awe of God floors me every day. Our scripture continues to call me into community and relationship in new ways and reminds me that this work is never done alone. I am so grateful for the journey we are on together. See you Sunday!

Shalom Y’all,

Rev. Stephanie

Simple Prayer: O Lord, May I know you deeply in every way you show up. Amen.