I mentioned briefly in yesterday’s Daybook Online Journal post about thoughts and ideas I had for us to share the scriptures in the New Year. My thoughts are centered on practicing lectio divina alongside Bible journaling. So let’s define the two and see how they will pair nicely with each other as we begin our Bible Journaling in the New Year. (This post may contain affiliate links to products I love and recommend.)
*August 17, 2016 Update: I’ve written a book, Bible Journaling Tips, Inspiration and Permission, to encourage and inspire you in your Bible journaling!
Bible Journaling in the New Year
Lectio Divina is simply the classical monastic practice of the prayerful reading of the Bible…”It does not treat Scripture as texts to be studied, but as the Living Word.” (Opening to God: Lectio Divina and Life as Prayer) “The monastic practice of Lectio Divina was first established in the 6th century by Saint Benedict and was then formalized as a 4 step process by the Carthusian monk, Guigo II, in the 12th century.” (Lectio Divina)
The four common steps, or “Rungs” as the monk Guigo II called them are:
So there is a brief introduction to lectio divina, now let’s briefly talk about Bible journaling.
Bible journaling can be what you make it…simple enough? If you are an artist, then your Bible journaling is going to look differently than mine. I am not an artist, but I love to take notes and make connections between passages, so my bible journaling will look differently than an artists. Fair enough, easy peasy, let’s move on.
And now that we’ve covered lectio divina and Bible journaling, let’s talk some specifics I have come up with. I want us to read the Bible together this year. I want us to spend time with each other with the Word. So I will know each day as I’m reading, so is (fill your name in here). So in a sense we are practicing lectio divina as it was intended to be used in a group, our group is just scattered. To keep us together as we read, let’s use this Bible in Year reading plan Meg put together, READ THE BIBLE IN A YEAR. I have used the other one she links to the past couple of years (no, I have not ever made it through the WHOLE Bible, but close), but decided on the one she made because following it, we will read the Gospels twice! Exclamation because I love reading the Gospels!
So we have our reading plan, we have our explanation of lectio divina and Bible journaling, we have our Notetaker’s Bible, now let’s go one more…let’s color code passages as we go with our Bible Marking Kit. Years ago when I started making my Bible my own, I started using a very simple color coding system…then I got too complicated for my own good. The other day while trying to figure out how to share this so it would be non-scary, easy to follow and inexpensive for all of us–but especially those who may be intimidated by, scared of or not even sure about making marks in their Bible–I came up with this: let’s use the ever so common highlighter colors (or pen or colored pencils) of blue, green, pink, yellow to highlight verses as we read.
I specifically chose the color green to represent new life. Years ago, the first color I used was green and the first verses I highlighted were verses that spoke about our words. I wanted to speak words of life to myself and others. I associated the color green with new life and my words needed some new life breathed into them. But words do not begin in the mouth, they begin in the mind. I want us to think and meditate on life giving thoughts as well. A verse I would highlight green would be Philippians 2:14, “Do all things without murmuring and arguing.”
Blue is a common color associated with Mary, the Mother of Jesus. I want to imitate her humility, her care and concern for others and her quiet spirit of contemplation. So I chose the color blue to highlight passages that speak to me as a woman seeking to imitate the Mother of Jesus; verses that will help me grow into a Godly woman. A good verse for a pretty blue highlight would be, 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.”
I chose the color pink to mark passages that deal with love–God’s love for us and our love for Him and others. When I come across a verse that speaks of love, care or kindness, I think of the heart and that makes me think pink! Psalm 31:16, “Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love.”
The color yellow makes me think of the sun–The Son. I chose yellow for verses that reveal Who God is…Who Jesus is and Who the Holy Spirit is; verses that reveal the character of God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit. I would definitely highlight John 1:14 yellow, “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” or Philippians 1:6, “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.”
Ok, we have our Bible…Bible reading plan…Bible Marking Kit…journal if you don’t have the room to keep notes in your Bible or choose to keep them somewhere else…any pens, colored pencils or art supplies you will be using in your Bible or journal…the only thing we are missing is a plan as we read our Bible–we’ll cover that in another post.
The NRSV Notetaker’s Bible
More posts on how I’m using my journaling Bible: