Luther’s Four-Stranded Garland Sacred Reading
Jan 29, 2017
This week we will practice lectio divina
using Martin Luther’s four-stranded garland. Throughout the Middle Ages biblical interpretation considered several layers of meaning. Luther encouraged people to pray on a scriptural word or phrase looking for inspiration in four ways: instruction, thanksgiving, confession, and guidance.
First, spend some time in silence to center yourself.
Holy God, I place myself in your presence, listening for the word you speak to me today through my relationships.
Read Psalm 15 through a few times. Select a word or phrase that stands out for you.
Psalm 15 (CEB)
1 Who can live in your tent, LORD?
Who can dwell on your holy mountain?
2 The person who lives free of blame,
does what is right,
and speaks the truth sincerely;
3 Who does no damage with their talk,
does no harm to a friend,
doesn’t insult a neighbor;
4 Someone who despises those who act wickedly,
but who honors those who honor the LORD;
Someone who keeps their promise even when it hurts;
5 Someone who doesn’t lend money with interest,
who won’t accept a bribe against any innocent person.
Whoever does these things will never stumble.
- Reading (lectio): What lesson can you draw from that word or phrase?
- Meditation (meditatio): How does the word draw you toward gratitude?
- Prayer (oratio): What does the word lead you to confess to God? What shortcomings or spiritual blocks does it highlight?
- Contemplation (contemplatio): How does this word offer guidance? What does it lead you to do?
Thank you, God, for our time together today. Help me to listen for your word throughout the day. Amen.