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An Advent Invitation: Lectio Divina Of Ephesians

This Advent, I invite you to join me in the practice of Lectio Divina -- or divine reading. The text we will be using is Paul's letter to the Ephesians. It's short -- six chapters. It will take about a half hour to read. (You can read Paul's Letter To The Ephesians online (New Revised Standard Version) using the oremus Bible Browser.) But Lectio Divina is a different kind of reading. It is a practice of reading as much with the heart as with the brain. It invites the reader to sit with images and metaphors of what is written -- and to ponder what they are saying to our soul. Paul's letter to the Ephesians is probably misnamed. Many scholars think one of Paul's disciples wrote the letter, to an audience that was much wider than the community of Ephesus. No matter. It is filled with the powerful expressions of the Christian faith -- "now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than we can ask or imagine" (3:21); which raise some important questions: what is the power? How does it work? What are the limits of what we can imagine? And there are some serious theological speed bumps: "Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord" (5:22). What is that all about? Paul's' purpose in writing the letter was to pull the community together -- to create unity in diversity. As we get ready to enter the season of Advent, which is preparation time for the coming of the Prince of Peace, the irony is that Advent is lined up with (or against) the time of the year that is perhaps the most chaotic, confusing -- and unpeaceful. I trust that Lectio Divina and Paul's wisdom will provide a spiritual anchor for us. I will be sharing regular ponderings on my blog. I invite us to take this journey together. How The Online Discussion Will Work As a guide, during the four weeks of Advent I will focus on the reading as follows:
  1. Nov. 28 - Dec. 4: Chapter 1
  2. Dec. 5 - 11: Chapter 2
  3. Dec. 12 - 18: Chapter 3
  4. Dec. 19 - 24: Chapters 4-6
You are invited to post your own insights and reflections in the comments section at the end of each post. While I look forward to reading everyone's reflections, I regret that I won't be able to respond to individual comments.

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