Stephen and Psalm 139

On Sunday I talked about Stephen, the first martyr. We know from Acts 6 and 7 that he was full of the Holy Spirit, wisdom, faith, grace and power. An impressive list that can make us feel inadequate when we look in the mirror. But of course, each one of these characteristics is available to every one of us too. And that's the sermon... I won't re-write it here for you!

At the end I ask everyone to start doing a "lectio divina". That's an ancient way that Christians for centuries have been studying scriptures. For our purposes and as an introduction to this practice, it's reading through a passage very slowly and then reading it slowly again and then reading it again even more slowly. You get the idea. All the while you open your heart and mind to the words and see if anything begins to stand out at you. What phrase or verse or paragraph are you seeing in a new light? What is it making you think of in your own life as you interact with the text?

I chose Psalm 139 for our lectio divina on Sunday morning. Why? It speaks to the fact that God is so aware of who we are and how we were made. This same God who know you that well also said he would fill us with His Spirit and use us powerfully. Then, it beautifully ends with a call for God to search us and show us what we're missing. Maybe in this context, what we're overlooking in our own lives that is keeping us from living a life full of the Spirit, wisdom, grace, faith and power.

So, I did another lectio divina this morning and I used The Message paraphrase this time. It made me think that perhaps you might like to join me in making Psalm 139 a living and breathing part of your week (and life!) too.

Here are some links to some different versions of this scripture. Write down what you're hearing God speak to you though them each day. Leave a comment if you want to share your insights.

The Message
New International Version
New Living Translation
King James Version
Contemporary English Version