When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: ‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, foram I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
So Joseph remained in Egypt, he and his father's house. Joseph lived 110 years. And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation. The children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were counted as Joseph's own. And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.” So Joseph died, being 110 years old. They embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.
(excerpts from David Kim, Gotham Devotional Series on the Psalms)
Introduction to Lectio Divina: A very ancient art, practiced by many Christians throughout the ages, is the technique known as lectio divina - a slow, contemplative praying of the Scriptures which enables the Bible, the Word of God, to become a means of union with God. This ancient practice has been kept alive in the Christian monastic tradition, and is one of the precious treasures of Benedictine monastics and oblates. Use the following “movements” to read through today’s Scripture.
Prayer & Preparation (5 mins) Prior to reading the Scripture, engage in a transitional activity that takes you from the normal state of mind to a more contemplative and prayerful state. A few moments of deep, regular breathing and a short prayer inviting the Holy Spirit to guide the prayer time helps to set the tone and improve the effectiveness of the lectio.
The Four Moments
Lectio – Reading (6 mins) This first moment consists in reading the scriptural passage slowly, attentively three times. Reading in lectio divina is very different from the speed reading which modern Christians apply to newspapers, books and even to the Bible. Lectio is reverential listening; listening both in a spirit of silence and of awe. We are listening for the still, small voice of God that will speak to us personally - not loudly, but intimately. In lectio we read slowly, attentively, gently listening to hear a word or phrase that is God's word for us this day. The third time you read, underline words/phrases/ or verses in the scripture that stand out to you or grip your attention during this moment.
Meditatio – Meditation (7 mins) In the second movement, we will take the underlined words or phrases and meditation upon them. Repeat these phrases to yourself a few times slowly, perhaps even memorizing it. As you repeat this phrase allow it to interact with your thoughts, your hopes, your anxieties, your desires, your fears, your joys. Through meditation we allow God's word to become His word for us, a word that touches us and affects us at our deepest levels. Remember that God is present in His Word and through the Holy Spirit as He imparts spiritual understanding of the sacred text, what Reformed Christians have called—illumination. It is not a special revelation from God, but the inward working of the Holy Spirit, which enables the Christian to grasp the revelation contained in the Scripture. At the end of this time of meditation, feel free to write particular things that come to mind that you want to remember throughout the day.
Oratio – Prayer (7 mins) After meditation, pray through the things that come to mind whether they be prayers of thanks, petitions, and intercession. This is a response to the passage by opening the heart in dialogue with God. It is not simply an intellectual exercise, but a Spirit-led conversation with God to pray for the things that are upon the very heart of God.
Contemplatio – Contemplation (5 mins) This final moment is characterized by a simple, loving focus on God in stillness and silence. Affirm God’s presence in your life and consider this marvelous God who has call you. This is a beautiful, wordless communion with and contemplation of God, a rest simply enjoying the experience of being in his presence. “Be still and know I am God.”
Arranged by Sarah Clauser