Lectio Divina is an ancient contemplative prayer practice used to allow scripture to speak to our hearts and to help us to discover the multiple ways God dwells there. It means “sacred reading,” and this practice can be extended beyond just the reading of scripture or inspired poetry. In the Celtic Christian tradition, the created world was seen as a revelation of God, and could be “read” to learn about and experience the Divine. Lectio Divina is a wonderful way of engaging the natural elements around us by inviting the “rocks to cry out” and the wind to whisper (or in the case of being on Iona, EXCLAIM!) to us the things of God.
Our group had an intimate time of reflecting on Acts 2:1-2 yesterday morning. I was deeply moved by the thoughtful sharing around this scripture; images of violent wind, fire, community, movement, resting and empowerment all came through this text. To further explore this Pentecost Wind, we moved out into a field near Iona’s North Beach and spent time in stillness and silence listening deeply to the stirring of the wind all around us. As the wind whipped and whistled, we allowed our senses to engage this element as a sacred text. It was a personal time that ended with laughter as we flew a kite. This playful partnership with the wind underscored metaphors that we were all seeing with the wind as Holy Spirit in our lives.
We continued our Lectio Divina with nature with an afternoon of learning about the rocks of Iona. Fiona Menzies, a local community member of Iona, holds a Ph.D in geology with a specialty in Iona’s unique rocks. Through our lecture and beach combing, there was a combined sense of awe at the grand-scape of time and the Creator that holds even this mind-blowing expansiveness within the cup of his hands. The rocks told us stories of millennia, ages and eras, life and death, in-breath and out-breath. Ultimately, countless volumes of sagas containing adventures of ice and tropical heat, deep pressures and forceful thrusts created these rocks of such exquisite beauty. This sacred time studying these rocks was likened to reading a sacred text and it allowed us to value these pieces as God’s movement on this earth.