In the first half of this poetic psalm, David calls forth the revelation of God through nature. In the second half, he moves into exalting God’s revelation through scripture. The language is again lyrical as David describes God’s word as another dimension of creation. Notice the call-and-response flow of the passage: The law of the Lord is perfect/reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure/making wise the simple; Moreover by them is your servant warned/in keeping them there is great reward. God’s creation, whether in the beauty of the world or the goodness of God’s precepts, calls to us—and asks for a response.

David’s response to the “call” of the created world and the law of God is this: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable unto you, O LORD my rock and my redeemer.” Even the description David uses for God mirrors nature (God is our rock) and the scriptures (God is our redeemer). As God calls to us through taking in the beauty of nature or soaking in the precepts of God, it begs the question: How then shall we respond? Thankfully, the text communicates that it isn’t about our willing ourselves to change. Rather, it’s God’s living word that revives, enlightens, and makes us wise, stirring within us the movement to make different choices.

Lectio divina is an ancient and sacred way to engage scripture, inviting us to listen to the same passage four times with silence in between. Read Psalm 9:14 and allow the words to wash over you. Sit quietly and listen. Read the passage again, listening for a word or phrase that stands out to you. Remain still and listen. After reading the verse a third time, listen for an invitation God may have for you in these words. After the fourth and final reading, consider if you have a response for God as you sit in silence.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Mark 8:27-38

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Lectionary Week
September 6–12, 2021
Scripture Overview

Through the scriptures and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, God shows the paths of righteousness and warns against the ways of destruction. The writer of Proverbs describes this as the voice of Wisdom crying out, yet some refuse to listen—to their peril. The psalmist rejoices in the law of the Lord, for God’s decrees teach us how to live well. Living a godly life includes paying attention to our speech. How can we, James asks, praise God with our lips and then curse others with those same lips? Peter is tripped up by his words in Mark. He declares Jesus to be the Messiah, yet in the next scene he recklessly rebukes Jesus for speaking of his death. Our words matter, and God desires purity and consistency.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Proverbs 1:20-33. How clearly do you hear Wisdom’s call? What prevents you from answering that call?
Read Psalm 19. Where in creation do you hear God speaking to you?
Read James 3:1-12. How do you use your words in wise ways? When do you struggle with your words?
Read Mark 8:27-38. Who do you say that Jesus is?

Respond by posting a prayer.

This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”

Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.