Throughout Lent I’ve been doing Lectio Divina weekly with a group here in Burlington. If you’re not familiar with this form of scripture reading, what happens is that a passage is selected and read slowly two or three times. The invitation is to allow a word or phrase from the reading to sink into your heart and mind, asking the Spirit what this word or phrase is about. (Yes, a little different, I know…)
The reading was of Jesus’ trial, which began with a description of how the arresting priests and leaders bound and led Jesus before Pilate. In the first reading of this passage the reader stumbled over the word bound and this caught my attention. So, I listened for it the second time, wondering if it okay to land on a word simply because the reader stumbled over it! Was that the spirit laying it on my heart? Was I doing this Lectio thing right? In the end, I decided I was overanalyzing this rule thing, and so bound became my word.
The beauty of Lectio is it allows the Spirit to take you where you need to go with your word or phrase. So, as I meditated on the word bound, I recalled a devotional earlier that morning where I was challenged with the idea of service. This led me to consider my community of people at Next Door. Do I fully love and serve them, or are my acts of service selfish and dutiful? This is when the word bound began to make sense. I felt the Spirit saying that I am to be bound to this community. Not bound by restrictive ropes or chains, in the way Jesus was bound in that moment, but bound by service. And this felt liberating. To be bound by service is to be as one walking or running with leaping strides. (A beautiful image from the online dictionary!) So, I was reminded that this is what I want – the paradoxical life of giving it away and receiving it back tenfold.
Jesus was bound by the leaders and rulers and yet even in his dying moments he showed himself to be bound to us, loving, caring, forgiving. (And even more so at his resurrection!) So, may we be bound to those with whom are privileged to be and serve among!