Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Recently, a small group that I'm a part of took some time to practice lectio divina (sacred reading) using devotional materials instead of scripture. The following poem by John Masefield was my contribution to the gathering. It has stirred me deeply for years, and each time I ruminate on it, fresh revelations bubble up. I share it with you here. Take time after reading it at least three times through to find what images or words attract you. Stay with the words and images. Ask God what He's trying to tell you through them. Allow yourself to sink into your heart while you ponder if there is an invitation or challenge for you here. Whatever emotion or feelings arise, honor them. Don't rush the process; step into kairos time with the Holy One. Take time to thank God for whatever happened for you during the practice, then silently rest in His presence without thinking. Just soak in the message God gave you. Try it now.

O Christ who holds the open gate,
O Christ who drives the furrow straight,
O Christ, the plough, O Christ, the laughter
Of holy white birds flying after,
Lo, all my heart’s field red and torn,
And Thou wilt bring the young green corn,
The young green corn divinely springing,
The young green corn forever singing;
And when the field is fresh and fair
Thy blessed feet shall glitter there,
And we will walk the weeded field,
And tell the golden harvest’s yield,
The corn that makes the holy bread
By which the soul of man is fed,
The holy bread, the food unpriced,
Thy everlasting mercy, Christ.
John Masefield (1878-1967)
A native of Herefordshire, England, he published three collections of ballads in 1902, 1903, and 1910; and The Everlasting Mercy, a conversion epic, from which the following lines are taken, in 1911. Masefield was appointed Poet Laureate in 1930.

If you're not familiar with lectio divina, refer to the blog post beneath this one where you'll find more information on the Christian practice including step-by-step instructions. Blessings on your journey!