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What is lectio continua?
In Christianity, Lectio continua (Latin for continuous reading) refers to the practice of reading Scripture in sequence over a period of time. Each reading (which may take place every day or every Sunday) etc. begins where the previous session ended. For instance, every Sunday a section of the Bible can be read such that each reading resumes where the previous one ended.
The practice of lectio semi-continua may skip some passages in the sequence, while lectio select follows a selected sequence of passages in a specific order.
The use of “lectio selecta” goes back to the Jewish traditions that pre-date Christianity and Luke 4:16-21 refers to the practice reading from
the book of the prophet Isaiah on the Sabbath when Jesus visits a synagogue.
In Early Christianity a practice developed to read the Scripture every Sunday or read specific sections of Scripture during festivals in a yearly sequence, and the sequences used for lectio continua and lectio selecta were established over the centuries.
The term lectio divina is distinct from this practice and refers to stages of Christian meditation contemplative prayer based on the reading of the Bible. However, lectio divina does not need to follow a sequence in the book, and focuses mostly on the meditative aspects.
From Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lectio_continua
Lectio Continua can be spiritually nourishing in that it can provide you with a deeper understanding or grasp of scripture and the Hope that we find in the Good News of the Gospel. For some people reading through a book, a chapter a day can be helpful. It’s really up to you. One warning is not to start off wanting to read the whole Bible and start from the beginning in Genesis. While it’s a great read, soon you’ll be in books that are not narratives and much heavier to plow through. If you want to read a book, Monte suggests that you start with Mark (which can be read even in one sitting). Other books with a clear story that might work are Esther, Luke, Genesis, John (a bit esoteric) Ruth and Jonah. Or try a Psalm a day.
As you read ask yourself what does that passage say about God? About life? About human life? How might it be an word of hope for what you’re living now? How is your life story part of this unfolding story that you’re reading?
expanding your practice at home
SOME POSSIBLE HELPS AND ONLINE RESOURCES
You can find several lectio continua reading plans online (we also passed them out on Sunday the 13th)
You can also find other schedules and tools here.