Scripture is a significant way that we learn about and engage with God, through the Holy Spirit. It reveals to us something about who God is, how God has been working in the world, and how we are invited to participate in the Mission of God. Within scripture, we find stories of our spiritual ancestors, revelation about the nature of God, songs and poetry filled with every kind of human emotion, satire, love stories, the history of the early church, and the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. With so much diversity in Scripture, there are also many different ways to read and engage with the text and with God such as:
- Bible Study: using commentaries, study guides, and other resources to understand the culture, context, and meaning of the text and how others have interpreted the text throughout church history. The OC church office has a number of great resources if this is something that you are interested in pursuing more.
- Lectio Divina and Devotional Reading: prayerfully read small passages of scripture, maybe a few times through. Allow a word, phrase, or idea to rise to the surface and meditate on why that word may stand out to you. Spend time in silence, listening for how God is speaking to you through the text. For more details on the practice of Lectio Divina, refer back to Mike Cagle’s post.
- Meditation: while this can be done in tandem with the above practice, it does differ in some ways. The goal of meditation is not to empty the mind, but to focus on how you see God working in your life and in the world. It might be helpful to start with a Psalm (139 and 23 are some of my favorites) or maybe one of Jesus’ parables. As your mind drifts to to-do lists and worries, just guide it back to the words of scripture, allowing God to draw you closer through this practice.
While Scripture can be a great tool for individual reflection and meditation, it is also meant to be read, understood, and lived out as a church community. One great way to do this is in a Life Group. If you are not already plugged into a Life Group and would like to be, reach out to Eric Livingston (
) for more info.