SAVORING SCRIPTURE THROUGH MEDITATION
“The reason we come away so cold from reading the word is, because we do not warm ourselves at the fires of meditation.” Thomas Watson
“Reading is a gift, but only if the words are taken into the soul—eaten, chewed, gnawed, received in unhurried delight.” Eugene Peterson
When you hear the word “meditation,” what springs to mind? Maybe you imagine a hip new yoga studio full of people emptying their minds to the sounds of waves crashing in the distance. Or, maybe you think of Grogu (aka “Baby Yoda”) and other Star Wars characters crouched down, attempting to still themselves and be one with “the force.”
Biblical meditation looks more like savoring scrumptious chocolate or sipping your favorite coffee than sitting in silence on your yoga mat. Meditation involves lingering over God’s Word so you absorb it. Meditation is filling your mind with specific truths and steeping your heart in them. It’s allowing the beautiful truth about God—revealed primarily in the Word but also in things like creation—to burrow itself into our minds and affections. It’s how we set our hearts on Christ through reflecting on and considering God’s truth, promises, and person.
While Bible reading and study receive attention in some churches today, Bible meditation has become a neglected practice. David Mathis writes, “It is perhaps the most underserved, underappreciated, and potentially most life-changing habit for us to cultivate in our day.”
Often our time in the Word is as rushed, hurried, and empty as all the other things in our crowded schedules. When we get around to God’s Word, it might be a quick read where we breeze through a section or chapter without considering the words, much like we scan a newspaper or blog article. Within a few minutes, we’ve picked up the Bible, put it down, and shifted our attention to what’s next.
This isn’t meant to guilt-trip you, but it’s an admission of how many of us (speaking from personal experience) approach the Bible. But, if reading is an abrupt act where we open a book for a quick read and then move on, we shouldn’t be surprised when it doesn’t land on us with any force. Like the person who chows down chocolate rather than cherishes it, our Bible reading is a duty rather than a delight because we’ve not slowed down to enjoy it.
Bible meditation isn’t something only super-spiritual believers do or a way to bog down and complicate our time in the Word. Instead, it’s meant to be part of how the Bible speaks to us because our reading includes more careful observation, thoughtful reflection, responsive prayer, raising and answering questions, and seeking to digest what we’ve just fed ourselves on. It doesn’t take a seminary degree or a brilliant mind; it takes a willingness to slow down our hurried selves and be present.
LET’S PRACTICE TOGETHER
Starting on February 2nd, we’ll be offering a four-week class focused on studying and savoring Scripture. This practical class will provide simple Bible study and meditation hacks, or recommended ideas, and then provide an opportunity to practice together. If you have any questions about the class, contact Dustin Crowe.