Advent Day 11: the Word

Advent Day 11

… one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.  (Deuteronomy 8:3)

Today’s spiritual practice is a certain way of reading Scripture.  In this method, you read a story and imagine yourself in it.  Take as much time as you need, and if you like, go back and imagine yourself as a second or even third person in the story.

Here’s a short outline, and you can find more in Prayer and Temperament (see “Resources“)

  • Read the story once and choose a person.   A good story for this is Luke 17:11-19.  (Here’s a Bible website:  http://bible.oremus.org)
  • Dwell with this person a while (let’s say you chose to be the leper who came back, if you’re reading the Luke passage.)  Read one or two verses at a time, pausing to consider what the leper might have been seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and tasting.  What if he’s so sick with leprosy that he experiences very little with his five senses? 
  • Consider what your chosen person is thinking and feeling.  Imagine yourself in his situation as he turns around to return to Jesus.  What is going on in his mind?

What I love about this method of reading is that it forces us to read slowly, and let the words sink in.  In our college group we’ve talked about not skipping to the moral of the story when you read Scripture, and not looking for immediate inspiration.  The Bible is so much more than pretty sayings you can post on your status update — but you have to take time with it, and give it time to speak.

This season of Advent is about getting ready for the Word Incarnate, as we sometimes refer to Jesus Christ.  We say he is the Word of God dwelling with human beings, and that he was the Word God spoke at creation (see John 1.)  But you can’t rush this Word.  You have to give it time to create, imagine, and work within you.

Happy reading!

today’s daily Scripture reading from the PC(USA):   http://gamc.pcusa.org/devotion/daily/2010/12/8/

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