Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Week 12 – The Forms of Meditation - mediation Scripturarum

Celebration of Discipline Bible Study
            In the last lesson we discussed how to prepare for meditation.  As we prepare for meditation we seek a place of comfort for us where there would be the least amount of distractions.  This will help us with the four different forms of meditation Foster outlines in the book: “mediation Scripturarum, re-collection, meditation upon creation and meditation upon current events”.
            The first form of meditation is “meditatio Scripturarum” which is the meditation upon scripture, “the meditation of Scripture centers on internalizing and personalizing the passage” (p. 29).
Meditation upon Scripture is not new it can be found through out the Bible.  So many of us have been meditating on scripture for God to speak to us, however many people meditate on the word for their own purpose so it can be used to oppress or promote a personal agenda.  This form of meditation is not what we are reading into the scripture but what the scripture is saying to us for our lives today.
When we meditation on Scripture we are allowing the word to resonate in our spirit to the point it becomes flesh. Too many times we want to study instead of meditate and thus our focus changes.  We are preoccupied with the meaning of each word rather than focusing on how the passage of scripture can be interpreted for practical, personal use in our daily lives. Unlike eastern meditation,   Christian meditation is not emptying our minds we are fully focusing on scripture we’ve read and seek a deep personal meaning for our lives. If we meditate on the word once or twice we are getting a surface meeting, however Foster suggests we spend a whole week on a single text according to Bonhoeffer.  When we spend a week on a whole text we engage our five senses and start to correlate things in our life with the text we have meditated upon.  This is what makes the text come alive because we have a better understanding.
            The more I read and reflect on the things I learned in seminary this is one thing that stayed with me over time meditation upon the scripture.  I love the fact when I’ve been meditating on a passage of scripture to preach, I feel I’m at a stumbling block suddenly God unlocks a memory, a song, an event that I can use as an example to make it plain.  God not only unlocks memory but sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we can apply or experience in today’s world what we were meditating on.  “It is important to resist the temptation to pass over many passages superficially.  Our rushing reflects our internal state and our internal state is what needs to be transformed” (p. 29).  This statement is true on many parts; there have been times I’ve meditated on a passage of scripture for a month because my spirit just wouldn’t rest until I truly made a connection within. 
            I performed a word search on meditation and the following scriptures appeared: Josh. 1:8; Psa. 1:2; Psa. 4:4; Psa. 19:14; Psa. 39:3; Psa. 49:3; Psa. 63:5, 6; Psa. 73:12–22; Psa. 77:10–12; Psa. 104:34; Psa. 119:11, 16, 23, 48, 55, 59, 78, 97–99,148; Psa. 139:17, 18; Psa. 143:5; 1 Tim. 4:13–15[1].  Take the time to read and reflect on those but then go back and read a passage you have been wrestling with for a while.  If you don’t have one let me suggest one for you Psalm 112.  Meditate day and night, walk around with it on your mind and let it consume you.

Going Deeper:
  1. Have you meditated upon scripture to the point that God gave you message or warning to share with the people? Did you share or not?
  2. Why do you think people rather do a superficial meditation? Have you?

Next Lesson:  Re-Collection

[1]Swanson, James ; Nave, Orville: New Nave's. Oak Harbor : Logos Research Systems, 1994

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