The following straightforward method to devotionally engage scriptural texts is intended to take you deeper into God’s Word, carried on the winds of the Holy Spirit speaking in the Word, that we in the church may be further formed, reformed and transformed for our mission in the world. Each of the following movements, taking place over the course of a thirty minutes to an hour, takes us ever more deeply into the very presence of God known in the gift of the living Word.
Movement One: Preparation
For several minutes, think about what is on your heart and mind, ranging from personal to world events, especially that which you would have God address during this time. Spend some time in prayer, seeking the Spirit’s guidance for giving a living Word to you at this time.
Movement Two: Reading
Read the appointed/chosen scriptural passage slowly and deliberately. During a period of five minute’s silence following, pay close attention to what the passage actually says. What are the key words and ideas and points of the passage? This is the time for studied examination of the passage, discerning the more objective dimensions of its meanings. After this silent consideration, maybe mark or jot down what you think are the most important points of the reading.
Movement Three: Meditation
Read the biblical text a second time. In the five minutes of silence following this reading, meditate on what the passage might mean for you, and for us now in our own day. While the first reading sought the text’s objective meaning, now we turn to more subjective meanings based on and emerging from the insights of the first time of reading. After the silent meditation, maybe jot down in a journal or on note paper what you discern the Spirit may be saying to you, as the Spirit leads us today into all truth through dwelling with God’s Word.
Movement Four: Prayer
Read the passage a third time. In the five minute silent period following this reading, pray the prayers that well up in you, especially the ones that emerge from the previous silent periods and conversations.
Movement Five: Contemplation
Read the passage a fourth and final time. During this last five minute silent time, simply dwell in God’s presence in the power of the Spirit as that presence has been made known in the Word. This is a time to take the leisure to really let the living Word soak in you for your ongoing formation, reformation, and transformation in Christ.
Movement Six: Mission
After the period of silent contemplation, reflect on what your insights in this whole experience may mean for our mission in the world. Particularly, what living Word will we take with you into the world? What Word will we be and do in our ministry in daily life, and as an expression of the church’s mission in the world? Jot down ideas in a journal or on note paper.