are baptised are called to worship and serve God.
From the beginning, believers
have continued in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking
of bread and in the prayers." - from the New Zealand Prayer Book He
Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa.
The Apostles' teaching.
At the very least it is
a good idea to study the Bible. To learn as much as one can about it, and
to understand as much as one can. In another place we have provided links
to e-sword, where you may download, free, not only the bible itself, but
also many wonderful tools, commentaries, dictionaries, maps and pictures.
But I believe that the
Bible too may become a trap. It is so interesting, so engrossing - one
may learn about ancient life and times, study history, and learn theology.
Besides all this discussing the bible is one of the greatest pleasures
in the world. If you enjoy a jolly good argument about the bible, you may
well find yourself in the time honoured tradition of those who learn by
subjecting every word to argument. And there is nothing wrong with this.
I remember at some stage
promising to study the word of God, daily, but we are asked to do more
than just study it. As we are asked to do more than to revere it. We are
asked to grow in it.
And to do that we must
learn to 'inwardly digest' as the old book of Common Prayer had it. To
meditate on it till it becomes part of our lives. Not just to learn about
it, discover what it actually means, but to use it as a spring board, as
a source of ongoing conversation between ourselves and Our Lord. Now this
doesn't mean us telling *Him* what it means. I am sure that He knows well
enough what He inspired his servants to write and to record. What it means
is that we lay ourselves and the scripture before Him and ask him to mediate
between us, the word, and the actual world in which we live. So that the
Bible becomes a commentary on our own life and attitudes, our own desires
Now there are diffierent
methods of meditation - and since each of us has different weaknesses and
strengths, one method will appeal more than any other. Somewhere else on
this site I've described the Ignatian Method, which presupposes that you
do the study the night before you do the meditation. So you have the passage
clear in your mind, and your Greek notes put away (grin) and your historical
references thought about. Because in the end, learning the Scriptures is
a bit like 'knowing about' God. The learning and the knowing get in the
way of meeting.
So what we have in The
Meditations of My Heart are a series of 'engagements' with the daily gospels.
Ideally they should end with our own private conversation with the Lord,
questions such as 'What do you want to show me in this, does this mean
I have to forgive that woman or can I get away with just being nice to
her. Those who have been with the Meditations from the beginning will have
realised by now that though we travel always through the Gospels, the Meditations
are rarely the same. Though we meet the same passages over and over again,
each time the internal demand or insight is different. Perhaps the meditations
don't get deeper, but sometimes I feel that we do. This daily dialogue
with the Good News, and the colloguy (internal discussion with our Lord)
which accompany it, is the foundation for Growing Up. There are too many
'baby Christians' out there, few indeed progress past troublesome adolescence,
and while being Child-like is a gift and Grace, being childish is downright
One of the questions the
Bishop asks a Candidate for Confirmation is 'Will you accept the cost of
following Jesus Christ in your daily life and work?' One of the ways our
Lord points out that cost is by the way scriptures speak directly into
the world in which we live. One thing to promise to 'forgive others as
you are forgiven' and another to feel the Lord's hand turning your head
towards someone who has caused you, and perhaps still causes you very great
pain.. one thing to promise to 'seek to love your neighbour as yourself
and strive for peace and justice' another to look at the fence that neighbour
has assaulted with paint and broken bottles and seek for peace and justice,
and a genuine solution.
Meditations of My Heart
is an e-mail version of a Daily Quiet time. My reflections on the Gospel
of the day as it affects me. It is not a scholarly work, not necessarily
of great depth or insight. It is and can be nothing more than a start.
The real 'work' of the meditation is done by you. It is simply that I've
often found company helps, so does a different point of view from time
to time. In a very real sense, the Daily Quiet E-mail is the meat of this
section of Sanctuary, about as lasting as a daily meal. Meditation is like
that. It doesn't take long, but we need to digest the word so that it can
feed us. In itself, it doesn't last long. But we need such nourishment
Whether you use the Meditations
of My Heart or not, I encourage you, not just to study the bible, but to
go further, to make it part of your daily life, by establishing yourself
with a Daily Quiet Time, Meditation and Colloguy with your Lord. This is
only one way
Please feel free to browse
the archives of our daily quiet time e-mail list by clicking here
of My Heart