Meditations of My Heart:
rembrandt: philosopher in meditation

"Those who  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 and presuppositions. 

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 So you have the passage clear in your mind, and your Greek notes put away (grin) and your historical references thought about.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 dangerous. 

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 to survive. 

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 

Meditations of My Heart

Gospel reading, reflection and quote from great pray-ers past and present
Subscribe to adailyquiet
Powered by