Scripture: Blessed is the one who…delights in the law of the Lord & on his law (s)he meditates day and night. (S)He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in and out of season. ~Psalm 1:1-3
Theological Thought: The invitation and admonishment to study the law of the Lord is NOT one in which the reader is encouraged to place him or herself under the weighty yoke of rules and regulations although that is often an unfortunate side effect. Rather the invitation is an invitation to study what was then known to be the 100% guaranteed word of God and that by studying that which God has said, the reader might come to know who God is.
Reflections: In my experience listening for the voice of Jesus, waiting for Him to say something will result in three different kinds of messages: Instructions (“You need me to do what?”), Revelations (“Oh I get it”) and Mysteries (“What? That makes as much sense as snail races.”). Personally I get more of the third than any other ESPECIALLY when the word comes from scripture (like Ezekiel). For my own part then, I find it critically important to take listening one step further – one step further even than active listening. I meditate on what i hear. I let myself sink deep into it. I soak in it like it’s a hot tub and just let it boil around me. With scripture especially I’ll sit on it. I’ll think through it over and over again. I’ll turn it upside down and I’ll ask other people what they think then carefully work through what other people tell me. This is the heart of meditation in my opinion: fixating all thought onto a single object. Whether it is a physical object, an idea or a phrase, the key for me in meditation is a single minded fixation upon it. For example, I once spent a whole month meditating on the passage “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” All day for an entire month that passage was in my mind as I wondered “would God be with me when…” “what does forsake mean anyways?” and so on. And then when my Father-in-law died, a man who was as dear to me as my own father, we all gathered together, and wept together and I knew God was there, because he would never leave me nor forsake me. I was able to pick up my head and walk on from there, because the word had taken root in me to sprout up a tree, planted by streams of water, bearing fruit.
Prayer: Lord, I pray that as we listen and as we become hungrier for your word, as we desire it more and more and as we desire to hear your voice, that You would grant us the grace not only to hear, but to be joyful and reverent in receiving your word. That we may come to know You better.
Practice: Meditation is just a way to focus in on something. Next time you find something in scripture or hear something on Sunday morning that you don’t understand, use some quiet time to marinate in it. Focus your attention on it. Next time something stands out to you for no real reason that you can understand, meditate on it and invite the Holy Spirit to sit with you as you work through it.