By Cameron Silsbee
Begin with prayer
Gather together as a Community in a comfortable setting. Take a moment to sit in silence in the presence of Jesus and each other. Have one person read over the group Hebrews 4v12 and then pray to ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time together.
Debrief last week’s Practice and the teaching
- Was there anything noteworthy or meaningful from last week’s Practice as you read a Gospel story?
- During this stage of life, would you consider it easier or more challenging to feel as if you hear from God through the Scriptures? Why do you think that is?
- What has helped you feel connected with God as you’ve read the Scriptures? (e.g., a devotional, a morning quiet time, Lectio Divina, etc.)
Read this overview
Some scholars devote their entire academic careers to mastering one specific text, book of the Bible, or theological concept. Some scholars devote their entire careers to consolidating all the available information into a coherent whole. Along with this dynamic, there’s a constant current of additional historical information, archeological discoveries, and novel theories continually added. All of this centered on the Bible we hold in our hands and read.
Needless to say, nobody ever masters the Scriptures by knowing everything there is to know about them. They are inexhaustible. But more importantly, our goal should not be to master the Scriptures but to be mastered by them. We aim not just to know these Words breathed out by God but to live them.
Talk through the following questions.
- Can you think of a text of Scripture from the Old Testament that has been meaningful to you? If so, what is it?
- How can you tell if God is speaking something directly to you as you read the Scriptures? What does it feel like?
Talk through this week’s Practice
For this week’s Practice, set aside time to read through a Psalm utilizing Lectio Divina as a guide. Feel free to choose any Psalm you’d like; however, if you’re unsure, Psalm 63 can be a good choice. Use the following guide as you read through the Psalm you choose:
- Prepare to meet with God: Turn your phone off and leave it in another room. Situate yourself comfortably in a quiet, solitary place. Calm your body and quiet your mind before God as you work to prepare your heart to receive what God has spoken through the text and to respond accordingly. Finally, invite the Holy Spirit to guide your thinking and feeling as you read.
- Read: Read the passage slowly and carefully. Take your time. As you move through the text, pay close attention to what words and ideas draw your attention uniquely. When your focus is drawn to a particular word or thought, pause momentarily to reflect on them.
- Reflect: Upon completing the passage, return to the beginning and read again. On your second journey through the text, allow the text to connect with you personally. Which words or phrases assume a particular resonance in your heart, your season of life, or your person at this moment? Ask, “What do I need to know, be, or do in light of the text? What does this mean for my life today?”
- Respond: Talk to God about your experience. If you’re confused, say that. Moved? Express gratitude to God. Upset? Tell him about it. Compelled to worship? Worship. If the text has brought something else to mind, talk to God about that.
- Rest: Pause in God’s presence before fleeing from the moment. You might express wonder, awe, gratitude, or praise through words or allow yourself to feel and experience these things quietly before God.
Be prepared to share next week with your Community anything noteworthy or meaningful from your time in Psalms.
Close in prayer
End your time together by having one person read Psalm 24 as a prayer.