Dwelling in scripture is an ancient Christian practice, but for many of us it is a new spiritual practice. Dwelling creates space for the Spirit to open up our imagination and helps us to form community based in scripture. During our time of social isolation many of us are finding that our lives are slowing down. You may find this slower pace of life allows you to quieten your life with God and develop a new way of being with him through scripture. Listening and attending is the first step in our journey of joining God in our neighborhoods.
The practice of dwelling in the word helps us re-enter the biblical narrative. Through this practice we dwell in the same scripture repeatedly over a the week. As we do this, our prayer is that the text begins to live in us as we live in the text.
How does this work?
Read Matthew 13:44-46 out loud.
Sit in silence for 1 – 2 minutes.
Prepare to read the same passage a second time, before you do ask the Spirit to open you to what he is saying to you through this passage, some questions you might want to reflect on include:
- Are there words, phrases, ideas which grasp you?
- How do you think the Spirit of God might be nudging you?
- What was surprising? What questions did you have about the text?
- What does this passage say to our world today?
- What is the Good News for you?
- What is God saying to you through this passage? How are you being changed or transformed in your? How is God sending and equipping us to be witnesses?
- What does following Jesus look like (feel, smell, taste, sound) in the text?
- How does this text inform you about what following Jesus looks like for us here and now?
Read the passage a second time.
Spend time prayerfully reflecting on these questions. You might want to write your reflections. Don’t become anxious if your mind wanders, allow the Spirit to take you where you need to go. Don’t force yourself to come up with the “right” answer. There is no correct length of time, take as long as you need.
Repeat this practice each day of the week, using the same passage.
You might want to share some of your thoughts with someone else.