This summer at Hume the staff did something different. Honestly, at first, I was a little annoyed. I love going to Hume because they have an amazing program and I can trust what they are doing so my team and I can hang out with students. This summer as we went over the schedule the staff shared an addition to the schedule this year that would give each pastor 90 minutes to spend with just their church. Some ideas that were thrown out were to play volleyball together, to go to the cove or just do something with your church.
At first I wasn't sure what to do so I needed to seek Jesus. After taking the night to think/pray about it I came up with the fact that our students needed to learn some spiritual exercises. I was pretty nervous because our ministry is very evangelistic focused and I felt that we needed to teach our students how to meditate on scripture using a practice that has been used throughout the church for centuries: Lectio Divina.
Wednesday afternoon we piled our students in the chapel and worked through this exercise:
1) Find a word in scripture (Lectio)
I started out reading Psalm 46:10 and asked students to find a word in that verse. When you meditate on scripture it is helpful to use the Psalms but you can meditate on pretty much any scripture in the Bible. I have used this practice while reading the Gospels, Epistles and Psalms. You can take a few minutes on this part to read through scripture and while reading you find a word that grabs your attention and sticks out to you.
2) Listen to the word (Meditatio)
Now that you have a word in your mind comes the fun part (it can also be the most difficult part). See we live in a culture that rejects down town and relaxation. Meditating on scripture is not something that we tend to encourage in the church. This can be difficult but very rewarding. After you have found the word take some time to meditate on that word. When your mind wonders just bring that word right back to the front of your mind and focus on that word and allow it to just speak to you.
3) Pray on that scripture (Oratio)
After you have meditated on that word for a couple minutes take some time to pray about that word. Ask God what that word has to do in your life right now, how that word can grow you in your walk with Christ and what could happen in your life if you would trust God more. This is a cool part that just causes you to pray specifically on that certain word.
4) Abide in God (Contemplatio)
Now this is where it really gets cool. After you have found your word, you have taken some time to meditate on that word, you have prayed through that word for a few minutes now is when you get to do something that can be amazing: spend time with God. You just chill with God in this portion of the spiritual exercise. This is where you allow God to speak to you through your word and encourage you in what He would ask of you.
Now its your turn to spend time with God and allow Him to speak to your heart through His word!