The other night as I was getting ready for bed and thinking about what I might put in my next blog post I found myself wondering thinking, “What would Jesus Blog?” OK, I know that the “What Would Jesus Do?” thing is now so ubiquitous that it has practically lost all meaning that it may have originally had, but that is the phrase that came to mind none-the-less.
There are often days when I don’t really know where to go to get in touch with God’s message to me. Sometimes, as you know, I read a devotional book like The Message// Remix:Solo but there are days when I don’t have that at hand, or when I just don’t feel inspired to read in that format. Last week at my meetings in Toronto one of our sessions was started with a time of Lection Divina. The person leading us told us to sit up with our feet flat on the floor, hands on our legs, and eyes closed. He then slowly read a Psalm. After giving some time for that to sink in he directed us to listen again for a phrase that stood out to us. Then again we heard the Psalm but to find a particular word that stood out. Finally we listened another time to hear what God wanted us to know or to do.
I’ll admit that I was a little uncomfortable with this as I didn’t know whether we were going to be asked at the end to share our revelations, which then lead to concern about what would happen if I didn’t have any revelations to share? If I didn’t have a particular message ringing through did that mean I had done it wrong or wasn’t really interested in hearing from God? As it turned out, there was no follow-up discussion for this devotion. In a way I was relieved and wished I had known that when we started. On the other hand I felt somehow let down.
If you look up Lectio Divina on Wikipedia you will find this entry, ”
Lectio Divina is Latin for divine reading, spiritual reading, or “holy reading,” and represents a traditional Catholic practice of prayer and scriptural reading intended to promote communion with God and to increase in the knowledge of God‘s Word. It is a way of praying with Scripture that calls one to study, ponder, listen and, finally, pray and even sing and rejoice from God’s Word, within the soul.”
At its heart this is a deeply individual practice and I think my discomfort came from this use of it in a corporate sense. I don’t think it is a practice that lends itself to public worship. That being said, I do think that the practise is very good for private prayer and study. In fact, it is actually the format which Peterson takes in The Message Remix//Solo. But, how does one choose what to read? If you are in the process of reading the Bible from cover-to-cover I don’t think that just reading the next chapter fits in very well. One of the websites that I keep open on my browser is PCUSA’s Daily Lectionary Reading page. http://gamc.pcusa.org/devotion/daily. The Lectionary divides the Bible up into a three-year series of readings. We most often hear of it in terms of a minister’s choice of readings as the basis for Sunday worship. Not all ministers follow the lectionary for their source, but it is definitely used in many of the main-line churches.
It was in this context that I found myself thinking of the Bible as God’s Blog. Every time I approach a reading from the Lectionary, no matter how many times I have read it, studied it, or preached on it before, there is something new there for me. The idea of a blog is for it to be up-to-date and topical messages from one person’s perspective and available to all. I don’t expect many people to read my blog, but I hope that those who do find something useful or thought-provoking with each post. In the same way the daily Lectionary readings will be read by many different people, for different reasons, and each may find a different message therein.
If you would like to give this a try, the Evening Psalms for January 19, 2011 are Psalm 48 and Psalm 4. Choose one of these, find your Bible, a comfortable place to sit, and settle in to read the passage several times. You might start by reading quickly for an overall impression. Then wait a few minutes before reading again more slowly. If you find yourself getting stuck on a phrase or even being led off in a different line of thinking by something you read don’t berate yourself for not paying attention, but follow that line and see where it leads you. I would suggest reading at least three times. Look for words or phrases that seem particularly poignant to you or maybe even irritating. Allow God’s blog to speak to you and then respond, as you might in the comment box below, in prayer, song, in your journal or just in your heart.
While many blogs do not have entries every day, or may have days where the message is just thrown in so that there will be something daily, God’s blog is always there every day with a message designed just for you. Put Him on your RSS feed, or subscribe to His blog, you will not regret it!