A Contemplative Week

The past four days have been days of rest and reading.  I am beginning to feel a bit renewed.  With two more days of vacation remaining, I will keep to my Sabbath commitment and refrain from processing my many ponderings into something worth reading.  However, I will share with you two thoughts from my reading today.

The first thought is from the Bible.  “Be still and know that I am God,” (Psalm 46:10) and “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and trust shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15).  These two verses are among many in the Bible that remind us of the necessity of quiet and rest in our lives.  We are not God, and the world is not saved by our efforts.  As we quiet our striving and listen for God’s “still, small voice,” (1 Kings 19:12) we find rest and strength.

The second is from Eugene Peterson’s excellent book on the Christian life, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.  “It is this fusion of God speaking to us (Scripture) and our speaking to him (prayer) that the Holy Spirit uses to form the life of Christ in us . . .The fusion is accomplished by reading these Scriptures slowly, imaginatively, prayerfully and obediently.  This is the way the Bible has been read by most Christians for most of the Christian centuries, but it is not commonly read that way today.  We read it for what we can get out of it, what we can put to use, what we think we can use – and right now . . . read our Scriptures slowly, imaginatively, prayerfully, and obediently.  Each adverb is important.”

“Slowly, imaginatively, prayerfully, and obediently.”  “Be still, and know that I am God.”  Good words for a contemplative week on the journey.

Journey peacefully,

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