Thursday January 17 , 2019

A DEVOTIONAL MEDITATION practice is one that focuses on God through adoration—love and respect—as well as gratitude, reverence, and veneration. We already practice devotion to God through our worship experiences in our own faith communities. Devotional meditation uses scripture, prayer, mantras, hymns, and Taizé songs to offer humble obeisance to God.
Why do we need a devotional meditation practice? Because most of our thoughts and actions revolve around us. Devotion helps us recalibrate ourselves toward God, who is our rightful Center. It helps us engage in the contemplative practice of theoria (“gazing”). When God is our North Star, we can more easily calm our minds and draw nearer to our Creator. In doing so, we become attuned to God’s voice and will for our lives. There’s no shortage of ways to do this, but here are some examples of devotional meditation.

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Wednesday January 16, 2019

Isaiah 62:1-5
62:1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch.

62:2 The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will give.

62:3 You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

62:4 You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married.

62:5 For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.

Tuesday January 15, 2019

MEDITATION, I learned, is often wordless prayer. This intentional and quiet practice helps us focus our attention on God—and listen for God’s “still small voice”—so that we may experience God’s revelations. In contrast with prayer, meditation uses fewer words (or none) so that our spiritual and mental effort is concentrated on soothing the mind’s chaos to hear what God has to say.

Saturday January 12, 2019

DURING LENT, we talk of self-examination and “giving up something.” To those who are unfamiliar with these practices, Lent may sound like a Christian self-improvement season. We focus on bad things we need to eliminate from our lives. We replace our normal greeting, “The Peace of Christ be with you,” with the Lenten alternative, “So what are you giving up this year?” We confess and examine our lives. We talk about our struggles, the times we fail to keep our Lenten disciplines. Lent may seem composed of difficult tasks we endure to get to Easter, dues paid to attend the sunrise service.
Do we focus on ourselves too much in Lent? Have we lost sight of how our Lenten practices are meant to draw us closer to God?