Receive . . . Enjoy . . . Let go
Freighted with meanings and memories, associations and reflections far beyond their official definitions, words can be an invitation to pay attention.
Watch . . . Accept . . . Resist
Marilyn McEntyre has chosen fifteen words as the basis for fifteen weeks of daily meditations, as Word by Word, she challenges readers to let the word of the week become a focus for prayer and for biblical meditation.
Allow . . . Be still . . .Follow
There is a delight to discovering that “words may become little fountains of grace,” and Marilyn’s brief daily musings amplify the voice of the Spirit, sending me back to the Source.
Rejoice . . . Ask . . . Dare
For those who believingly follow Jesus Christ, meditation begins, not with an empty brain or a blank slate, but with revealed Truth. Our use of language is a mark of the image of God, and the words we use are the basis of our communion with ourselves, with one another, and with God in prayer.
Leave . . . Welcome . . . and my favorite: Listen
Word by Word reminded me again (I’m a slow learner) of the need to listen with humility and openness, to “notice what I notice,” which is sound advice indeed, especially in the pursuit of Spirit-breathed wisdom.
Throughout Scripture, the faithful found that the voice of God often emerged from the silence. In this season of Advent, I find myself listening in to the four- hundred-year silence between the testaments, the pause that was broken by startling birth announcements and accompanied by angels. John’s first epistle identifies this “manifestation” as The Word of life, a reminder that God’s ultimate self-expression and His message are so inextricably linked that they have been identified by a single term: The Word.
Of course, it should be clearly understood that listening is a risky business, because the listener may be required to act upon what she hears.
Those who dare to engage in the counter-cultural practices of listening, pondering, and praying will find that it turns down the volume on this kingdom of noise and clears the deck for a habit of stillness and a continuing practice of listening — really listening — as we read Scripture in the manner in which it was given: word by word.
This book was provided by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
An Announcement for January
Most of us have a favorite C.S. Lewis book, whether it’s the incisive practical theology of Mere Christianity or the glorious story-telling found in The Chronicles of Narnia. It turns out that C.S. Lewis’s favorite of all his books was Till We Have Faces. One Lewis scholar calls it his “most subtle treatment of the relation between good and evil.”
Till We Have Faces is a novel, based on the mythical tale of Cupid and Psyche, and in it, Lewis explores themes such as the selfishness of human love, the limits of reason, the corrupting effects of self-will, and in Lewis’s own words, “the havoc a vocation or even a faith works on human life.” I’m planning to lead a discussion group about the book starting in January, and am hoping that many of you will join me, so here’s a quick overview of the plan:
- The pace will be leisurely at three chapters per week (about 30-ish pages), which will take us into the beginning of March.
- I will be posting weekly starting January 5 (Thursdays) with introductory material and a detailed reading schedule. My hope is that the comments section here at Living Our Days will become a comfy living room where we can discuss our thoughts on the book. If you blog, PLEASE plan to include a link to your post about the week’s reading so that we can all benefit from one another’s impressions with more detail than is possible in the comments. If you don’t blog, no worries. Just share your thoughts in connection with the weekly reading here, and be sure to visit and respond to others.
More details to follow!
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