Meditative Writing, Week One

Welcome to the Meditative Writing experience. I am glad you are here, and I pray that you will be blessed in a unique and special way, a way perfect for you, that only you need and can appreciate. You may not even know what you need, but God does, and when you open yourself to God, God will open to you.

Your first task may be the most difficult: You need at least 20 minutes (30 would be better) of uninterrupted time and space. Find somewhere you can be comfortable. Have a glass of water, herbal tea, or healthy drink of your choice nearby. You may like to have your own Bible with you, or an online portal such as Bible Gateway. You also need something to write on and write with. You may choose paper and pen or pencil, or your computer, whichever feels best to you. When you are ready, follow the steps below.

  1. Go to the Lectionary for this week and begin by praying the prayer at the top under “The Collect.” You may add to and personalize this prayer in any way you wish. Do ask God to enter and cleanse you, and to surround you with the Holy Spirit. Next, read through the four Bible passages. Read thoughtfully, asking God which of these passages is especially speaking to you at this time. When you have chosen one of the passages, read it again two or three times so that you will be familiar with it. Look it up in your Bible, or in other versions if you wish. Then come back to this page. (The link will open in a new page.)
  2. Next, get completely comfortable and click on the Meditation Starter. It’s about 5 minutes, and too large to embed here, so this link will take you to my YouTube channel. Come back here when you are through, and share whatever you like in the comments below.

I  hope you are deeply blessed by this time with God.

NOTE: The comments left here will always be visible to anyone who visits this page, so if you have private comments you’d like to share only with this group, email them to me at debbonnaire@debbonnaire.com and I will share them with the group. (Unless you say you only want to share with me, in which case they will be held confidential.)

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5 Responses to Meditative Writing, Week One

  1. Debbonnaire says:

    Here is what I thought about tonight. The passage that particularly struck me was the Genesis 17, in which Abram and Sarai, both nearing a century old, are promised that they will be the parents of a mighty and numerous nation. This is not the first time God has made this promise to Abram. It’s been at least a couple of decades since they were first called. This time, they are given new names. It’s as if the early promises are being ratified in a special way.
    (If God renamed you, what might that new name be?)
    I had a minor meltdown earlier today. It’s late February, the weather has been particularly nasty, I’ve been out of my thyroid medication due in part to that same weather, I was recently basking on the beach in Los Angeles and am suffering from both jet lag and something you might call weather shock, and there have been several other stressful events in the past week. In a word, I feel old.
    I know it’s silly, but I just feel too darn OLD to keep on trying to do all the things I feel called to do. That I WANT to do… on brighter days, anyway!
    So, out there in the cosmos with God, I was asking, “Can these bones live?”
    I have to say, I didn’t get any particularly epiphanic answers. God, who is slightly older than a century, just smiled.
    And it was okay.

  2. When I read through the four Bible passages I was confused by a shift in tone. The first three (from Genesis 17, Psalm 22, and Romans 4) are all promising grace, unexpected abundance. Then in Mark 8 we switch to Jesus speaking about His own suffering, rebuking Peter, and telling His followers they need to take up their cross and follow Him. Abraham will be the father of a great nation; the poor will sit down to a good meal; the “new Israel” of believers will be grafted in to old Israel and receive eternal life … but Jesus warns us His way is hard and full of sacrifice. How do these readings tie together? Is the life of faith one of richness and abundance, or hardship and sacrifice.

    Both, of course; it’s always both. When I thought of Jesus’ words about taking up the cross to follow Him in the context of these other, almost embarrassingly lavish promises, I thought of the children’s Sabbath School illustration that I must have heard so early in life it permanently etched itself on my brain. Apparently, in some country where there are monkeys, you can catch a monkey by putting a treat at the bottom of a narrow-necked jar. The monkey can reach into the jar with open hand, but once it has the treat in its fist, it can’t get its hand back out. Clinging to something that seems good leads the monkey to captivity.

    I have no idea, and no desire to know, if you can actually catch monkeys this way. I do know that you can’t pick up a new thing, even a better thing, with a closed fist. As long as you’re clinging to self, you can’t take all that God longs to give with open hands. Jesus said we need to be willing to let go of our lives, to lose them in order to gain something greater. Sometimes letting go is just a matter of opening our hands.

    • Debbonnaire says:

      Thank you, Trudy. When I think about that monkey story, it sometimes seems as if, the closer the trapper comes, the more you panic and clutch, even though part of your brain is going, Let go!! Let go!! God help us relax, trust, and let go so that he can rescue us.

  3. Debbonnaire says:

    This response came from participant Helena. She gave me permission to post it.
    Mark 8:31-38.
    From the viewpoint of Peter.

    So here I am, hearing my leader talk about how he is going to be killed. And that the leaders of my church. MY CHURCH are going to make him suffer, to the point of killing him? Well, if he keeps talking that way, well, yeah, they are going to get frustrated with him! Why would he say such stuff against the church? Accusing them of something they have not done. And why is he preaching this like everybody needs to hear it? Is he purposefully trying to get people to turn against the church? He is acting like that member last year who was bringing false accusations against the church in attempts to divide the congregation and watch the church falter. Why is Jesus doing this? Is he not the Son of God, whom we have been worshiping and waiting for since before Abraham? Why does he want to take himself out? I’m going to have to talk to him about this behavior. And he doesn’t mean that the priests, elders, and scribes are actually going to kill him, physically, right? He is just talking about how their sins are killing him emotionally, right? And that he is going to have to suffer through their mistakes and misunderstandings, slowly killing him on the inside, right?

    Hey, Jesus! I need to talk to you. Can we go over here real quick?
    Why are you talking like that!? Why are you falsely accusing the church of killing you and making you suffer? You are obviously still here! You clearly are not dead. How can they kill you anyway, aren’t you like God or something? Why would they kill you? You have come to save us, right? Why would they kill their Savior?

    What the heck Jesus. I am trying to help you. And here you go rebuking me in front of my friends. After all we have been through? I was just trying to help. And to call me Satan!? What did I do!? Setting my mind on human things…. well of course I am! Aren’t I human? Aren’t you a human? How does you being killed have anything to do with “divine things.” I don’t understand you Jesus.

    Oh, and now you are calling the crowd over. Great. Bring more attention to yourself. Why are you doing this Jesus!?

    “Those who are ashamed of me and of my words…the Son of Man will also be ashamed.” So this is all about shame. Me trying to save you, to stop you from saying such nonsense is about shame? I am not ashamed of your words! I am trying to save you! (Well, maybe I am ashamed, but that’s not the point).

    And what’s with you always talking with double-meanings. Can’t you just talk straightforward?
    Oh. Wait…..

    • Very nice! I always think that just as Jesus was clearly frustrated with his disciples sometimes, a lot of the times they must have been frustrated with him too! And I too have wondered how Peter felt about Jesus calling him “Satan”!!

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