Advent Anticipation & Preparation:  The Practice of Scripture Meditation

When Mary visited her relative Elizabeth and they shared the joy of their miraculous pregnancies, Luke records:

“And Mary said: ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.’”  (Luke 1:46-47; NKJ)

This is the beginning of what we call the Magnificat.  In this single song of praise, scholars have identified allusions to at least thirty-five different Old Testament passages!  There is an ongoing debate as to how many more passages Mary draws from in her song, but one thing is abundantly clear: Mary must have been a passionate student of the Word of God!  Certainly, this must be a part of God’s choice of Mary to bear his Son.  Mary must have been able to say with her ancestor, David,

“Oh, how I love Your law!  It is my meditation all the day.”  (Psalm 119:97; NKJ)

The practice of Biblical meditation goes beyond merely reading the scripture, as enormously beneficial as that is.  To practice Scripture meditation is to take a portion of scripture and to read it slowly, even reread it, and think prayerfully and deeply up on it.  George Muller, that giant of faith whose biography has blessed so many, wrote:

“The first thing I did, after having asked in a few words the Lord’s blessing upon His precious Word, was to begin to meditate on the Word of God; searching, as it were, into every verse, to get blessing out of it; not for the sake of the public ministry of the Word; not for the sake or preaching on what I had meditated upon; but for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul. The result I have found to be almost invariably this, that after a very few minutes my soul has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication; so that though I did not, as it were, give myself to prayer, but to meditation, yet it turned almost immediately more or less into prayer.”

What an antidote for our hurried times you will find this to be; to linger over the Word of God and experience it opening to you as a flower greeting the sun.  What a wonderful way to prepare our hearts for the Christ of Christmas!

Blessings in Christ!

Tim

About this Devotional Series

Advent has a twofold purpose.  Advent is the season of preparation for the celebration of God’s coming in incarnate humility at Christ’s birth.  It is also the season of anticipation of Christ soon returning in glory!  Each weekday we look at one way we can prepare ourselves to experience Christ’s presence in our lives more fully.  These preparations are more commonly known as Spiritual Disciplines.  Spiritual Disciplines are practices that make room in our lives for the Holy Spirit to produce growth in our lives.  Some of these may resonate with you, others may not.  But there are rich spiritual rewards from exercising these disciplines that will greatly enrich our celebration of Christmas and indeed our whole lives!  My prayer is that you will find blessing and inspiration in these words during this season.

Published by Tim O

I chose the Greek form of my name as the title for the blog. It means “honoring God”. That is the goal of my life and of my writing. I hope it also encourages you along the way. Thanks for joining me!

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