These are some thoughts from our Chaplain to the Summer Staff about daily time with God. We've shared them with staff in the past to help them begin a daily devotional time.
Reading: Luke 10: 38-42 (Click to read text)
Reflection: This is a troubling passage. Be hospitable or sit at Jesus’ feet? Which is it? We know that doing--being busy, studying even partying is important. We cannot serve God by being totally inactive. But, paying attention to Jesus is also important as Luke tells us. My pastor recently gave the best insight I have had into this passage for a long time. She said, “It’s a matter of timing.” Isn’t that it? There is a time for us to be busy and there is a time for us to be still, quiet. There is a time for us to actively serve our God and there is a time for us to sit at Jesus’ feet. We do seem to have an easier time doing than we do being still. We have to work at it.
I recommend setting aside a time every day to “sit at Jesus’ feet”—to attend to your spiritual development. Here are three things that are pretty much universally considered essential for personal, daily spiritual development.
1. You must make time and space specifically for spiritual development. Set a time in your daily schedule that is fairly consistently available. This time should be free from distractions—a time when the world cannot overwhelm you. Establish a space where you can be alone, free from interruptions including your own thoughts. Some early Christians went into the desert to accomplish this!
2. Read something prayerfully every day. Many read a portion of scripture. If you choose to do that, read it so that you are drawn into a relationship with God. This is not the time to “study.” One discipline that may be useful to you is called lectio divina. A Google search for lectio divina will give you lots of information. Others find other reading material helpful as well. Sin Boldly by Cathleen Falsani was helpful to me. a big little life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog by Dean Koontz inspired me.
3. Put God at the center of your spiritual development time. One way to do that is pray these words (the Kyrie) repeatedly: Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me. One of the advantages of using these (or similar) words is that they tend to keep you focused and you don’t even have to think about what to say. Another possibility is the Lord’s Prayer.
In a nutshell:
--Jim Bricker, Chaplain to the Camp Mount Luther Summer Staff
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