For the class that I am taking right now we have a short time of silent meditation at the beginning and at the end of the day. Actually this is a topic that I have been thinking about quite a bit recently, and I have had several conversations with various people on this topic. Today I want to try to give a simple introduction to Christian meditation.
- Christian meditation is Word centered. In this way it is very different from Buddhist and other Eastern forms of meditation that have as their goal the emptying of the mind and becoming passive. Christian meditation is an active engagement with God founded on His revelation of Himself in the Bible
- Christian meditation is different from Bible reading or Bible study. Study is analytical while meditation is more holistic. To take a simple analogy, to analyze a flower might require you to cut it apart, study its internal structure, and understand how it works. But to meditate on a flower you would contemplate its beauty, enjoy its fragrance and reflect on its part in God’s creation.
- Christian meditation has as its goal an encounter with God in His Word and hearing His voice speak to our lives. As we reflect on God’s truth we listen for Him to speak to us and we respond in prayer and obedience to what He has shown us.
- In order to meditate we need to learn to listen, and to distinguish God’s voice from our own thoughts and feelings or the voices of others. This takes practice. We are much better at talking than listening, and we usually fill our lives with a great deal of “noise.” Contemplation is practically a lost art.
I will end this post here for now, but I am sure that it could be much improved on. But I wanted to put down some thoughts while I was thinking about this subject. I welcome your feedback and comments.