Search the Scriptures

Have you ever picked up your Bible, read a passage from it, and then sat back and wondered what in the world God was trying to say to you?   It’s possible that you may have walked away and decided either that you were spiritually deaf or that the passage didn’t have any consequence for your life.   But somewhere inside your heart, you sensed that there was something in that passage for you—you just couldn’t put your finger on it.

We all know that God wants to reveal himself to us through Scripture.   But just like everything else in the Christian life, Scripture won’t just magically make sense to us.   We need to cooperate with the Spirit, and that takes some time, attention, and perseverance.

The following guidelines can help you hear the Lord as you read his word.   Try them over the next few days, and see if they make a difference.

• Select a Scripture passage that you want to read.   Maybe you will choose to follow the daily Mass readings.

• Don’t read right away, but begin with prayer.   If you feel like singing or humming a hymn from Mass, do it.

• Next, read the Scripture passage you have chosen.

• Read it again slowly, dwelling on the words or phrases that struck you.

• Use your imagination to place yourself in the scene described in this passage.

• Imagine that Jesus is sitting across from you and telling you this story himself.

• Be still.   During this quiet period, some words or pictures may bubble up in your thoughts.   This may be God speaking to you—especially if the images and thoughts lead you closer to Christ, fill you with hope, or stir your heart to love and forgive.

• Try to write out what you think God is saying to you, and close with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving.

God wants to reveal himself to us in Scripture.   Only by quiet reflection will we learn to hear his voice.

Word Among Us