While attending the Ancient Future Community Group Life Conference at Willow Creek, I had the opportunity to participate in a spiritual tradition that is both ancient and present (and hopefully will be future). Amy and Judge Reinhold led a breakout session on contemplative prayer, actually a presentation and demonstration of lectio divina or "sacred reading" of scripture that incorporates periods of silence to listen to what God might be saying to us through a text. This was not a new practice for me, but the testimony provided by this couple of the impact it had made on their small group (at Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles) and their own lives was inspiring. The Bible has actually become the agenda of their small group.
The simple truth of their presentation is that reading and meditating on the Bible can make a difference in people's lives. Many of us come from a tradition that says it values Scripture but that actually tends to ignore it. Episcopalians use more Bible reading in their worship than any Baptist church does! In Bible study, we often talk about ourselves and our needs more than we talk about the Bible. If we really want to be traditional, let's read the Bible more!
God, help us to listen for your voice in our busy lives!