The practice of Christian meditation is not well-known in our Lutheran congregations and schools. We have tended to focus more on the intellectual side of our faith (the head) than on the spiritual side (the heart). But there is much to be gained through practising Christian meditation, which aims to connect us with the God-centred core of our being.
Significantly, Christian meditation, once well-established in the contemplative traditions of the church, is making a return among everyday Christians – including Lutherans.
But what is it? It draws upon a deep desire and willingness to enter into a more intimate relationship with God. It is not centred upon the individual meditator but upon God.
The Christian meditator seeks to be still and silent, to listen to God and to simply be in his presence. To do this, many sit upright to focus and repeat a word or phrase to keep their mind from wandering. Many say the biblical word ma-ra-na-tha (‘Come, O Lord’). Others prefer to repeat the name of Jesus, or to say ‘Lord, have mercy’. This can be done in groups, but is also done by individuals once or twice each day in a quiet place.
Meditation is a form of prayer that assists us towards being continually transformed to be more like Christ, and less centred upon ourselves. I have been practising Christian meditation for more than four years and have been thankful for the journey upon which God has led me. By learning to be still before God and listen, I have found that Christ has gently changed me, bringing me not only closer to him but also closer to whom he wants me to be.
More information: World Community for Christian Meditation – www.wccmaustralia.org.au
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