Blogs We Love, Dr Michael O'Neil; Director Vose Research, Theologians At Lunch

A Monday Meditation

Welcome to a new week everyone. I hope you have enjoyed a good weekend with some relaxation and worship. Maybe you got some household chores done as well!

This morning I shared this meditation exercise with the staff at Vose Seminary, as we move into our first week of working-from-home because of COVID-19. Perhaps you might like to join us in this exercise.

James 1:17-18          
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first-fruits of all he created.

 

Whether you are at home this week, or at work, or perhaps do not have work at present, why not set aside fifteen to twenty minutes either first thing, or at an appropriate time in the day to read and meditate on this text. You may like to use the following guide as a small prayer exercise. Indeed I encourage you to do this every day this week, perhaps focusing in point four on a different category of grace-received each day.

  1. Begin by ‘entering into his presence with thanksgiving’ (Psalm 100:4) – what can you thank God for this morning?
  2. Read the text slowly and prayerfully, letting it seep into your mind. Be still for a minute or two, and then read it again, and perhaps even a third time.
  3. Imagine the gifts of God streaming down like bright rays of the sun enlightening and warming all that is. Imagine them streaming down upon your life.
  4. Ponder all the good gifts you have received – every natural gift, cultural gift, gifts of family and relationships, spiritual gifts, vocational gifts, opportunities . . . Imagine them coming down from above, from the Father of lights, good and generous gifts of the good and generous God.
  5. Give thanks to God, our generous Father, for all these wonderful and uniquely-you gifts!
  6. Consider: how else might I respond to all this grace? What does it mean to be the child of such a generous Father (v. 18)? What might he intend for me?
  7. If you are up for it, keep a journal of your prayer, and maybe share your insights or experience in prayer with a trusted friend or colleague.
If you would like to see my exegetical study of this passage you can see my blog here for part 1 and here for a bit more. And I have written on James 1:18 here.

 

Every good and perfect blessing be yours this week.

A Monday Meditation