On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words. Luke 24:1-8
Is there a connection between meditation and memorization? I know that the goal of meditation is not specifically to memorize something. And I have to tell you, I seem to be unable to remember much of anything. I still hum my way through invitation songs standing before the audience because even though I have heard these songs hundreds of times over my life, I still do not know the words by heart. But maybe this is all an excuse and there’s just this mental block that I have set up about memorizing Scripture.
I really can’t think of a time when I am tempted to sin and at the same time concentrating on the Word of God. It’s like eating a plate of spaghtetti while watching an intestinal operation on The Discovery Channel. The two things just do not go together. Our Master set the pace for us in times of temptation while in the wilderness. I find this account to be mysterious. We are told it was a 40 day experience. Yet we have less than a chapter about the whole thing. Mostly we need to know, I suppose, that Jesus recalled Scripture in the time of fiercest temptation. That’s a good plan for us as well.
So I choose Romans 8. It has always been one of the most fascinating chapters in the Bible to me. I was once criticized for quoting from Romans 8 too often in my sermons … by someone who also griped that I preached “love, love love”. I accepted the compliment, though it was unintended! But all that aside, I want to remember. And I want to be able to speak the Word of God from my heart during times of meditation and contemplation.
Now there is a danger to avoid. We are not to try to make meditation meaningful, as if it is a waste of time. We are not inserting memorization into the meditation time in order to make it a practical venture. It is practical on it’s own. I hope that by using memorization my meditation times will be more focused.
So my plan is to take it slow. I’m not going to try to memorize it all this week. I want to sip, not gulp, the wine of His word. So I will take five verses a week. I will meditate on those five verses, reading at first … and later concentrating on each phrase from memory. I expect some of those thoughts to appear here on Out Here Hope Remains.
So how are you at memorization? If you were to pick a chapter in the Bible, which would you choose to memorize (or perhaps you already have?). If our country were to be overthrown and all Bibles destroyed, would you retain enough in your memory to continue on the Christian journey?
***Links & Thoughts***
We had a good Sunday at Central. We had 84 present for morning worship. My podcast is updated with yesterday’s sermon on “How To Get More From Your Bible”. Last night we enjoyed fellowship at the home of one of our elders. After a devotional, we enjoyed a spontaneous discussion about the lead story in this month’s Christian Chronicle. It was a great discussion that I enjoyed very much. Several rode the church van over to Ocean Springs and back, and that was a fun trip all by itself. Next Sunday is first Sunday, so that means we will have a fellowship meal following morning worship.
Religious publisher Delton Haun has passed from this life. As recently as this week I received a catalog from Haun Publishing. Many of the tracts that have been passed out around the world have come from this publishing company. The Lord only knows the immense influence of this brother. His obituary can be found HERE.
I would like to recognize the passing of one of our time’s best known New Testament scholars, Bruce Metzger. HERE is Christianity Today’s report, along with other links.
I didn’t know that Ben Overby was writing about Jesus’ time in the wilderness at the same time I was, but you can read his post HERE.