What spiritual practice are you embracing to deepen in your faith in this new year? There are lots of options. I want to share with you what I’m doing as an example (though I hope you’ll discover whatever spiritual practice is meaningful to you.)
I’m engaging in journaling through scripture, focusing specifically on all the words Jesus said in the gospel of John. I’m using the YouVersion Bible app that has the words of Jesus in red in the Common English Bible and the New International Version.
The first words John records Jesus saying form a question (that, in itself, I find intriguing—Jesus’ first words aren’t telling people what they should do but ask an exploring question.) The question Jesus asked was: What do you want? (John 1:38)
When I journal, I read over a passage again and again, seeking to pray over it and to be spiritually sensitive to what the Holy Spirit may want me to “get” from the scripture.
Here’s what I wrote in my scripture journal about these first words of Jesus:
What could be the reason Jesus asks this question? Doesn’t Jesus already know what I want? What could be the purpose of the question? Is it to get me to think about what I truly want? Want from Jesus? Want from others? Want from myself?
Does Jesus ask me this question so I might come to grips with what’s most important in my life? With what are the idols in my life? How is it that I even decide what I want?
What do I really want first and foremost from Jesus? I know this much. Jesus, I want you as the Lord of my life to lead me in life because without you I am lost.
I then use the interlinear function of the online Blue Letter Bible that shows the meaning of the Greek words in the New Testament (the good news is that you don’t have to know Greek to use this tool!)
I found there that to “want” means to “seek in order to find” or to “desire”. That leads to more pondering on my part about what it is I really am seeking to find and about what do I truly desire, and then I journal some more.
This gives you an idea of one kind of spiritual practice. I encourage you to consider others. But I do have one hope. I hope everyone in our Journey Church community of faith will read through the gospel of John in 2023 with one goal—to get to know Jesus more and more—who he is and how he lived and what he taught. Then I hope we’ll apply that to our lives.