gratitude & hoopla: A Self-Designed Devotional

gratitude & hoopla

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

28.11.05

A Self-Designed Devotional

Wow . . . four whole days, nearly five, without blogging. And yet . . . it's okay. All is well. Thanksgiving was tasty and fun. And meanwhile, I've continue to sink each morning into Paul's little letter to the Ephesians. This has truly become that blog about Ephesians, hasn't it? But then the principle purpose of g&h is to serve as a kind of personal bulletin board of God's grace in my life. And these days, his grace is coming to me through his Word, and most precisely through the Epistle to the Ephesians.

So be it. This all began when I decided to replace my daily devotional reading with a process of my own devising. This was an experiment of sorts, but I have found it very rewarding.

First, having chosen the Epistle to the Ephesians as my text, I begin each morning by copying out a passage. I do this carefully, printing in as clear a hand as I know how (I use a mechanical pencil and a nifty Moleskine journal). The length of the passage varies from one or two verses to as many as ten, and I often repeat-copy the same passage on several consecutive mornings.

Next, I journal my personal response to the passage. Sometimes this involves simply restating Paul's message in my own words. Sometimes, working out my thoughts regarding the meaning of the text. I try to stay very close to the text here, and not let my thoughts stray to other matters. The goal is to see the passage clearly, and to catch the overall direction of Paul's argument.

Finally, if any part of this scribbling seems like it might be useful to others, I share it here at g&h.

That's it. That's my morning devotional. It has the great benefit of really encouraging an engagement with the text that goes well beyond mere reading. I am very pleased with this process so far.

As of this morning, I have reached Ephesians 3:14. I am about to take up Paul's great prayer that the Ephesians would grasp how wide and long and high and deep is God's love for them. More on all this (probably much more) in the days ahead.

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