Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Kleinig, 2008. Chapter 2, “The Mystery of Meditation”

Chapter 2, “The Mystery of Meditation” pp. 87-150

In 1 Kings 3, Solomon asks God for wisdom. God gives him a heart to hear, which results in great wisdom. This is consistent with the classic view of Christian meditation, which emphasizes listening and considering God’s Word. Kleinig details a decline in this practice, then a renewal of interest, which unfortunately sent many to Eastern and New Age forms of meditation and prayer (p. 89).

Kleinig suggests that spontaneous meditation often takes the form of daydreaming or worrying (p. 90). “Meditation is, if I may hazard a definition, a relaxed form of concentration; we dwell on something, so that it, in turn, affects us in some way” (p. 92). Meditation is, then, almost the opposite of a process. It is something that happens.

How is this different in Christian meditation? “The key is not how we meditate, but on what we meditate” (p. 95). “Christian meditation focuses on Christ and His Word. It starts with Jesus and ends with him” (p. 96). Kleinig continues to explain in some detail how various people, including Jesus, meditate on God’s Word and are shaped by that Word. This is how we are fed spiritually (p. 104). On pp. 107-111, Kleinig considers that the Holy Spirit is our guide as we meditate on Scripture. What outcome do we expect? We expect a fruitful spiritual harvest (p. 114). Kleinig spends the rest of the chapter illustrating how God’s Word can speak to us at any and every time of the day, all the more as we meditate eagerly on it.

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