Invitation: Walk With Me?

16/07/12 1:23 AM

He said to me: Mortal, eat this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it. Then I ate it; and in my mouth it was as sweet as honey.(Ezekiel 3:3)

When I was in Seminary, I experienced the distinct blessing to be invited into a covenantal relationship with a fellow classmate. His name was Kevin. Kevin and I became friends when one day, during lunch, he asked me if I would be interested in entering into covenant with him for daily devotions, prayer, and accountability. He said he had been praying about whom he could share this journey with and, in his prayers, I had come to mind, even though we had not been friends for long before that. What he did not know is that I, too, had been praying for someone with whom to share the journey. Although we were essentially immersed in biblical and theological study as part of our seminary studies, we both felt that something was missing. We desired a deeper spiritual practice that would nurture us personally and would be distinct from any assignments we had to do for classes.

With the answer to our prayer, Kevin and I covenanted to wake up at 6:00am every morning to read scripture and to pray together. (We were not morning persons). As our practice, we would select a book of the Bible to read through together. In our meetings, we would read a chapter a day. (Sometimes it felt as though the chapters were reading us, so early in the morning). We did not engage in anything complicated – no theological discussion, no historical critical thinking (we left that for classes). Each morning, after reading the chapter for the day, we would ask one another two simple questions: a) What (words, verses, or images) stood out for you and why? b) What do you think God is saying to you through it? That was all!

After sharing our reflection and discernment, we would ask each other for any prayer requests. Then, we would close in prayer, praying for one another and giving thanks for the Word God had spoken to us that morning. On average, we spent 30minutes in devotions. On really good days (when we were awake), we could spend an hour and, maybe even follow it up at lunch or dinner or a coffee break during the day. Then, about once a week, we would meet at a Starbucks to hold one another accountable as we shared our triumphs and struggles during the past week. Words cannot begin to express how much of a transforming experience this was for me. Through this experience, I filled my heart’s stomach with the Word of God; tasted it and found that it was sweet as honey.

I share this experience with you for two reasons: first, I hope this can be a model that you can use with your family and friends if you’re not already engaged in personal devotions and prayer. Even if you do your own private devotions, I challenge you to invite at least one other person to share this journey with. I cannot tell you how many times I felt God speaking to me through Kevin, through his reflections and discernment. This experience taught me that: We need one another.

Second, I share this experience because I wish to invite you to share in my journey. Those of you who are “friends” with me on Facebook may remember that during Lent, I read through the Book of Isaiah. I read a chapter a day, and with each chapter, I wrote one or more prayers based on the scripture for that day. To write those prayers, I simply asked myself the same two simple questions that Kevin and I asked. As I listened for what God was saying to me, I transformed it into prayer, using the words and images from the scripture to form my praying words. The experience with Kevin taught me that we can find help and accountability along the way once we begin sharing such a journey together. Sometimes I get too busy or too lazy to read my chapter for the day. But, when I know that someone else is depending on me and waiting for me, I am less likely to skip a meal that would enrich my spirit. So, I am writing to invite you to enter into covenant with me.

Beginning on July 16, I invite you to join me in my journey and read through the scriptures with me. I have been reading through prophets. On July 16, I will start reading through the book of Hosea, and later Joel, Amos, etc. As I did through Lent, I will post on my Facebook Wall (and hopefully the church website) at least one prayer based on the chapter for the day. I invite you to read a chapter a day with me. I invite you ask yourselves the same two questions. And, if you wish, I invite you to post your reflections and discernment on your Facebook Wall (or comment on mine). I invite you to walk with me as we journey on along the way of discipleship.

As we eat and have our fill, I pray and trust that you and I will taste the Word of God and find that it is indeed sweet as honey. Come walk with me?

In Christ, Pastor Shandi


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