Did you notice that for a “devotional” there’s an absence of scripture references in this book? That’s because believers sometimes use the Bible as a weapon to batter seekers over the head, and I don’t want to do that.
Bible-buffs also use memorized chapter-and-verse to aggrandize themselves or to keep the uninitiated out. For these reasons, I have eschewed scripture references as much as possible.
Some would argue that you can’t come to know God without knowing the Bible. I disagree. Often the contradictions, confusions, and controversies surrounding the Bible are stumbling blocks to seekers. I have heard atheists blame the Bible and those believers who misuse it for their lack of belief.
Through centering prayer I have opened myself to mystical, direct experiences of God. These encounters did not depend on my Bible knowledge. Nor does my joy in God’s first Bible—the Creation.
However, I acknowledge the power of holy books to speak to us, and I invite seekers to take up scripture as they feel ready. A mentor pointed out that God doesn’t ask us to study or memorize the Bible. God does say to “meditate” on scripture. A good way to meditate on scripture, devised by long-ago monks, is called lectio divina, or divine reading. Here’s how you do it: Choose a passage, even at random, from a holy or spiritual book. Read it very slowly, letting it sink in. Don’t try to cover a whole chapter or book. When a word or phrase jumps off the page at you, stop and meditate on that phrase. Repeat it silently until your mind opens it up to reveal a new understanding. Scripture reveals itself to you when you give it time. This is why people say the Bible is a “living document.” It can speak a new epiphany to your soul each time you let it work. When you’re ready to try meditating on scripture, you can find detailed guidelines online.
Note: this blog is from A Doubter’s Devotional 2, chapter 10, available here on Amazon:order here