GUIDED SCRIPTURE MEDITATIONS FROM ALICE:

One of the things I love to do is lead someone in a brief meditation on Scripture. It is a holy experience to enter into Scripture in a way that is alive, healing, and life-changing. Sometimes I offer a meditation as a personal experience in spiritual direction and sometimes I offer meditations for group experiences. I also included Scripture meditations with each chapter in Mirror for the Soul.

 

My own delight in the life-giving nature of Scripture has prompted me to offer a few Scripture meditations for your own use. The following meditations are designed to help you look at your own life as a parable—a story where God’s love is experienced in daily life.

 

As you engage with Scripture in this way

 

  • Start with a minute or two of deep quiet

  • Let go of daily distractions for a few minutes

  • Allow yourself to enter into the passage, identifying with one of the characters or noticing how you experience the theme of Jesus' story line in your own life

 

Each meditation may take fifteen minutes or several days, if you continue to muse on it when you return to your normal activities. Notice and enjoy God's personal invitation to you in these parables told by Jesus.

MEDITATIONS

THE MUSTARD SEED

Matthew 13:31-32 (NIV)

31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

  1.   In your own spiritual journey when have you seen something very small become something quite important to you? This could be an event, a passage in Scripture, a relationship or something else that comes to mind. See what occurs to you and spend some time remembering it.  

  2. Think about this season of your life. What comes to mind that might look insignificant and important at the same time?

  3.  As you think about the trees in your own life that have grown from small seeds, picture the “birds” that perch in the branches. What people in your life have found a safe place to perch in the branches of those trees?

  4.  What questions do you have for God about the mustard seeds in your life? What questions might God have for you?  

THE PARABLE OF THE WEEDS

Matthew 13:24-30 (NIV)

24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ 28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'"

  1. Picture your own life as a field where God is sowing good seed. What are some of the good things growing in your life in this season?

  2. In the process of living ordinary life, we all experience the weeds sown by an enemy. What attitudes, perspectives and ways of relating might be “weeds” in your own life? How can you tell the difference? How do you respond to the weeds?

  3. Consider this comment by novelist Dinah Maria Mulock Craik: “Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.”  Who helps you live with the weeds and the wheat in your life? (Hint: A spiritual director is one person who could do this.)

  4. What is an invitation from God to you in this parable?

THE PARABLE OF THE HIDDEN TREASURE

Matthew 13:44 (NIV)

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

  1. In what ways do you identify with this man? In what ways does the kingdom of heaven seem like a “treasure” to you? In what ways does it not look like a treasure?

  2. One of the questions raised in this parable is, Why would the man bury the treasure again and not just take it with him when he found it? Why do you think he walked away from the treasure he found?

  3. As with any good story, there are many ways to look at it. Consider the possibility that in your own spiritual journey you might be burying a potential treasure and walking away. Does a treasure come to mind that you have “buried?” Is it a gift in yourself, or a truth about God’s love that seems too good to be true?

  4. The man in the story sold all he had and went back to buy the whole field. If you were to embrace the buried treasure in your own life, what might you need to give up in order to buy the field where that treasure is buried? Does that letting go feel like a burden or a freedom to you?

  5. Be quiet for a few minutes and allow the Spirit of God to respond to your thoughts about this parable. Is the Spirit whispering comfort, wisdom, conviction, or something else?

THE PARABLE OF THE LOST COIN

Luke 15:8-10 (NIV)

8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

  1. This is a wonderful parable of ordinary life. Jesus often described divine experiences in terms of the ordinary. Remember a time when you lost something. How consuming was that for you? What did you do to find what you lost? What spiritual truth comes to mind as you think about that experience?

  2. The woman had nine coins left, but she searched diligently for the one that was missing. In your own life, what are some areas where you might have enough, but you are searching for something that is missing? What are you doing to search?

  3. Jesus was making the point in the parables of this chapter in Luke that the Father rejoices over “one sinner who repents.” What does this say to you about God’s love for you?

  4. In the way that good stories do, this story spills over into many areas of life. In what ways does God delight in your coming to him on a daily basis? How might the Spirit rejoice with you when you find something that has been missing in your own life?