Feb 18, 2018
Guided Relaxation / Guided Meditation:Let this moment be a time of breathing. As you prepare yourself for to hear the word of God allow your body to relax and calm. Stay with my voice for this time as you prepare your heart to let God in. Breathe in and out.Box breathing Feel the tension leaving your whole body.
Bible verse for meditation:1 Thes 4:13-18NRSV13 But we do not
want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters,[a] about those who
have died,[b] so that you may not grieve as others do who have no
hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even
so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died.[c]
15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who
are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no
means precede those who have died.[d] 16 For the Lord himself, with
a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of
God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ
will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be
caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the
air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore
encourage one another with these words
KJV 13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Notice the similarities and differences in the translations presented.
What does this scripture mean to you?Has it had a different effect this reading as compared to times past?How does this scripture make you feel?
Continue breathing deeply as you ponder this meaning.
Meditation on scripture / bible verse meditation: One of my roles as a chaplains is to comfort people where they are. As we experience the pain of the death of loved ones sometimes it takes time for us to resolve these feelings with our faith. There are moments of pain at the loss of others, but there is also hope. God suggests that this hope in the future can help us and our grief can be swallowed up in our faith. In the hearts of those who suffer is a war between the reality of pain and the hope of future relief. Many times we go about resolving this the wrong way. We go about with a feeling of tension and war. This struggle is not only against the pain of death but about all kinds of human loss.There are times when we are overcome with the loss of things and people in this world. I am proposing a different solution to resolve this conflict. Let these words slowly wash over your heart like an incoming tide of peace. Pause and listen, and feel.But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. Feel this hope slowly rise in your heart. If you feel any other feeling of doubt, of pain, any other reaction than peace and gratitude observe how your heart begins to slowly feel the incoming tide of peace. This peace slowly washes over your heart. Feel the peace in your heart rise. It doesn't need to fight the other feelings, it ultimately is more powerful but it often wont force its way into your heart. Softly allow it to enter your heart. Focus on this peaceful gratitude as you hear this message. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. The message of the Lord, through Paul, is not one of judgement but one of confidence and peace.
What will it feel like to rise up to the clouds with Jesus?I imagine that our worry for everything of this world will matter very little in that day. Why should it matter now?
Meditation of Prayer:Pray as directed by the Spirit.Pray now in a spirit of submission to Him.
Meditation of God and His Glory / Hesychasm:I invite you to sit in silence feeling the comfort and Love of God
Meditate and Visualize Positive Change in Your Life:This part is very important. It is no accident that scripture is so full of narratives. Our minds connect with narratives. Imagine a visualization of a Narrative of your life knowing the truths from this scripture.Now visualize someone or a group of people who need this message. Imagine what their face would look like as they receive this scripture in their hearts. Imagine how you can share it with them.Conclusion:Stay with me until the end for a final thought and the reflection question. I have a couple of things to say and then I have a final thought so stay with me to the end.I release a new episode of this every Sunday morning at 1AM Mountain time in the US.I did an interview with Nikki over at Bible Meditation Podcast. It's the Saturday’s episode if you’d like to hear it. She is a competent and kind person and I appreciated the opportunity to talk with her. Her focus is on letting the scriptures speak and the form factor is much more compact. If you would like to listen to a thoughtful podcast dedicated to reading the liturgical scriptures, that would be a great choice. Also I welcome your responses to the reflection question as well as any other thoughts. You can contact me by going to ChristianMeditationPodcast.com and clicking on the contact tab. The information you fill in there just sends me a personal email. Reflection Question:What is one way that you can let go of anger and embrace more love in your life?Here is the Final thought:I love this scripture and I love the message that follows it. Love is patient and kind. As we learn to discipline ourselves by ridding our hearts of hate and allowing more love to take root, we invite the Spirit of God. Many times this is an act of faith. If we believe in the saving power of Jesus Christ then we trust that he can heal our hearts. He can help us stay safe from those who would do us harm while at the same time letting go of the soul rusting power of hate. If you have experienced deep betrayal from someone close to you, I am certainly not arguing that you need to put yourself in the way of further harm. Let God guide you in how you can free your heart from unpleasant feelings while at the same time making place for more love in your heart. There is a deeply freeing feeling that can fill us with peace as we learn to trust God in this crucial way. I say that in Jesus’ name Amen.