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Aug 11, 2019

152 Lose Yourself for Christ’s Sake A Guided Christian Meditation on Matthew 10:39-41

I’m Chaplain Jared and I work as a hospice chaplain and an ICU chaplain, my purpose in making this podcast is to help you find more peace in your life and to be more open for your heart to be changed by the Spirit of God.  By using centuries old form of Christian Meditation named Lectio Divina:

Outline: Relaxation, Reading, Meditation, Prayer, Contemplation and Visualization.

Get into a place where you can sit comfortably and uninterrupted for about 20 minutes.You should hopefully not be driving or anything tensing or unrelaxing.  If you feel comfortable to do so, I invite you to close your eyes. 

Guided Relaxation / Guided Meditation:

Breathe and direct your thoughts to contacting God. Let your stomach be a balloon inflate, deflate.

Bible verses for Meditation:

Matthew 10:38-40

NRSV 

39 Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.

40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 

41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous;

NIV

39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 

41 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.

 Meditation on Scripture: 

Tonight on a run I was listening to a book about consciousness. The book talked about some physical markers of different mental states. There is a region of the brain of the brain called the default mode network. This is the area of the brain that is active when the mind wanders. It is inactive when we place our focus on mentally rigorous tasks. Although brain science is far from complete, more information is available now than ever. This area of the brain processes information about ourselves and our identity. It is where we make sense of the separations and differences between ourselves and others. It is active when we ruminate and rehash old problems in our lives also. This region correlates to OCD, Depression, PTSD and other problems that involve worry and rumination. This region of our brain is connected to how we process and understand who we are and what our place is in the world. Some have called this the ego. This is part of our mind that creates narratives and simplifies our experience into an understandable whole. 

 It is interesting to note that this is not necessarily a good or bad thing. For example this area show decreased functioning in people with Alzheimers and other types of dementia where people’s concept self begins to slowly dissolve. If we had no activity in our default mode network our consciousness would be a meaningless. Children h We could not exert faith and it would be difficult to serve others if we had no concept of how others were different beings from ourselves. With that said if we have an overactive default mode network we can become obsessed about details in our lives, traumas, problems, negative self evaluations. All of this can lead to increased suffering.  Also our maturation process is characterized by development of this area of our brain also. In other words Children have lower functioning of this default mode network. 

It is interesting to note that Meditation connects different parts of our brain. Just as the default mode network lessens in activity other areas of the brain connect. God’s design of our brain leads us to respond to the calming effects of slowing down and letting go of our desire.  This scripture says we should be willing to lose our life. Not just in the sense of faith in God but in a real way we should balance our own self concept. If we find our story telling brain to be hyper active we can calm it with meditation so we can experience the real unity we have with God and with each other. It is interested that in the very next verse Jesus correlates our acceptance in the world with His. He shows in a tangible way how our being is connected to Him. Also just as children have under developed default mode networks, Jesus tells us to be like little Children. It is important to make time in our lives for meditation where we let the racing, judging, controlling parts of our mind spin down and we sit with the quiet and calm parts. I pray that in this meditation that you feel that peace loosen how rigidly you attach yourself to the stories you tell yourself about yourself. That you become willing to let that version of yourself die and you accept the new creature God has made from you. One guided by love and by union with Him.

Meditation of Prayer:

Pray as directed by the Spirit.

Dedicate these moments to the patient waiting, when you feel ready ask God for understanding you desire from Him.

Meditation of God and His Glory / Hesychasm:

I invite you to sit in silence feeling being patient for your own faults and trials. 

Summarize what insights you have gained during this meditation and meditate and visualize positive change in your life:

This is a listener funded podcast at patreon.com/christianmeditationpodcast

Updates:

Final Question:

What stories and identities do you cling to perhaps too tight?

Final Thought: 

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