Most Christians can enunciate the Immanuel principle in some fashion; “God is with us.” This stirring promise has been the foundation of belief and practice for as long as there has been a Church. Discovering the key to tapping into this powerful presence has been a goal of discipleship for centuries, not just for purposes of knowledge but also to seek out the transforming power of that relationship. Through the history of the Church, many disciples have discovered and deepened our understanding of various disciplines that allow us to draw closer to this power source. In 1978, an unknown Friends pastor published a book entitled Celebration of Discipline which has become a standard in Christian libraries. Richard Foster, the author and one of our leading thinkers on Christian spirituality, has contributed a new work that narrows its focus to the practice of reading the scriptures for personal transformation.
The book, Life with God, centers on the practice of Lectio Divina, a contemplative praying of the Scriptures which enables the Word to become a means of union with God. In each of its chapters, Foster challenges us to respond and be shaped by the truth-proposition that God voices throughout the scriptures, “I am with you. Are you willing to be with Me?” If you’ve read the book or would like to, I would love to engage in conversation with you about the ideas and practices within. In the coming weeks I will examine one chapter and idea per week in addition to looking at another book having to do with the reading of the Bible, Scot McKnight’s upcoming The Blue Parakeet.