Tuesday, November 24, 2009


These meditations follow the popular Still Waters Deep Waters format: Scriptures (mostly from Eugene Peterson's The Message, in my view a very good modern English translation), homily/quotes (footnoted, if I remember the source!), prayers/psalms/hymns and benedictions.

See here for an example of the Still Waters Deep Waters chapters (on the subject of A Theology of Sleep). The 'method' is technically termed 'discursive meditation'; if you're more contemplative, you'll weave more periods of silence into the pattern. I also respect personality differences: some reading this might be 'mystical' - seeing (like Jacob in his dream) angels ascending and descending from heaven. Others (I suspect most of you) will be more practical - even prosaic.

I'm using popular and well-tested material from a wide variety of sources - Christian, Jewish and other. They'll come from all the theological traditions summarized in two modern classics - Brian McLaren's A Generous Orthodoxy, and Richard Foster's Streams of Living Water. The sentiments will sometimes not be compatible with where-you-are on your spiritual journey: for example, a popular 'Bible Belt' hymn will be awful for a well-read progressive thinker, or for someone more at home in a Celtic or Taize worship-style . So you'll pick and choose... and maybe add your own. (Feel free to email me with your suggestions).

I've used the excellent American Presbyterian Book of Common Worship (1993) as the main source for classical Christian prayers. Of course, there's a respect there - and here - for the ancient expressions of the Christian faith and life such as the Lord's Prayer, the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds, the Kyrie, Gloria in Excelsis, Sursum Corda, Sanctus and Benedictus, Agnes Dei, Gloria Patri, Te Deum, the Magnificat, and Nunc Dimittis. The language in modern prayers is mostly gender-neutral and the pronouns first person (except for prayers like The Lord's Prayer which are meant to be prayed-in-community).

These ten chapters will be too long for most to remember: so again, you'll 'live' in just one of them for a while, or compress the whole thing to suit your memory's ability.

[More to come: watch this Blog]

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