“The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God!’ When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.
Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, ‘What do you want?’ They said, ‘Rabbi’ (which means ‘Teacher’), ‘where are you
staying?’ ‘Come,’ he replied, ‘and you will see.’ So
they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him.
It was about four in the afternoon.
Relationships are hard. It’s even harder with quarantines, Zoom meetings, and text-only encounters. To really get to know someone, we have to spend time with them physically and emotionally. While we may learn something about someone through listening to the stories others tell of them, to really get to know them we have to hear from them directly.
Two of John’s followers in today’s text understood this. They were learning about Jesus through John’s teaching, but when Jesus himself passes by, they are quick to follow him and spend time with him. They were eager to directly interact with the living Word of God. Consider what pastor Adele Calhoun says relating this concept to Scripture for us today, “There are always other books to read and speakers to listen to. Of course, God does use books and people to speak to us. But Scripture is a primary way that the Holy Spirit opens us up to the God who is beyond us.”
We often think that God does not speak to us but we couldn’t be further from the truth. He speaks loudly through the scriptures. When Jesus was in the desert, he relied solely upon God’s word to fully sustain him and protect him. It’s the same word we have in our possession today. Wow!!
Consider these suggestions within the three categories of time, space and content as ways of fostering the practice of being present with the written Word of God:
- Time: a) Read Scripture every day this week at a set time (ex. when you first get up, over your lunch break, before bed, etc.). b) When you read Scripture, set a timer for 15 min. (or more) to avoid feeling like you have to keep an eye on the time if you only have limited time available.
- Space: a) Pick a spot that is mostly free from distraction. b) As you prepare to spend time with the written Word of God, take a few deep breaths. c) Light a candle as a reminder of God’s presence there with you.
- Content: It can be intimidating to sit down with Scripture if you don’t know what to read or how much to read. Try following a reading plan, something that works for you. One good place to start is in the gospels. Consider taking 21 days to read through the gospel of John, a chapter a day.
As you develop this holy time with God, open your heart to the words and to the transformation that comes from abiding in the Word.