That brings me to the whole idea of meditating carefully on Scripture. Once a staple of biblical discipleship to Jesus, meditating on Scripture is a lost art today. Mostly that’s because we live such frantic, breakneck lifestyles. A friend of mine likes to say, when someone asks how he’s doing, “Mach 3 with my hair on fire.”
When we talk about meditating on Scripture, don’t picture someone seated in the lotus position, eyes closed, chanting “om.” That kind of meditation, which is meant to empty our minds in order to achieve oneness with the universe, is the very opposite of what Scripture means when it calls us to meditate on God’s Word day and night (Ps. 1:2).
Instead, meditating on the Bible is more like sanctified worry, as one author put it. When we worry about something, we think it through from a variety of angles, consider possible outcomes, and contemplate our responses. The problem is, worry does nothing for us except increase our chances of an early grave.
By contrast, biblical meditation means doing what we do when we worry, only with Scripture. We take a verse or passage and think it through. We ask what it teaches us about Jesus, God, creation, and so on. We consider what it is calling us to do. We step back and look at it from a different standpoint. Put simply, biblical meditation just means thinking hard and often about the Bible.
Anyone reading this can meditate on Scripture. It is not only for the privileged elite but for every Christian. As we engage in this time-honored practice, we will begin to experience abundant life. Our hearts will overflow with God’s Word, and our lives will overflow with resurrection life!
We Worship Jesus with His People
Crucial to experiencing resurrection life is regular, corporate worship with God’s people. Space forbids a defense of the biblical distinction between corporate worship and all of life as worship, but it’s there (see Rom. 12:1; 1 Cor. 10:31). For the moment, we will outline how corporate worship helps us experience resurrection life.
Scripture prioritizes public worship for at least two reasons. The first is the example of Jesus. Luke tells us that it was our Lord’s custom to gather with God’s people in the synagogue (Luke 4:16). We can easily forget that Jesus ministered publicly for only about three years. Before that, He worked and worshiped in what was considered an obscure, backwoods village in the vast Roman Empire.
So, for about thirty years, Jesus went to the synagogue at least every week. Week in, week out. When I consider Jesus getting up, going to work, sweating, going about His life, and then taking a day off to worship God, I am floored. The Son of God, God in the flesh, went to a dusty first-century synagogue, prayed, sang, and listened to sermons from the Old Testament.