Recently while paging through Dietrich Bonhoeffer's book, Meditating on the Word, I rediscovered these important words for every pastor. Bonhoeffer answers the question, "Why do I meditate?" this way:
Because I am a Christian. Therefore, every day in which I do not penetrate more deeply into the knowledge of God's Word in Holy Scripture is a lost day for me. I can only move forward with certainty upon the firm ground of the Word of God. And, as a Christian, I learn to know the Holy Scripture in no other way than by hearing the Word preached and by prayerful meditation.
Because I am a preacher of the Word. I cannot expound the Scripture for others if I do not let it speak daily to me. I will misuse the Word in my office as a preacher if I do not continue to meditate upon it in prayer. If the Word has become empty for me in my daily administrations, if I no longer experience it, that proves I have not let the Word speak personally to me for a long time. I will offend against my calling if I do not seek each day in prayer the word that my Lord wants to say to me for that day. Ministers of the Word are especially called upon to perform the office of prayer: "But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4). The pastor must pray more than others, and has more to pray about...
Because I need help against the ungodly haste and unrest that threaten my work as a pastor. Only from the peace of God's Word can there flow the proper, devoted service of each day. ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I am very grateful for Bonhoeffer's words. I have found meditation on God's Word in the morning and in the afternoon vital to the ministry God has called me to. Daily I spend at least a half hour reading Scripture, reflecting on it silently and in my prayer journal, and praying for others. Each day in the afternoon I listen engage in prayerful reflection through Pray As You Go (www.pray-as-you-go.org) and in silent prayer following.
What about you?
Do you make time every day for quiet reflection and prayerful meditation on God's Word? Do you allow God to speak into your life daily through the Word? Why? If not, why not?