FROM INFORMATION TO FORMATIONAL
Most of my life has been framed with interaction with God's Word in Bible Study. In fact, that is the title often used when people gather together to learn more about this sacred text. About ten years ago, I began to learn a bit about reading God's Word with a different focus. This does not make the first one wrong, it simply has a different focus and process. The informational process works with facts, history, cross-references, and all the things brought together in our efforts to master the text. The formational process might focus on reading and rereading the text within the context of :
- What phrase stands out to me in this reading?
- How can a lesson here be applied to my life right now?
- What is the Holy Spirit helping me to see in this reading?
This is reading to be shaped by the Word. This allows the text to master me.
Simple Bible Marginalia- journaling. Using colored pencils, and a fine line Sharpie. The one that says "no bleed through" works the best on the thin pages found in many Bibles.
About 15 years ago, I began to take my own Bible for worship, rather than using the one provided in the pew. It was the place for sermon notes, prayer thoughts, and tracking what was happening "in real life." I need the cognitive- "head knowledge" approach in the study of God's Word. I also need the contemplative, meditative approach as God's Word changes my heart. As I have learned more about Bible marginalia, the mantra remains- it is the heart process that is the primary focus. And if the marginalia becomes more "visual," that is a grace reminder.-