[An Advent Bible Reading plan]
Toward the end of Luke’s gospel, Jesus drives the merchants out of the temple and then goes there, every day, to teach. And all the while, the Jewish leaders look for a way to kill him — but they never get the chance. Why? “Because all the people were hanging on his words.”
“Hanging on his words.”
I love that! Do you ever “hang on” Jesus’ words? What if we all hung on his words so much that the powers-that-be could find no way to cancel him?
I was so struck by that phrase, I looked it up to see its origin in Greek. Turns out, it’s a very literal translation. Ekkremannumi means “to hang from, hang upon (the lips of a speaker), ie to listen closely.” When you “hang on” someone’s every word, you are totally absorbed in what they’re saying. Everything else falls away. Nothing else matters.
Do you ever “hang on” Jesus’ words?
This coming week, the week of Thanksgiving, is National Bible Week. It also leads us into Advent, which we will spend waiting—hanging suspended, in a sense—for the Word to come to us in the flesh. Most years, I focus on the events that lead us to the Incarnation. This year, I think I’ll “hang on his words” that prepare for his coming.
How to hang onto Jesus’ words
Each week, the Church gives us readings that guide our hearts and minds toward receiving the Lord in a new way at Christmas. Here’s how I’ll find the words to hang onto, in five simple steps:
- I will listen each Sunday at mass to the Word proclaimed and reflected upon in the homily (the 1st and 2nd readings, the Psalm and the Gospel)
- I will spend 10+ minutes a day, Monday through Thursday, in meditation and prayer on a different one of those readings each day.
- I will ask the Lord to speak a word to me as I meditate, and I will make a point of returning to that word throughout the day.
- I will return on Friday to the same set of readings, especially the 1st reading, the Psalm, and the Gospel, and listen intently.
- I will thank Jesus for his word and ask him to plant it in my heart.
Every day, I will keep a journal of the words and truths and questions that strike me. I’ll ask the Lord to speak to me personally and prepare my heart like a manger, of sorts, to receive him in a new way at Christmas.
Please join me
Will you join me? Click on the graphic below to download a printable checklist to guide your reading.
© 2020 Sarah Christmyer
You might also like …
- Wake up to Advent with Two Bible Reading Plans: Check out these two other reading plans, based on the popular children’s “Jesse Tree” but meant for adults
- The Bible: a Book for the Family: a series I wrote the year Pope Francis came to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families, and re-posted for National Bible Week