Reflective Reading is a 3rd-century practice of Bible reading, meditation, and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God's word. It does not treat Scripture as texts to be studied but as The Living Word.
The Bible uses two different Greek words to refer to the word of God. One is logos and the other is rhema. Understanding the meaning of these two words can help us know and experience scripture in a more meaningful way. In the Bible, logos are used to refer to the constant, written word of God, which we have recorded in the Bible.
Rhema is the lesser-known Greek word used in the Bible for word, and refers to the instant, personal speaking of God to us. God wants to communicate with us not only through His written word but also through speaking directly to us in our particular situations. It’s by the rhema word that we can know God subjectively and experientially. Both logos and rhema are crucial to our Christian life, for God uses His logos Word to speak His rhema word to us.
Which Scripture Speaks About Rhema?
There are three scriptures that I would like to mention here. The first I find really important and has been recorded to us by Matthew 4:4, “He answered and said, it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word (rhema) that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (NIV). This word of God is rhema and we live by this word, not logos only. The implications are that if we just read the written word, logos, but do not wait for God to speak to us, we miss out on our daily bread to live on. It is when we remind God of the rhema words He gave us, that we start to see prayer being answered. John 6:63 and Ephesians 5:26 are also rhema and not logos.
There are three key stages:
One family member reads the Bible passage out loud.
2nd reading - Staying in Logos
The group reads it a second time while placing wooden figures in the sand to portray the story as you read it (Logos). Move them as the story unfolds. Before you continue, make sure everyone shares at least one thing that they think the story meant to the original audience. You can ask: "What actually happened? and how did it impact these people?"
3rd reading - Going into Rhema
Each family member finds a wooden object that would be them and places themselves somewhere in the sandbox while asking the following questions:
Who do I identify within the story today? How does it make me feel to be in this position? This is where Lectio Divina and Theophostic start to overlap. Each person takes a figure out of the box and places it in the sand and share why they did that.
For example, I am one of the disciples or the sick man in the story. What story in your personal life do you connect this to now? Then finally, each person explains where they see Jesus in the sand. Is he far or near? Is it inside the box or perhaps outside of the box? What do you think he is saying?
Key to the process:
Never touch someone else’s image while they explain what is going on for them in the box. Do not interrupt or quote scripture to help someone hear what God might be saying. Just listen. You can debrief afterward. Keep the safe environment going.
What is the key emotion I am becoming aware of? If you are with children, help to facilitate this.
What do I believe is going to happen that makes me feel this way?
Where is Jesus in the SandBox?
How did what you feel and what you believe connect? “I feel ____ because I believe___”
Person 1 “I Feel alone because I believe Jesus does not want to be near me or heal me.
P2: Why not? How does it make you feel if he comes closer?
P1 I believe that _____________ because __________”
P2 Do you think it is the Truth that Holy Spirit wants to show you? What do you think is really true?
Many times this leads to a deeper discovery of how we actually see God. Sometimes we have to repent to exchange a lie for the truth. Sometimes we have to forgive those that come to mind in order for us to be in a restored relationship with Jesus.
YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN.