How to pray with the bible
Reading: Luke 15: 11-24 (3)
K-hymns: 460, 468
Preparation: give papers and pencils. Today’s text is written in the papers.
(After reading of the text)
You know this story, right?
So, we are going to practice something.
So, let me give you this paper and a pencil first.
If you haven’t received this paper and pencil, let us know.
You read the bible, right?
Now how do you read the bible?
There can be many ways to read bible, right?
You can read the bible in the way that you read our textbooks.
You can read the bible in the way you read a magazine or novel.
Some people may read the bible, right before they sleep.
Because then their mind can think about the text all night.
Then, in the morning, when they wake up, they sometimes realize the meaning of the text or realize what God is trying to say to them now.
God sometimes gives them some new thoughts or new understanding about what they read.
Anyway, there are many ways to read the bible.
Today, I would like to show you one of those ways that we can read the bible.
Today, we are going to read the same text again, again and again.
That is, we are going to read our text and have a silence; and read our text and have a silence; and read our text and have a silence. Three times.
In this way, we are going to think about the text and pray with the text.
Then we may also realize what God is trying to say to us.
It may not be easy for you.
But at least let’s try, ok?
Now let’s begin.
First, I am going to reread our text again.
After that, I am going to ring this bell.
(After ringing the bell) Do you like it?
Whenever you hear this sound, it means that we are going to pray for a minute in silence, ok?
Now what can we do about during this silence?
You can pray to God in silence.
You can reread the text that is printed here.
Or you can just think about this story, closing your eyes.
Or you can write something down on the back of your paper.
Or you can draw something there, too?
Now let me read the text:
Now, we are going to think about this text, for a minute in silence.
(1) (Bell rings)
(After a minute)
Now I am going to read again the same text.
After watching, I'm going to ring the bell again.
(1) Now you know what to do, in this silence, right?
You can read the text on your paper.
Try to think about why Jesus is telling this story.
If you realize some special meaning, you may write it down on the back of your paper.
You may have some questions about the text or about God.
You may also write it down on the paper.
Or, you can simply ask those questions to God in silence, ok?
Now let us have a minute of silence. (Bell rings)
Now I am going to read the story again.
After that, we are going to have a minute of silence, ok?
(Read) Put up with me. I am trying to show you something, ok?
(1) Now we are going to have a minute silence. (Ring the bell)
It might have been very difficult.
But in this way, we can think about the story; pray with it; and learn from it.
Usually, then we tend to gain some understanding of our own.
That is important.
If you realize something, by yourself, you may tell others about it.
For example, you can teach people or preach about this text, right?
Now what did you learn from the story?
(1) In this story, the son didn’t really want to be with his father.
He didn’t care about his father.
He didn’t even bow to his father, when he left his father.
He didn’t want to learn anything from his father.
He thought he has grown up.
But he didn’t know to handle his money.
(2) He didn’t know how to manage his money well.
He didn’t know how to live well.
He didn’t know how to take care of himself.
But then he learned a good lesson here.
So he came back.
All these time the father was always waiting for him.
He was like:
“Is he going to return today?
I wish that he comes home today.
Then I can throw a big welcoming party for him.”
(2) Then when the son returned, the father hugged him, and welcomed him.
The father just loves his son.
The father forgives him.
This son learned about what love is.
He learned about love.
Then he might have lived a good respectful life, loving people, especially his father.
(3) Again why did Jesus tell this story?
It is because he wanted to say that God loves us like this father.
God loves you and me, like this.
It doesn’t matter who you are or who they are.
Jesus loves every people like this.
Telling this story, Jesus hopes that we may also love God and love God’s people, all the people, like this father.
Let us pray:
Jesus, we learn something from our reading today.
We learn that you don’t remember our past.
We learn that you want to take care of our future.
Jesus, you explain how God the Father loves us.
May we know this mind of God.
May we be able to share this God with all the people in the world.
May we share about you, by living the good life that you design for us.
Thank you. In your name, we pray. Amen.”