Saturday, August 22, 2015

Bible Marginalia- Building Community

Bible Journaling Series- #125

So maybe- you are gonna take the plunge and 
start a Bible Journaling group.
 Maybe at your church or worship center.
 Maybe in your home.
Now What?
There are all sorts of approaches
 to building your group.
Some are using devotional books 
and journaling along.
Some are adding journaling to their current time
 with a published Bible Study.
 All of these have added value
 in the expression of the visual piece
 that any faith art gives.

My simple choice for where and how to start?
BRING your WORSHIP into your WEEK.
Instead of trashing the worship 
service bulletin or adding it
 to the recycle container-
 If your worship is all on screens 
without printed handouts- 
write down the readings of the service, 
or the text for the sermon.
 Maybe a song verse stayed
 with you after the service.
As you have time to spend Journaling -
 reread the verses, and ask the Holy Spirit
to bring to your heart-
His Word for you today.
Some may use a process called -
Lectio Divina.
A bit about this with a Lutheran perspective here-
 Luther proposed an evangelical pattern of spirituality as reception rather than self-promotion. This involved three things: prayer (oratio), meditation (meditatio) and testing (tentatio). All these revolve around ongoing, faithful attention to God's word. The direct encounter happens in the word itself. The order of oratio, meditatio, tentatio is also important. This list leads one back to the word. True prayer directs believers towards the scriptures. Luther also redefined meditation and his understanding is focused on God's word. For Luther meditation is the continual study of scriptures. God's word is not a mere sign that needs to be internalised in order to be heard properly, it is the voice of God that speaks to us as Law and Gospel, it can kill and make alive. Luther also replaced contemplation with tentatio.  Tentatio "testing or suffering" is a form of spiritual attack that drives the Christian away from the internalised self to the external word. Tentatio is also not a goal. It is a way of turning believers back to God.

                                                                                                                                                the work of Pat Maier
The important part to remember
 about Building a Community
 that incorporates Bible Journaling
 is that the Spiritual Journey
 is not meant to be a Solitary Walk.
It is meant to be a Community Pilgrimage.
 Perhaps you will have a group that journals 
individually at home and then meets once a month
 to share gleanings,
processes and learning -
 "along the way."
A note here- 
"group" can be ONE other person.
"Where two or three are gathered....."

Some leaders in Church settings
 are finding it helpful to meet weekly
 and use the past Sunday's readings
 and journal that as a group.
 The leader might demonstrate
 how to use a new process or product.
 Or, everyone is simply learning together
 and encouraging each other week to week.

                                              the work of Pat Maier
The opportunity to talk about familiar 
and unfamiliar Bible Stories
 gives us the clear opportunity to add
 in our own personal application. 
We share that as part of our journey.
 We all have weathered fiery times. 
That allows us to be the ministry support
 for the "new fire walker".

                                                                                                                                                                   the work of Pat Maier
Building Community also allows you
 the time to try out supplies before 
you might purchase your own.
It is all trial and error.
 It is all experimentation.
Share the great and share the "not so great".
Watch and learn from each other.
Celebrate new insights.

Look for every opportunity
 to make your gatherings intergenerational 
and non-gendered.
 The earlier start the better for young men
 to use their artistic side too.
 This visual and kinestetic style 
just might have a chance
 to blossom with the BOYS.
 Share with them the work
 of father and pastor-
wes molebash.
His cartoon Bible Journaling Style 
will captivate one and all.

Most of all remember-
 there are NO Rules- 
about How and What this is to look
 like in our Bibles and Journals.
Approach it all as worship
 and restorative time with our Lord and Savior.
If you "copy" the work of another artist,
 or use a Pinterest photo as inspiration- 
give credit to the original artist. 
Make a note in the gutter of your Bible page. 
Add that note when you share it on social media.

 YOU started out- in prayer.
 Cover your group and gatherings with prayer.
And expect to be surprised- 
when the Holy Spirit shows up.


  1. This was a great reminder...being an introvert I prefer doing my art alone. I need to continue to "build community." Thanks!

    1. oh Paula-- we all need nudges now and then-- I am learning too!

  2. I just decided this morning on the way to work, that this kind of Bible Journaling should be a community thing, that I wanted to share it! I'm not sure I know anyone else in my area who knows even what it is, so I'm gonna teach a class, even though I am not a teacher. Wonderful, insightful post!

    1. Dana-
      glad to walk this journey with you in any way I can to be an encourager


Thanks for adding your thoughts and comments- they are greatly appreciated.