During the 30th reopening anniversary in China’s southern-coastal Guangdong Province, Shamian Church hosted a speech on spiritual meditation in the Chinese context.
On June 25, Rev. Xu Jieping, president of Guangdong Union Theological Seminary, was invited to conduct a seminar covering four aspects as follows.
Meditation in the Bible
Rev. Xu first shared that an important mode of spiritual practice is meditation. Besides recounting that Isaac was meditating in the field when he met Rebekah, the Bible also mentions Jesus’ mother Mary, Peter, and Jesus himself who often dwelled on the word of God.
The role of meditation
Through meditation, believers could reflect on God's work, practice applying God's words, and reflect on God's laws, the pastor added. To meditate well, Xu said Christians should have a pure heart with gratitude and repeatedly read or recite a passage of scriptures, especially when reading some inspiring scriptures. If they were full of miscellaneous thoughts and felt that God or others owed them, they couldn’t immerse themselves in the word of God.
"Meditating can open the door to experience the presence of God," said the pastor.
Forms of spiritual meditation in the Chinese context
Meditation should also be sinicized for Chinese Christians who are born in China. In addition to the traditional forms of reading the Bible, praying, and singing, Rev. Xu shared six forms of spiritual practice.
1. Calligraphy meditation. Believers can copy scriptures and write up listening notes with pens or brush pens to meditate on God’s words.
2. Meditating while painting or doing paper cutting. People can cut paper to show the scenes of the Bible stories. And they can also think about the greatness of God’s creation of the universe by appreciating art including Chinese paintings.
3. Spiritual meditation while making food. Christians can meditate on the power and actions of God in the process of making food or eating, with a saying in China that "food is the heaven for the people." Pastors can also prepare spiritual food for church members by dwelling on scriptures.
4. Spiritual practice in traditional music. Believers can listen to hymns and traditional music to meditate on the revelation of God rather than play with mobile phones or watch short videos.
5. Meditate on the word of God during tea tasting.
6. Meditation during the practice of Chinese medicine. People can get close to God while following the principle of health preservation.
Rev. Xu said, “the rich cultural resources of the Chinese nation were an important condition for the sinicization of Christian spirituality and believers could meditate on Chinese philosophy and socialist core values same or similar to the Bible”.
- Translated by Abigail Wu