Dwelling in the Word is a deliberate listening to the Bible text that we are given, so that we can discern what God is saying to us at that particular time. There are no right answers and God will speak to each of us in a different way.
- Each person is given the text. The leader begins by offering a simple prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to speak to us through the Word.
- The leader then invites people to listen as someone reads the text slowly, and each person is invited to note where their attention lingers. It might be a particular word or phrase that attracts attention – either something they are curious about, or something which inspires, excites or challenges.
- After some silence, the text is then read again, this time by the group [if it is small], going round reading a sentence each, or [if there are many people] by another solo voice. Often the passage is read a third time, either with a different voice or by the group going round, as before. During these two readings the listeners should see whether they are still being called to the same word or phrase.
- The group then splits into pairs, to share what it is that you saw and heard in the text, focusing on one word or phrase. The idea is that you listen attentively to what your partner is saying because when you come back into the group, you will share, very briefly, what they heard and saw, not what you heard and saw – your listening partner will do that for you.
If the group is small then each person can share with the others what they found the text was drawing their attention to.
- As we listen together to what everyone has said, common themes begin to emerge and we begin to get a sense of what God is saying to us in that moment. The leader might make a note of these themes so that s/he can weave them together into a prayer at the end.