Day Two: FORMING
Being ‘informed’ Day One or being educated in the books of the bible, its genres or its characters is an important part of our scriptural foundation. And yet information alone is just one element in our journey toward transformative living through scripture. Stopping with information is a bit like being given a gift without understanding its purpose. We can be tested on this material but we may never embody it.
There is a second call to be ‘formed’ – ‘to be shaped, molded, fashioned’ – by the great Potter God and his Living Word. Formation – the shaping our lives in the ways of scripture – is a continuous movement from the head to the heart. Scripture tells us in Genesis 2 that God ‘formed’ us from the dust of the earth and breathe life into us and we became living beings. In the Book of Psalm 119.73 we hear: ‘Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands.’
While the process of becoming ‘informed’ can be seen as lying in our hands, our parents hands or those of our faith community, the process of being ‘formed’ in the Spirit of scripture, is a partnership. It is a vulnerable movement, an opening of ourselves to the Creator. Often unconscious and developing gradually, is it the one that shaped us into our present self. Being formed in the ways of scripture is a sacred journey grounded in Trust. As a child, my parent’s instruction (informing) and embodiment (forming) of scripture helped to form me in those same ways. One specific examples is my Mother’s prayer life. Yes, she instructed us in prayer and shared how important it was. But she then modeled scripture’s call to pray without ceasing. Through her example of daily prayer, I came to understand the importance of praying with scripture in my adult life.
How have you been ‘formed’ or molded in the Spirit of scripture? Who have been/are the most important in your scripture formation?