I've been spending this week working on memorizing the Gospel. I know that God is still speaking even if I read the text on Sunday, but I feel more in touch with scripture when I can speak the words from my mind. I've found that when I know the scripture, my sermon is more engaged with the text. I've found that when I practice Biblical storytelling, the congregation hears rather than simply listens. The problem is that it is a lot of work. I need to be more intentional in thinking about the text by heart.
Here's the process I used this week:
Read the text.
Print it out onto hand-held strips of paper, in three-verse segments.
Keep reading the little parts, slowly putting them together.
Walking outside while speaking the text, eventually without the paper.
Typing the text without having it in front of me.
This is a discipline that I love, but it's easy to let it slip away (sort of like blogging). Eventually, I'd love to do this every week, but I'm not quite there yet.