Saturday, November 14, 2009

Beguines' Love of Scripture

Museum of Beguine's Room Beguinage Brugge Belgium

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.(Psalm 119:11)

A Day Centered about Scripture
Each morning the women rise early and gather together to hear Scripture read. They are grateful for the opportunity to learn God’s Word. Individuals have no Bibles of their own at this time in history, but spiritual communities possess portions of Scripture that have newly been translated into Dutch, German and French. Few Beguines know Latin, so they are privileged to hear God’s Word in their native language.
After the morning chapel the women return to their rooms where they work with their hands throughout the day—sewing, spinning, and pressing linen (see above photo). All the while they repeat the morning’s passage in their minds. As they labor in silence, they meditate on the Bible reading, savoring God’s Word in their hearts. They reflect on the portion of Scripture and seek how it relates to their lives. Their whole day will focus on this passage. The opportunity to learn Scripture and soak in it throughout the day is one of the main reasons that these women joined the Beguines.

Midday they proceed to the cupboard in the corner of their room (see photo). The top third holds the dishes they brought from home, and the bottom section serves as a pantry. The middle opens into a table where they eat alone as they reflect on the day’s Scripture. Praying the passage back to the Lord, they apply it to their own life in order to be transformed by its truth.
Throughout the afternoon the women continue to work alone and then gather again in the evening for a closing chapel service for the day. Afterwards, they take time to enjoy each other’s company and share what they have learned from God’s Word throughout the day. The Beguines appreciate the fellowship they are privileged to have in Christian community.

Our Lives
Like the Beguines of long ago, let us value the tremendous opportunity we have of hearing the Bible in our own language. In appreciation, let us savor Scripture and allow it to permeate our hearts and minds throughout the day. May we soak in God’s Word, treasure our time with the Lord and be transformed by his truth and presence in our lives.

©2008 Glenn Myers
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