By Jamie Harms
Before the seeds and starts of my garden can actually go into the ground, I curl up inside under a blanket with a cup of tea, my gardening book, and a paper and pencil. I sketch out my garden to create a visual of the space in my mind and then add and rearrange the elements of my garden for the new year. Taking time to sketch out my garden helps me see more of what is currently there and where it could go in the future. The tools we are talking about today are some ways to engage with Scripture that will give us a better layout of the land, helping us to make connections and to understand truths in a new way.
Like my garden sketch, we can also draw what we are learning in Scripture as we process the information that we are reading. This week, Paul gives us all kinds of word pictures to help us understand spiritual concepts including an accountant ledger when it comes to weighing our resume against our salvation or running a race as we embrace our salvation in Christ. I would encourage you to grab those colored pencils and sketch out or doodle a picture that will help you remember these analogies and what they represent from Philippians. No one else needs to see these sketches, so get creative. Art, whether pencil sketches, water colors, photography, collages from magazine clippings, or another medium, is just another way to saturate ourselves in the text of Scripture and think about it deeply.
Graphic organizers can also help us keep track of cross references or concepts. Like art, graphic organizers help us process through material and our thoughts to make connections and gain a deeper understanding of the truths that we are reading. One idea to utilize a graphic organizer from our text this week would be to do a deeper study of covenant and circumcision. You could create a chart of Old Testament covenants and the New Testament covenant. You could use your cross-references and context to study the old testament covenants: who they were given to, what they entailed, who was responsible for what, what was the sign of each covenant, etc. and compare it to that of what we learn about the New Testament covenant in which we live. Charts and organizers can help us compare and contrast different concepts and make connections across the text that shed light and give us context for the passage that we are reading.
So, tuck the tools of artwork and graphic organizers into your toolbox for your study time in God’s Word to help you put together your thoughts, and then consider sharing your art and organizers with your group as a way for them to be encouraged.
Find more from Rejoice: A Study of Philippians here.