A Scholar's Devotion

A Scholar’s Devotion with Rebekah Eklund

Going through seminary, students are taught to study the Bible and uphold its doctrines about God while also being encouraged not to neglect their devotional times with God. Yet during my own devotional time I, and probably many others, often asked myself, “Is this the best way to grow spiritually, or is there a better way? What could I do differently? Should I incorporate my studies with my devotions?”  

In this series I ask a different scholar two questions about how he or she spends time with the Lord and continues to love him with all their mind, strength, and heart. While no one method or style is “the only way,” we can draw on one another’s experiences. 

This week I have asked Dr. Rebekah Eklund if she would share her thoughts with us.

1. How do you spend your devotional time with the Lord?

I do a variety of things. For me, it helps not to be too rigid about feeling like I have to do the same thing every day, or every week. For awhile, I was translating psalms. I know that sounds SUPER nerdy, but one of my wise teachers once told me that the great virtue of the biblical languages is that it forces you to slow down and pay attention. So I would translate a few verses of a psalm from Hebrew or from the Greek LXX, and really meditate over each word, savoring the psalm slowly, line by line. Right now I’m reading a book by Lauren Winner called Wearing God and I just read a few pages every morning and then spend time praying with whatever metaphor she’s discussing in the book at the time.

2. How do you practically seek to deepen your love for Christ? 

I think Jesus shows himself to me most in other people, especially in people who are suffering. I volunteer occasionally at my church as a substitute tutor in their after-school program for disadvantaged children. A couple years ago I read a bunch of Gregory of Nyssa’s writings, and he opened my eyes to the way that every human being – every human being – bears the image of God. So I try to pay attention to people I encounter when I’m out and about, at the grocery store or wherever, and to remind myself that I’m seeing little glimpses of God everywhere I go. Jesus loves all these grumpy people in line at Target. He died for them. Really seeing other people in all their beauty is, for me, the most profound way to deepen my love for Jesus.

Dr. Rebekah Eklund is Chair of the Theology Department and Associate Professor of Theology at Loyola University Maryland. She has written books on the Beatitudes, practicing lament and Jesus’ laments, has co-authored a book on Christian ethics, contributed to a book on the Joseph/Judah narrative in Genesis, and edited a festschrift.

Thank you, Dr. Eklund!

Other Scholars’ Devotions

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