This article is adapted from a section in chapter 2 of Christ in the Classroom: Lesson Planning for the Heart and Mind. To get more teaching strategies like these, get your copy of the book wherever books are sold.
The goal of Christian meditation is to make connections between a mystery of faith and our own lives.
This is how the mystery is opened up with deeper meaning. As we meditate on it, we make connections to our own experience, and those connections illuminate the meaning of the mystery for us.
There are three ways to make connections in meditation: past, present, and future.
Let’s imagine that you are teaching a lesson about the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Once you teach your students the proper understanding and definition of each gift in the lectio part of your lesson, you can help them make connections between the gifts and their memories of the past, concerns about the present, and hopes for the future.
Guide your students to reflect on their memories, searching for moments in which they demonstrated one or more gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Ask your students to think about what is going on in their lives right now.
Which of the gifts do they need the most today?
Which of the gifts do they have now and can use today?
Invite your students to imagine their future at various intervals of time: tomorrow, a week from now, next year, as graduates, as adults, etc.
Which of the gifts will they personally need the most in life?
Meditation on the Past, Present, and Future
The beauty of this approach is that each student has different memories and hopes for the future and, therefore, each student is drawn toward the gifts in unique ways.
From this meditation they can turn to the Holy Spirit to guide them toward a gift that they feel connected to the most.
Read more about integrating Christian meditation into classroom experiences in Christ in the Classroom.