There are lots of ways to read the Bible, this is one way that we like to stop and reflect on scripture.


take 60 seconds (or more) in silent preparation for sacred reading


listen to the text by reading out loud slowly and repeat up to 3x if desired


reflect on - what word, words, phrase, or sentence speaks to you from the text, then write them down


pray as responding to the words, phrase, sentence that God has stirred within you


rest in the presence of God, allowing the words revealed to take root

  • Esther 4:1-17

    Mordecai Requests Esther’s Help

    1 When Mordecai learned about all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on burlap and ashes, and went out into the city, crying with a loud and bitter wail. 2 He went as far as the gate of the palace, for no one was allowed to enter the palace gate while wearing clothes of mourning. 3 And as news of the king’s decree reached all the provinces, there was great mourning among the Jews. They fasted, wept, and wailed, and many people lay in burlap and ashes.

    4 When Queen Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her about Mordecai, she was deeply distressed. She sent clothing to him to replace the burlap, but he refused it. 5 Then Esther sent for Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs who had been appointed as her attendant. She ordered him to go to Mordecai and find out what was troubling him and why he was in mourning. 6 So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the square in front of the palace gate.

    7 Mordecai told him the whole story, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews. 8 Mordecai gave Hathach a copy of the decree issued in Susa that called for the death of all Jews. He asked Hathach to show it to Esther and explain the situation to her. He also asked Hathach to direct her to go to the king to beg for mercy and plead for her people.9 So Hathach returned to Esther with Mordecai’s message.

    10 Then Esther told Hathach to go back and relay this message to Mordecai: 11 “All the king’s officials and even the people in the provinces know that anyone who appears before the king in his inner court without being invited is doomed to die unless the king holds out his gold scepter. And the king has not called for me to come to him for thirty days.” 12 So Hathach gave Esther’s message to Mordecai.

    13 Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. 14 If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”

    15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.”17 So Mordecai went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.

  • 1 John 2:18-25

    Warning about Antichrists

    18 Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come. 19 These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.

    20 But you are not like that, for the Holy One has given you his Spirit, and all of you know the truth. 21 So I am writing to you not because you don’t know the truth but because you know the difference between truth and lies. 22 And who is a liar? Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist. 23 Anyone who denies the Son doesn’t have the Father, either. But anyone who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

    24 So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father. 25 And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.

  • Psalm 140

    For the choir director: A psalm of David.

    1 O Lord, rescue me from evil people.

       Protect me from those who are violent,

    2 those who plot evil in their hearts

       and stir up trouble all day long.

    3 Their tongues sting like a snake;

       the venom of a viper drips from their lips. Interlude

    4 O Lord, keep me out of the hands of the wicked.

       Protect me from those who are violent,

       for they are plotting against me.

    5 The proud have set a trap to catch me;

       they have stretched out a net;

       they have placed traps all along the way. Interlude

    6 I said to the Lord, “You are my God!”

       Listen, O Lord, to my cries for mercy!

    7 O Sovereign Lord, the strong one who rescued me,

       you protected me on the day of battle.

    8 Lord, do not let evil people have their way.

       Do not let their evil schemes succeed,

       or they will become proud. Interlude

    9 Let my enemies be destroyed

       by the very evil they have planned for me.

    10 Let burning coals fall down on their heads.

       Let them be thrown into the fire

       or into watery pits from which they can’t escape.

    11 Don’t let liars prosper here in our land.

       Cause great disasters to fall on the violent.

    12 But I know the Lord will help those they persecute;

       he will give justice to the poor.

    13 Surely righteous people are praising your name;

       the godly will live in your presence.

  • John 12:20-36

    Jesus Predicts His Death

    20 Some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. 21 paid a visit to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee. They said, “Sir, we want to meet Jesus.” 22 Philip told Andrew about it, and they went together to ask Jesus.

    23 Jesus replied, “Now the time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory. 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. 25 Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. 26 Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.

    27 “Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came! 28 Father, bring glory to your name.”

    Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.” 29 When the crowd heard the voice, some thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had spoken to him.

    30 Then Jesus told them, “The voice was for your benefit, not mine.31 The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out. 32 And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” 33 He said this to indicate how he was going to die.

    34 The crowd responded, “We understood from Scripture that the Messiah would live forever. How can you say the Son of Man will die? Just who is this Son of Man, anyway?”

    35 Jesus replied, “My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going. 36 Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light.”

    After saying these things, Jesus went away and was hidden from them.

  • Proverbs 18:1-13

    1 Unfriendly people care only about themselves;

       they lash out at common sense.

    2 Fools have no interest in understanding;

       they only want to air their own opinions.

    3 Doing wrong leads to disgrace,

       and scandalous behavior brings contempt.

    4 Wise words are like deep waters;

       wisdom flows from the wise like a bubbling brook.

    5 It is not right to acquit the guilty

       or deny justice to the innocent.

    6 Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels;

       they are asking for a beating.

    7 The mouths of fools are their ruin;

       they trap themselves with their lips.

    8 Rumors are dainty morsels

       that sink deep into one’s heart.

    9 A lazy person is as bad as

       someone who destroys things.

    10 The name of the Lord is a strong fortress;

       the godly run to him and are safe.

    11 The rich think of their wealth as a strong defense;

       they imagine it to be a high wall of safety.

    12 Haughtiness goes before destruction;

       humility precedes honor.

    13 Spouting off before listening to the facts

       is both shameful and foolish.

  • Job 9:1-11

    Job’s Third Speech: A Response to Bildad

    1 Then Job spoke again:

    2 “Yes, I know all this is true in principle.

       But how can a person be declared innocent in God’s sight?

    3 If someone wanted to take God to court,

       would it be possible to answer him even once in a thousand times?

    4 For God is so wise and so mighty.

       Who has ever challenged him successfully?

    5 “Without warning, he moves the mountains,

       overturning them in his anger.

    6 He shakes the earth from its place,

       and its foundations tremble.

    7 If he commands it, the sun won’t rise

       and the stars won’t shine.

    8 He alone has spread out the heavens

       and marches on the waves of the sea.

    9 He made all the stars—the Bear and Orion,

       the Pleiades and the constellations of the southern sky.

    10 He does great things too marvelous to understand.

       He performs countless miracles.

    11 “Yet when he comes near, I cannot see him.

       When he moves by, I do not see him go.

  • 1 Corinthians 10:23-33

    23 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 24 Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.

    25 So you may eat any meat that is sold in the marketplace without raising questions of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”

    27 If someone who isn’t a believer asks you home for dinner, accept the invitation if you want to. Eat whatever is offered to you without raising questions of conscience. 28 (But suppose someone tells you, “This meat was offered to an idol.” Don’t eat it, out of consideration for the conscience of the one who told you. 29 It might not be a matter of conscience for you, but it is for the other person.) For why should my freedom be limited by what someone else thinks? 30 If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why should I be condemned for eating it?

    31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Don’t give offense to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God. 33 I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.

  • Psalm 55:1-15

    1 Listen to my prayer, O God.

       Do not ignore my cry for help!

    2 Please listen and answer me,

       for I am overwhelmed by my troubles.

    3 My enemies shout at me,

       making loud and wicked threats.

    They bring trouble on me

       and angrily hunt me down.

    4 My heart pounds in my chest.

       The terror of death assaults me.

    5 Fear and trembling overwhelm me,

       and I can’t stop shaking.

    6 Oh, that I had wings like a dove;

       then I would fly away and rest!

    7 I would fly far away

       to the quiet of the wilderness. Interlude

    8 How quickly I would escape—

       far from this wild storm of hatred.

    9 Confuse them, Lord, and frustrate their plans,

       for I see violence and conflict in the city.

    10 Its walls are patrolled day and night against invaders,

       but the real danger is wickedness within the city.

    11 Everything is falling apart;

       threats and cheating are rampant in the streets.

    12 It is not an enemy who taunts me—

       I could bear that.

    It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me—

       I could have hidden from them.

    13 Instead, it is you—my equal,

       my companion and close friend.

    14 What good fellowship we once enjoyed

       as we walked together to the house of God.

    15 Let death stalk my enemies;

       let the grave swallow them alive,

       for evil makes its home within them.

  • John 13:2-17

    2 It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. 4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.

    6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

    7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”

    8 “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”

    Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”

    9 Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”

    10 Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

    12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. 17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.

  • Proverbs 19:18-23

    18 Discipline your children while there is hope.

       Otherwise you will ruin their lives.

    19 Hot-tempered people must pay the penalty.

       If you rescue them once, you will have to do it again.

    20 Get all the advice and instruction you can,

       so you will be wise the rest of your life.

    21 You can make many plans,

       but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.

    22 Loyalty makes a person attractive.

       It is better to be poor than dishonest.

    23 Fear of the Lord leads to life,

       bringing security and protection from harm.

  • Job 26:1-14

    Job’s Ninth Speech: A Response to Bildad

    1 Then Job spoke again:

    2 “How you have helped the powerless!

       How you have saved the weak!

    3 How you have enlightened my stupidity!

       What wise advice you have offered!

    4 Where have you gotten all these wise sayings?

       Whose spirit speaks through you?

    5 “The dead tremble—

       those who live beneath the waters.

    6 The underworld is naked in God’s presence.

       The place of destruction is uncovered.

    7 God stretches the northern sky over empty space

       and hangs the earth on nothing.

    8 He wraps the rain in his thick clouds,

       and the clouds don’t burst with the weight.

    9 He covers the face of the moon,

       shrouding it with his clouds.

    10 He created the horizon when he separated the waters;

       he set the boundary between day and night.

    11 The foundations of heaven tremble;

       they shudder at his rebuke.

    12 By his power the sea grew calm.

       By his skill he crushed the great sea monster.

    13 His Spirit made the heavens beautiful,

       and his power pierced the gliding serpent.

    14 These are just the beginning of all that he does,

       merely a whisper of his power.

       Who, then, can comprehend the thunder of his power?”

  • Revelation 8:1-5

    The Lamb Breaks the Seventh Seal

    8 When the Lamb broke the seventh seal on the scroll, there was silence throughout heaven for about half an hour. 2 I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and they were given seven trumpets.

    3 Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great amount of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God’s people as an offering on the gold altar before the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of God’s holy people, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out. 5 Then the angel filled the incense burner with fire from the altar and threw it down upon the earth; and thunder crashed, lightning flashed, and there was a terrible earthquake.

  • Psalm 39

    For Jeduthun, the choir director: A psalm of David.

    1 I said to myself, “I will watch what I do

       and not sin in what I say.

       I will hold my tongue

       when the ungodly are around me.”

    2 But as I stood there in silence—

       not even speaking of good things—

       the turmoil within me grew worse.

    3 The more I thought about it,

       the hotter I got,

       igniting a fire of words:

    4 “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.

       Remind me that my days are numbered—

       how fleeting my life is.

    5 You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.

       My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;

       at best, each of us is but a breath.” Interlude

    6 We are merely moving shadows,

       and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.

      We heap up wealth,

       not knowing who will spend it.

    7 And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?

       My only hope is in you.

    8 Rescue me from my rebellion.

       Do not let fools mock me.

    9 I am silent before you; I won’t say a word,

       for my punishment is from you.

    10 But please stop striking me!

       I am exhausted by the blows from your hand.

    11 When you discipline us for our sins,

       you consume like a moth what is precious to us.

       Each of us is but a breath. Interlude

    12 Hear my prayer, O Lord!

       Listen to my cries for help!

       Don’t ignore my tears.

    For I am your guest—

       a traveler passing through,

       as my ancestors were before me.

    13 Leave me alone so I can smile again

       before I am gone and exist no more.

  • John 13:31-38

    Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

    31 As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, “The time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory, and God will be glorified because of him. 32 And since God receives glory because of the Son, he will give his own glory to the Son, and he will do so at once. 33 Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going. 34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

    36 Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?”

    And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.”

    37 “But why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I’m ready to die for you.”

    38 Jesus answered, “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter—before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.

  • Proverbs 20:27-30

    27 The Lord’s light penetrates the human spirit,

       exposing every hidden motive.

    28 Unfailing love and faithfulness protect the king;

       his throne is made secure through love.

    29 The glory of the young is their strength;

       the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.

    30 Physical punishment cleanses away evil;

       such discipline purifies the heart.