The Taylor Community was challenged to memorize Colossians 3 in 20 days. The prize? A large Hershey’s candy bar!
The “Sweet Scripture Engagement Challenge” ended on September 26.
Students reflected on how this challenge went and what Scripture Engagement is.
Junior Kirsten Stinson shared that her surprise freetime led her to give memorizing Colossians 3 a try. Stinson had experience singing in chorale; this prompted her to ‘jump around,’ memorizing the passage in a different order than the traditional top to bottom methodology. Participating in memorizing Colossians 3 allowed Stinson to think about God’s word more, ingraining God’s word in her mind.
“God’s word is good, because God is good,” Stinson said.
Stinson encouraged students to space out their memorization, to know their limits and to set aside pockets of time to practice memorizing.
Junior Blewe Winters had the opportunity to recite his memorization of Colossians 3 in Spanish at chapel.
After studying abroad in Ecuador, Winters developed a basic level of Spanish. Continuing to practice his pronunciation and grammar, he began memorizing Bible passages in Spanish as well.
“I prefer the way Spanish says it over the English translation,” Winters said. “It enhances my understanding. There’s certain things that you can express in one language that you can’t in another.”
Memorization has been an effective way for Winters to meditate and engage in scripture throughout the day.
In his freshman year at Taylor in particular, Winters recalls his discipleship coordinator’s father passionately reciting Psalm 103 on a wing retreat, the experience inspiring him to memorize passages in the same way.
At the same time, though, Winters also saw the importance in being intentional about meditating rather than simply reciting words.
“I can remember different seasons of my life when certain verses came up,” Winters said. “It speaks to you in different ways across time as you keep trying to keep it memorized.”
Often reflecting on that passage of time, Winters routinely chooses to compare his desired life to the way he has been living and thinking, and to the way that he is called to live.
He also practices his passages consistently, recognizing that what is not practiced will quickly be lost. For Winters, this often means reciting scripture before bed and as he goes on walks and runs.
“I copy it word for word and then I wait five minutes and try to rewrite it,” Winters said. “Make it a game for yourself! You have to find the fun in it.”
At the same time, though, Winters also recognizes the importance scripture memorization and scripture recitation truly has. With deep biblical roots, the junior turns to the apostle Paul when he thinks about the connection the spoken word of God has on both speakers and listeners alike.
“A lot of these scriptures were initially spoken out loud,” Winters said. “Paul got a letter and it was read. Reading Scripture out loud, you get different things and see connections in different ways.”