S.O.A.P is a doable, sustainable, practical way to get to know the Bible.
In the Bible we discover the heart of God, but it is deeply embedded. A single verse or superficial understanding won’t capture it, just like with a person. Long, close-up knowledge is needed to discover the heart of someone, so expect your relationship with the Bible to slowly grow and unfold over time too. The Bible is complicated and a reflection of many very real people's lives. As you spend time with it, expect to see your own real life reflected there too.
Whether you’ve never cracked open the Bible or lived with it for years, using the S.O.A.P. process can give God a chance to speak to your here and now through these long-standing writings. Try it with these readings connected with the current Jacob’s Well conversations.
Week of June 25 – Science Class 4: Pastors & Surgeons
Spend some time with Matthew 6:25-34 this week. The universe is huge but within it we have real mini-universes that matter. How is Jesus speaking to this here, for you?
Week of June 18 – Science Class 3: Galaxies and Big Stuff
Another Psalm this week. Psalm 8. The writer of this song didn’t know about super clusters but we are not the first people to wonder at the big stuff and about our own place within it.
Week of June 11 – Science Class 2: (Minnehaha Falls storm; special Science & Religion podcast)
We’re reading Psalm 19 this week. A couple notes that may help open it up:
“Glory,” in Hebrew, means heaviness or weightiness – creation and “God’s word” both tell of it. Last week’s reading in John 1 talked about “the Word” too. Dig in and wonder!
Week of June 4 – Science Class 1: Disease and Ideas
What we’re reading this week: John 1:1-5. “In the beginning was the Idea (logos, story, word)…” Explore anew and deeply over the course of the week: what is remarkable about the idea of God to you? Spread it and be contagious.
Week of May 28 – Life Cycles: More than Remembering
What we’re reading this week: Matthew 5:13-16. The homework this week is to practice not being perfect. How does that go with this idea that we can be “salt and light” in the world? Hmmm. Take 10 minutes to use S.O.A.P with this passage a couple days this week (or even every day – you might be surprised at what you find living with this through the whole week) and see what you learn. Share it with someone!
Week of May 21 – Life Cycles: Now it’s Your Turn
The freedom when it is Your Turn is easily misused and often squandered. But we always get second chances. There was a letter written to another community about this a while back that has plenty to chew on for us today. Check out the end of it in Galatians 5 and 6.
Week of May 14 – Life Cycles: Giving Birth and letting Go
- Luke 1:29, 2:19 and 2:51 – Can we learn anything from Mary’s response to the giving birth and letting go she had to do?
- Deuteronomy 6.6-7 and Jeremiah 31:1, 33-34– what’s the difference between controlling and writing on hearts?
- Isaiah 55:8-11 – could this be about God giving birth and letting go?
- 1 Corinthians 13 – the way of love
Engage further on our S.O.A.P. Facebook page.
All you need for S.O.A.P. are paper, a pen, 10-minutes and a bible (or a link!). Here’s how it works:
S: Select a sentence, word or phrase that sticks out to you and write it down.
O: Observe. This reminds me of… I noticed… I wonder… I can relate to… I can’t relate to… (This might flow into the next before you know it…)
A: Apply. Why did this jump out to ME, today? What is God up to here? Wonder here too. Just keep writing, trying on ideas, listening. (This might flow into the next before you know it…)
P: Pray. Write this down too – your insights, questions, curiosities, disturbances, inspirations… bring them to this open honest conversation with God (and remember to listen).
S.O.A.P. can become a personal daily practice for you. Connecting with others about it will make it even more powerful. That’s why we weave it into the Sunday conversations and GroupLife.
Stuck or skeptical? What’s with all the destruction of wicked people? Here’s a 10-min podcast about that. And these short videos with Greg Meyer help open up what’s so powerful (and what can get you stuck) about the Bible.