It seems to be the thing: memorizing Scripture. Last year, Ann Voskamp led an online group and her family in memorizing Romans, an important book of the New Testament for her, and is currently leading another scripture memorizing group.
I didn't get it. Didn't do it.
But Leanne, you say, the title of this post?
See, if you put music to it, I'll memorize it. I have practically all of the First Song of Isaiah memorized because of this. ("Surely it is God who saves me, I will trust in Him and not be afraid..." everybody now! "for the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense and He will be my Savior...")
But I know that one because it was a popular song choice at my church until fairly recently.
I've memorized bits of the psalms, ditto ditto. Either through their use as a song in church or through chanting them.
Heck, I almost fell over (if I wasn't already sitting down) when meditating on Jesus being anointed by the woman in Matthew when "oil falling over the beard, over the beard of Aaron" popped into my head and wouldn't go away. (Psalm 133, in case you're wondering. I had to look it up.)
And yet, and yet. I haven't memorized a whole piece of scripture with intention, that is, meaning to do it, rather than it kind of happening on its own.
Until now. Until the Sh'ma and the V'ahavta. While I kind of think its ironic that the first scripture I have intentionally memorized is in Hebrew, not English, I will add this: it's sung. I first wanted to learn it because Torah trope is so gosh-darned pretty. And then I wanted to be sure I had a better reason than that for learning it.
So I have memorized all of Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Numbers 15:40-41. In Hebrew.
You may remember back in the 30 Days of Judaism that I wrote about why I was doing this.
Learning Sh'ma #1
Learning Sh'ma #2
Learning Sh'ma #3
Learning Sh'ma #4
Learning Sh'ma #5
Oh and there was a reward for me at the end of this too: a necklace with Sh'ma (in Hebrew, naturally) decoratively placed within a silver circle.
It still took me four months to learn it. But I have it memorized, Torah trope and all.
Next step? Learn Hebrew. The good news is that I can recognize the first letter of the Sh'ma so I know whether or not I'm wearing the necklace backwards.
'Cause that would be, like, embarrassing.