Anchor Buddies


January 18, 2022

Colossians 3:16 ESV

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.


Picking up where we left off yesterday, let’s take a further step into the practice we are calling Anchoring. Anchoring means living with a particular text, usually a passage with some length or heft, for a significant period of time in a simple yet comprehensive fashion—to the end that we have permanently laid claim to the text and the text has permanently laid claim to us. 

Anchoring is a way of deep reading. Today’s text gets at the big idea.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Something that does not readily occur to many of us (especially us rugged individualist Americans) is the “you” in the New Testament is almost always second person plural. The southern translation would be “all y’all.” The Word of God is written to us personally but not individually. It is actually written to us in the context of our relatedness. The original hearers of the New Testament would have heard it as written to “us” first and “me” second. This must become increasingly so for us—you and me. This has tremendous implications for the way we read the Bible. Even when we read alone and by ourselves, we are reading together in community. 

To let the Word of Christ, which is the Word of God, dwell in us richly—this is anchoring. So how does this shift from me to we? This is where the concept of an “Anchor Buddy” comes into play. An Anchor Buddy is a person with whom you share an Anchor Text. About fifteen years ago, my friend and fellow Farm Team member, Mark Benjamin, and I were on a long car ride and we started reading Psalm 19. We began to speak it back and forth, phrase by phrase, one to another. It became a quest to learn the text and as we grew in it, it became a deep means of encouraging one another. To this day, when we are together, one of us will kick it off, “The Heavens declare the glory of God,” and the other will say, “The skies proclaim the work of his hands,” and we are off to the races. The Word has become a kind of bond between us. In this way the Word dwells in “us” richly. As we process our way through the text, the Word is teaching us and admonishing us in all wisdom. We are Anchor Buddies. 

You have heard me tell of the Carpool Catechesis with my kids. Within that practice, Sam and I have become Anchor Buddies around Psalm 23, 24, and the Beatitudes, speaking them back and forth and back and forth until we have laid claim to the texts and the texts to us and then some more. This summer I made another Anchor Buddy around Psalm 84. Each morning, we would text the whole Psalm back and forth, verse by verse and sometimes phrase by phrase until we had it. This Word became like the cement of our new found friendship. 

It doesn’t have to be a long text either. One long time friend and mentor of mine and I have exchanged Psalm 146:8. One of us will say, “The Lord lifts up,” and the other will respond, “those who bow down.” There is no better, higher, and more enduring word we can speak to one another than the Word of God. 

And Daily Text Friends, we are becoming Anchor Buddies aren’t we? We are anchoring together in the Word of God. And when we anchor together in the Word of God, we become anchored to one another.

It’s why I say, “Wake up sleeper, and rise from the dead, . . . . 

And you say . . . ;0) 


Yes, Lord, I want to learn to anchor myself in your Word that your Word might anchor itself in me. Lead me to others with whom I can read deeply, with whom I can anchor in the Word together. Thank you for those anchor buddies in my life. Holy Spirit, would you open up the existing relationships in my life to this way of reading together—my spouse, my children, my parents, my band, friends from church, neighbors and beyond. I pray in the name of Jesus, who has anchored himself to us eternally. Amen. 


Do you have an anchor buddy? Ever had one? Would you like to move in this way of the Word with others? Who might be such a person in your life?   

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

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