The Community Rhythms of Hoboken Grace – March 2018
The Community Rhythms of Hoboken Grace – March 2018
One of the most difficult and yet beautiful steps in our maturity as disciples of Christ is the embracing of our disabilities. The scriptures are incredibly clear that it’s in our weakness that His strength is displayed and yet we continue to act as if this journey is about our strength instead of His.
He calls us to embrace our weakness. He calls us to live in light of our disabilities.
The following book is designed to help us address two of the most destructive of our disabilities; our forgetfulness and our blindness.
Our forgetfulness robs us of living in light of His grace, His provision, His love, and His presence. We have the capacity to walk out of an incredible experience with Him and in a moment to believe the lie that He is distant. We need to develop rhythms in our lives and day that call us to remember the reality that we live and move and breathe in Him.
Rhythms also help us address our blindness because they draw us into a conversation with Him that does not cease. Rather than simply speaking to him once a day or once a week, we intentionally schedule times throughout our day to reignite our conversation with Him if by chance it has ceased. We seek to live our lives listening. We seek to live our lives attune to the voice that awakens us to the truth of God. We seek to pray without ceasing as we engage Him throughout our day rather than wasting our conversation by talking to ourselves.
Throughout history those who have known God well, those who have walked with Him, have lived lives with rhythms that called them back frequently to the one they loved most. We seek to do the same. We hope you’ll join us.
Each month we choose one passage on which to meditate for the month. We read this passage every day at a scheduled time and ask God to help us understand it better by allowing it to sift through the lives we lead. Our return to it over and over keeps the truth fresh in our minds as we experience the world around us and allows it to come alive. We seek to listen as the Spirit uses it to enlighten our experience of the journey with Christ. Throughout this month we will be meditating on:
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.
Each month as we meditate on truth, we come to God with questions for Him to speak into during our month. We can learn truth intellectually, but we need the Spirit to speak truth into our hearts for us to awaken to it. Bring the following questions to God. Wait for Him to answer throughout your month. Allow the Spirit to do what only He can do.
Who do I need to be patient with today?
How does my unity with those who are part of the body of Christ impact my day today?
Have I done anything to bring division into the unity that we share?
How can I celebrate the unity we share?
In memorizing God’s word, we allow the Spirit to bring truth into our lives at any moment as He calls us back to a passage at just the right time in just the right situation.
This month our memory verse is:
Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
Monday – Friends who don’t know Christ
Tuesday – Family
Wednesday – Church
Thursday – Dinner Group
Friday – City and nation
Saturday – World
Sunday – Co-workers
Monthly Book: “The Principle of the Path” – Andy Stanley
Developing healthy rhythms in your life is about finding a schedule that works for you. It’s about figuring out how to incorporate all that we’ve talked about into your daily, weekly, and monthly experience. It’s about prioritizing and consistently pursuing the one who loves you most. Many of us follow the daily rhythm below, but feel free to adjust it based on your daily flow and expectations.
The Lord’s Supper is another rhythm of remembrance and a rhythm we can experience in community. Each month in your dinner group you’ll walk through our monthly communion practice that ties into our meditation passage for that month as well as our memory verse. The leader will walk you through the following questions.
As you begin communion this month, read through our meditation passage together. (See above)
Leader: “What do you value about being unified with the others in this group?”
Hand out the bread and cup.
Leader: “As we take the bread we remember that He was ripped apart so that we could be brought together with Him and each other.”
Leader: “As we take the cup, we remember that He purchased us with His blood to be part of His body together.”
Celebrate the unity that you have as a group and identify one person you are going to invite to be part of that with you.
This month we will be fasting on Wednesday, March 14th.
We will be abstaining from any food and will drink only water from the moment we wake until sunset.
During the day not only will you feel hunger, but you’re entire body will be impacted by it. Your energy levels, your attitude, your mood. Almost every part of you will experience change because of the fact that there is no food entering your stomach.
This is a result of the fact that your body is unified, and no matter how it feels, it can’t opt out.
Allow that experience to remind you of the fact that we are unified with the believers around us. We can’t opt out, we must engage one another with patience and love. Allow it to remind you how we impact and effect one another on this journey. May it encourage us to see the church as the body of Christ that it is.
It’s in silence and solitude that we create space for God to speak to our soul. Those who pursued God often did so in the wilderness. This quarter we invite you to take a day and find a space you can enjoy in solitude and silence. Try to spend at least four hours walking through this rhythm.
As you go away with God find a place where you can observe nature. Spend time reflecting on the way nature is intricately connected. Spend time thinking of how the tree is unified and each part of the tree is dependent and impacted by the rest of the tree.
Review the contemplative questions with greater depth.
What would it look like to live in the truth of our unity with one another? Allow Jesus to speak into that question and lead you to a greater understanding of unity.