The Community Rhythms of Hoboken Grace – January 2018
The Community Rhythms of Hoboken Grace – January 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:
So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live.
Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
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.
How did I use my words yesterday?
Who can I encourage today?
Is there unresolved anger or bitterness that I need to address in my heart today?
Is there someone I need to reach out to today?
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:
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
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: “Soul Talk” by Larry Crabb
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: “Is there unresolved anger in your heart tonight? Do you need to forgive someone tonight? Do you need to give the situation to God? Do you need to contact someone tonight? The reason we can forgive, is because we’ve been forgiven. Tonight, we remember the one who moved through the hurt that we caused Him to come for us.”
Hand out the bread and cup.
Leader: “As we take the bread we remember how He took on even greater pain than what we had already caused Him so that we could be free of pain.”
Leader: “As we take the cup, we remember that His blood was shed to wash us clean of all that hurt Him and others.”
Thank God for the opportunity to forgive as we’ve been forgiven.
This month we will be fasting on Thursday, January 18th.
We will be abstaining from any food and will drink only water from the moment we wake until sunset.
Allow the hunger to remind you of the pain that our words can bring when we don’t control them. Allow it to call your attention to how words are used around you. Allow it to remind you to be an encouragement.
Look for opportunities to encourage every time you remember your hunger.
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 take time exploring the contemplative questions in greater depth.
Allow Him to reveal places where you need to give forgiveness.
Allow Him to reveal places where you need to ask for forgiveness.
Allow your feelings about those situations to inform just how amazing it is that He forgave you. Celebrate that forgiveness!