The Community Rhythms of Hoboken Grace – December 2018
The Community Rhythms of Hoboken Grace – December 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:
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with 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.
What is it that my thoughts are fixed on?
What am I filling my mind and life with on a consistent basis?
What in my life reflects what I see in this passage?
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:
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
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 Homeward Call” – Jeff Pratt
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 we dwell on will impact both who we become as well as the lives we will live.
What are the negative thoughts that your mind is drawn to?
What in your life reflects what you see in this passage?
(Hand out the bread and cup.)
Read the meditation passage again.
Leader: “As we take the bread we remember that He came for us to know what is true, and good, and honorable, and admirable.”
(Take the Bread)
Leader: “As we take the cup, we remember that He died for us to made true, and good, and honorable, and admirable!”
(Take the Cup)
Spend time in prayer thanking God for those things in your life that are true, good, pure, honorable, and admirable.
This month we will be fasting on Thursday, December 13th.
We will be abstaining from any food and will drink only water from the moment we wake until sunset.
As hunger tries to consume your day allow it to remind you of how negative thoughts work to consume our minds. Allow the hunger to remind you to think of the things we’ve been called to in this passage. As you conquer hunger throughout the day allow it to remind you that like your body, you can control your mind and if you remain disciplined you can overcome the thoughts that work to consume you.
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.
It’s often in solitude that we’re overwhelmed by negative thoughts and feelings. Many are terrified of solitude for this very reason. We don’t want to hear the thoughts our minds are fixed on, consumed with. The battle for peace is real, and this month we invite you to engage that battle.
As you enter solitude read through the passage. Try to spend at least four hours thinking of nothing but that which is true, good, honorable, pure, and admirable. When thoughts of worry or negativity begin to worm their way in actively fight against them. The more you practice this, the easier it will become. Your brain needs to be strengthened in this way. Allow this to be an extended time of putting this into practice.