The Community Rhythms of Hoboken Grace – November 2019
The Community Rhythms of Hoboken Grace – November 2019
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 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:
“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”
Revelation 2:2-5 NIV
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 holds my affection today as I enter my day?
Have I allowed my affection for Christ to become stale?
Have I allowed something else to become my first love?
How can I express my love for Him as I move through my day 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:
“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.”
Revelation 2:4 NIV
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: No monthly book this month.
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: How did you feel about Christ when you first stepped into this relationship with him?
How has that changed over time? Have you begun to take him for granted? Have you allowed something or someone else to become your first love?
(Hand out the bread and cup.)
Read the meditation passage again.
Leader: “As we take the bread, we remember his incredible love and sacrifice of giving his body for us.”
(Take the bread.)
Leader: “As we take the cup we remember what seals us forever as his ensuring that we will always know and live in his love.”
(Take the cup.)
Spend time celebrating what you love about him.
This month we will be fasting on Thursday, November 21st.
We will be abstaining from any food and will drink only water from the moment we wake until sunset.
As you experience the hunger pains of the fast reflect on the unbelievable pain Christ experienced in his pursuit of you. Reflect on the level of love it would require to be crucified for someone you know. Accept his love for you. Remember that it has not changed since that moment. He cares for you the very same way today!
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.
In your time away with God, do something you would enjoy doing with a friend. Reflect on your journey with Christ. Remember the times you experienced His love most. Examine what might be keeping you from that experience of him right now. Enjoy being with him and allow your love for him and his presence in your life to blossom as you enjoy your time with him.