The Community Rhythms of Hoboken Grace – August 2019
The Community Rhythms of Hoboken Grace – August 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:
The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
“But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well isvery deep. Where would you get this living water? And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob,who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”
Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomesa fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
John 4:9-14 NLT
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 do I believe I need today?
What is it that I really need today?
How can I drink deeply of Him,not just in this moment, but throughout my day?
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:
“But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
John 4:14 NLT
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 Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg
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 are the needs that are calling for your attention this week?
Where and when are you creating space to drink deeply of Him?
How does drinking deeply of Him impact the way you engage the other needs in your week?
(Hand out the bread and cup.)
Read the meditation passage again.
Leader: “As we take the bread, we remember that His body was shredded so that we could come before Him without hesitation knowing He welcomes us.”
(Take the bread.)
Leader: “As we take the cup we remember that He is the living water our soul thirsts for.”
(Take the cup.)
Spend time in prayer celebrating all that is incredible about Jesus.
This month we will be fasting on Thursday, August 15th.
We will be abstaining from any food and will drink only water from the moment we wake until sunset.
As we fast this month, allow the hunger pains to remind you of what your soul needs. Ask God to create in you a hunger and thirst for Him that equals the craving you have for food. Allow your body to teach you a crucial lesson. Cravings are created by consistency. Our consistent practice of feeding our body creates an expectation. The same is true for your soul, but few of us feed it consistently enough to actually reach that point. Allow your fasting to motivate your development of spiritual cravings.
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.
If possible spend your time in solitude next to water. Find a beach, a river, or a lake to sit next to.
Every living thing, no matter how small or large, needs water. There is no life without it.
Reflect on the reality that water is the picture Jesus chooses to describe our need for Him. He doesn’t just enhance our life. There is no life without Him.