The Community Rhythms of Hoboken Grace – August 2017
The Community Rhythms of Hoboken Grace – August 2017
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 be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:6–9 NLT
Each month as we meditate on truth, we come to God with a question 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 question to God. Wait for Him to answer throughout your month. Allow the Spirit to do what only He can do.
Where am I allowing my circumstances to rob me of the joy of what you’ve done?
What do those circumstances look like in light of eternity?
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:
You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 1 Peter 1:8 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: “Desiring God” by John Piper
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 look forward to when you think of the day Jesus will be revealed to the world?”
Leader: “How does reflection on that day impact your view of yesterday?”
Hand out the bread and cup.
Leader: “As we take the bread, we remember the one who gave His body so that we could enjoy eternity with Him!”
Leader: “As we take the cup, we remember the joy we can have in the midst of our waiting because He’s purchased our eternity with His blood.”
Spend time as a group looking forward to Heaven and all that will change when sin ends!
This month we will be fasting on Thursday, August 10th.
We will be abstaining from any food and will drink only water from the moment we wake until sunset.
As you move through the day and you look forward to when you will again taste food, allow it to remind you of how we look forward to what is coming when Christ returns.
There will be times in the day when it will seem like eternity before you’ll eat again. The wait for His return often feels this way. In reality it’s only a short time that we’re abstaining, and in reality, it’s only a short time until we’ll see Him in all of His glory!
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 go to a place you really enjoy.
Enjoy spending your day with Him in this place. Dream of how great it will be when we see Him and we see His creation as it was meant to be.
Allow your enjoyment of Him to build your anticipation of that day and diminish the concerns of today.
Allow it to build a real joy and excitement within you!