The Community Rhythms of Hoboken Grace – August 2018
The Community Rhythms of Hoboken Grace – August 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:
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
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.
Where am I believing I can do this relying on my own strength?
Why would you want such intimacy with me?
What is the fruit that others see in my life? Is it the fruit of intimacy with your Spirit?
(Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control, gentleness, faithfulness.)
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:
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
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: Psalms – Continue reading Psalms. Read through a Psalm each day and experience the Psalmist discovering, remembering, and celebrating intimacy with God.
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: Ask the group to share where their confidence typically is found.
Hand out the bread and cup.
Read the passage again.
Leader: “As we take the bread we remember the One whose body rose from the dead. The One who invites us to experience that power in and through us.”
Leader: “As we take the cup, we remember the blood that was shed for us to never again be disconnected from Him. We remember what He paid for us to have that intimacy.”
Spend time in prayer thanking God for the intimacy He invites us into and placing your confidence in Him.
This month we will be fasting on Thursday, August 16th.
We will be abstaining from any food and will drink only water from the moment we wake until sunset.
It’s amazing how our rhythm of physical sustenance impacts our lives. We’ve become so accustomed to eating three times a day at roughly the same time that to skip a meal is painful. We crave nourishment.
What if our spiritual rhythms could produce the same craving? What if we could become so consistent in our experience of God’s presence that to miss our time with Him would be physically painful?
Allow the cravings you experience this month to create a new craving in your soul. Allow them to draw your attention to the source of your strength. Ask God to create in you a craving for Him that is far greater than the cravings you experience in your fast.
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.
This month find a quiet peaceful place where you can view a well rooted tree. Spend time reflecting on how that tree is rooted in the soil that surrounds it. Examine the branches and how they grow out from the trunk. Work through the contemplative questions.
Is your life rooted in Him in the same way? Does your life flow from your intimacy with Him?
Reflect on the incredible promise that if we will remain in Him, He will remain in us. What would your life look like if His power, love, and grace flowed through you as it does the branches of the tree?
The tree doesn’t work to produce fruit. It naturally blooms as a result of the life of the tree flowing through it. May the same be true of you spiritually.