The Community Rhythms of Hoboken Grace – May 2018
The Community Rhythms of Hoboken Grace – May 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:
For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:9–11
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 are your words of encouragement for me today?
Who needs my encouragement today?
Am I known as an encourager?
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:
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
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 Artisan Soul” – Erwin McManus
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 encouragement with one another. Encouragement isn’t just praise. Encouragement is often God’s promises that speak to our lives.
Hand out the bread and cup.
Leader: “As we take the bread we look forward to the day when we will be with Him!”
Leader: “As we take the cup, we remember that God poured out His righteous anger on Christ who took our place.”
Spend time in prayer thanking God for each other.
This month we will be fasting on Thursday, May 17th.
We will be abstaining from any food and will drink only water from the moment we wake until sunset.
We live in a critical world that often ignores encouragement. We can fall into the trap of believing that our role is to correct and inform instead of understanding what God has told us about being an encouragement to those around us.
As you experience hunger, allow it to remind you to encourage. Every time you feel hungry encourage someone!
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.
How does God encourage us? Often we miss God’s encouragement in scripture because we are only looking for the instruction. The scriptures, however, are filled with encouragement.
As you take this time away, read through the following Psalms.
Allow God’s word to encourage you!