The Community Rhythms of Hoboken Grace – September 2020
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:
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
Ephesians 4:11–16 NLT-SE
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 can I appreciate today about how God has created me to impact those in my life?
How can I use my gifts to do that today?
Who do I need to encourage with how God has created them today?
How can I better engage community this month?
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:
He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
Ephesians 4:16 NLT-SE
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. To help in establishing these rhythms, we also created a way to set-up daily reminders through the Hoboken Grace App. Once you download and open the app, just go to the top left hand corner, then settings, notifications and click to turn on rhythms. You will be sent reminders in the morning, at lunch and right before the end of the work day. Many of us follow the daily rhythm schedule below, but feel free to adjust it based on your daily flow and expectations.
End of Work Day:
As you begin communion this month, read through our meditation passage together. (See above.)
Leader: Do you believe everyone taking communion today needs everyone taking communion?
What do you appreciate about the person to your right and what they bring to the body?
How have you grown because of someone else in this group?
(Hand out the bread and cup.)
Read the meditation passage again.
Leader: “As we take the bread, we remember that Jesus’ sacrificed His connection with the Father so that we could experience the connection He had.”
(Take the bread.)
Leader: “As we take the cup we remember that we are unified in His body and family. We are family and will be forever!”
(Take the cup.)
Thank Him for the fact that each of us matter in His family!
This month we will be fasting on Thursday, September 17th
During the day you will feel like you need food, because in reality, you do. You can fast for a time, but you will not live without it. Allow that craving to fuel your commitment to something else you cannot spiritually live without, community. Reflect on the fact that you need community in the same way you need food. The reality is, if you consistently experience community, you will build an appetite for it stronger than your appetite for food. When it’s gone you will crave it just as you crave food today.
If possible find your way to a secluded quiet place.
Often we make the mistake of believing that solitude is about us. It’s not. To be like Jesus is to live for others, but it’s also to understand that to love you must listen. You must take the time and create the space to hear God speak into your life so that you can speak into others.
Today, don’t ask God what He has for you. Ask God what He would have you share with others. Maybe it’s family members, group members, whoever it is, ask God how He would have you encourage them and speak into their lives.