The Community Rhythms of Hoboken Grace – July 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:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
1 Corinthians 13:4–7 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.
How did I experience God’s true love for me yesterday?
Where did I see true love demonstrated yesterday?
How would you have me show true love today?
Where am I misunderstanding love?
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:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
1 Cor. 13:4-5
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: As you look at this description of love, first allow yourself to experience God’s love for you. How have you experienced God loving you this way during the past week?
How does your idea of love sometimes differ from His definition of love?
Notice love isn’t something primarily received, but given. Who is God calling you to show this type of love to specifically this week?
(Hand out the bread and cup.)
Read the meditation passage again.
Leader: “As we take the bread, we remember that Jesus’ body was broken so that our wrongs would not be counted.”
(Take the bread.)
Leader: “As we take the cup we remember his incredible kindness and patience. He shed his blood knowing exactly how we would fall short of his love.”
(Take the cup.)
Spend time praising Him for his patience and kindness.
This month we will be fasting on Thursday, August 20th.
As you push through the appetite of hunger during the day let this practice remind you that you don’t have to give into the appetite of selfishness. You have a choice, and love is always a choice. We feel the need to lash out, to be short, to hold grudges, but just as we can overcome the appetite for food we can also overcome our own selfishness. Allow the practice of fasting to build your confidence that you can follow God in demonstrating to others the love he has demonstrated to you!
If possible find your way to a secluded quiet place. Imagine what it would be like to love you if you were God. Imagine how you would respond to you. Be honest. Imagine the patience it would require. Imagine how hard it would be to be kind in the face of the disrespect he is so often shown. Imagine how hard it would be to not keep a record.
Allow your understanding of God’s love to deepen and your gratitude to grow. Dig into the little things as much as the big things and realize just how completely and fully you are being loved.
Identify one relationship where you want to demonstrate this better. Identify a plan. What is one way you can do that consistently this month. Be specific.
As you return, love, because you have been loved!