The Community Rhythms of Hoboken Grace – March 2019
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 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:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
(John 14:1–7 NIV)
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 in life am I believing the lie that it will always be like this?
How does the reality that He’s preparing a place for me impact how I experience today?
How can I bring that hope to my world today?
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:
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
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. 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: How does it feel to know He’s preparing for you?
What in life can lead to hopelessness taking root in you?
When you live in light of this hope, how does your life change?
(Hand out the bread and cup.)
Read the meditation passage again.
Leader: “As we take the bread, we remember that he was broken so that we could one day be with him forever.”
(Take the bread.)
Leader: “As we take the cup we remember the payment that was made for us to one day experience the place he is preparing for us.”
(Take the cup.)
Spend time dreaming together in prayer of the place he’s preparing.
This month we will be fasting on Thursday, March 19th.
It’s amazing how the first meal after a fast can taste so good! Absence makes the heart grow fonder as long as it doesn’t become forgetful.
We live in a broken world that we long to be free of. The longing of your heart for justice, peace, joy, etc. is the hunger pains of your soul longing for the restoration that God will one day bring.
As you experience the hunger of the fast, allow that hunger to remind you both of the longings of your soul as well as the incredible joy we will experience when our souls complete the fast and we are finally in that place he is preparing!
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.
If possible, spend your solitude time in a place that allows you to dream.
Spend the day dreaming of what it will be like to finally be with him. Dream of all of the good he’s brought into this broken world and now imagine all the good once the restoration has come! I often dream of exploring the restored world. If there is beauty now, imagine then. Allow your imagination to go wild and know that you still haven’t begun to realize how great it will be.