We are not accustomed to denying ourselves anything. Everything we want and need is accessible by a run to the store or restaurant or a click on Amazon. The purpose of fasting is to re-focus our attention on God as we follow Jesus' example of choosing to sacrifice something.
February 20/21 | Rhythm of Simplicity
When I untangle my life, I can focus on what is really important. Jesus modeled a simple life which can feel impossible in 2021 (although COVID challenged our schedules). Can we take an honest look at our "stuff" and determine to make some moves toward simplicity in 2021?
February 27/28 | Rhythm of Rest and Delight
A “free day” or "day off" may seem like a luxury many of us can not imagine or even afford. But, just stopping, is a Biblical standard from creation itself and is assigned a day. That day is named Sabbath. As we see with fresh eyes what the Sabbath was meant for, we hope to rediscover the rhythms of rest and delight!
March 6/7 | Rhythm of Remembrance
One of Faith Church's two sacraments, the Lord's Supper, was instituted by Jesus to commemorate his death, to symbolize the New Covenant, to point to the fellowship of a redeemed people gathered at his table, and to anticipate the feast we will share in heaven. The Lord's Supper reflects the Passover meal at the time of the Exodus and was instituted by Jesus at the time of his final meal with his disciples. The bread and the cup point to his broken body and shed blood and are the definitive symbols of the New Covenant in Christ. The bread and the cup speak eloquently as symbols of Christ's redemptive work at Calvary, of the fellowship of the people of God in Christ, and of the coming day when a redeemed people will gather in the presence of the Savior at his eschatological banquet.
March 13/14 | Rhythm of Celebration
What in this life is actually worth celebrating? We think we get it right when we manufacture celebration out of obligation as a response to Scripture such as "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice,"" (Phillipians 4:4, ESV). The problem lies in our own hearts that aren't ready to celebrate properly. Author Richard J. Foster notes in Celebration of Discipline, "we will not know genuine joy until there is a transforming work within us." Foster cautions us not to "pump up people with joy when in reality nothing happened in their lives." When we're free from the habits and routines that deprive us of a chance to experience true joy, we can begin to celebrate. When we can fully grasp our own salvation and transformation, celebration is possible.
"(Celebration) is not something that falls on our heads," Foster writes. "It is the result of a consciously chosen way of thinking and living. When we choose this way, the healing and redemption of Christ will break into the inner recesses of our lives and relationships and the inevitable result will be joy."
March 20/21 | Rhythm of Focus
To pattern our lives as disciples of Jesus requires a look at his habits as a man. Even the Son of God took time away from others to rest and recharge, be alone with the Father, and even mourn and process on his own. How can you pattern your life to receive this rest and time of connection with God? What stands in the way? Jesus didn't let gathering crowds deter him from this connection. He saw this as essential in his ministry, and we should as well.
March 27/28 | Rhythm of Gathering
While we often lean toward isolation and independence Scripture (from the very beginning) reminds us that we are created to live in community with Him and with others. We were built to grow through relationships. Jesus modeled this life of relationships throughout His ministry on earth.