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Sunday Reflections, September 13, 2015: Grand Invitation to Rhythms of Redemption

By September 14, 2015Rhythm, Sunday Reflections

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The Practice is back for the Fall…and man am I excited.

Last night was so sweet for me. Seeing so many new and familiar faces walk through our doors ready to engage with The God of The Universe was such a beautiful sight to behold. If last night was your first time joining our little tribe, you were so welcome and wanted by us all – and if you are a regular presence at The Practice, it was so good to see you again!

We opened our time together, singing the sweet words from 1 Samuel 3:7-11 that have become so dear to us all at The Practice,

Please speak, Your servant is listening
Please speak, Your servant is listening
Please speak, Your servant is listening
Your servant is listening
O Hosanna

And from there we found our rhythm, getting swept up once more into the grand story of redemptive history and the kingdom invitation from God our Maker. Last week Aaron shared a taste of what is in store for us this Fall and last night marked the official beginning of learning to align our rhythms with the eternal rhythms of God for the sake of the world.

I woke up this morning with Aaron’s picture of a beautiful, powerful, slow moving river on my mind. The invitation to unforced rhythms of grace is beautifully summed up in this image – to let the current carry you towards God’s making all things new through his redeeming of the world.

But.

As Aaron so articulately put it – so many of us struggle to align with God’s rhythm. For most of us, we’re swimming upstream, struggling against the current of our Maker, slowly becoming exhausted by our forced rhythms of stress. Some of us can even look back and remember times when we’ve felt close to drowning.

You can listen to Aaron’s message through our podcast or online here below.

The Practice part of our evening was then spent taking an inventory created by Ruth Haley Barton and The Transforming Center called, “How is it with your soul?” This inventory was essentially a series of self assessment questions to help each of us discern are we resting in the current of God’s grace or are we struggling upstream?

How did the inventory go for you? Were those questions as penetrating for you as they were for me? Here’s the one that pinned me to the wall the most-

I am keeping up with what life requires but deep down I feel that I have lost touch with who I am in God and what he has called me to do.

This isn’t true of me always, but there are certainly days when this feels close to home. The busyness, the striving and the burn out can creep into the fringes of my life and try to threaten the freedom available to me in Christ. As Aaron read one of our core passages over us, our intention for this Fall became clearer still:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Friends, this is what we want to dive into this Fall. We want to help open your eyes to the ways in which you may be tired, worn out, striving upstream and we want to connect you to Jesus Christ, who desires you to learn the unforced rhythms of grace for the sake of the Kingdom of God being made real among us.

It begins at the Table – practicing the rhythm of centering our lives around the truth and reality of Christ alive in us through the bread and the wine each week. From there, we’re going to keep learning historic practices that help align the rhythms of our lives to Gods unforced rhythms of grace – silence, examen and sabbath. Will you join us? Will you get swept into the loving current of God’s redeeming river? I can’t wait to see what God does next.

Next Sunday, Ruth Haley Barton will join us to talk about what it means to connect to our desire in order to better align with God’s rhythms. You won’t want to miss it, she is a wonderful gift to our community.

A final beauty of the night, was Kellye’s beautiful benediction sending us out into the world. Some of you asked for her words to be shared and we’re happy to share them here, may they continue to wash over you this week as you take all we’ve practiced and learned into your lives.

Benediction by Kellye Fabian

 

Jesus came to

            bind up your broken heart;

            proclaim freedom over you;

release you from darkness;

comfort you when you mourn; and

provide for you when you grieve.

He came to bestow on you

            a crown of beauty;

            the oil of gladness; and

            a garment of praise.

He came to renew and restore and redeem.

So,

May you let go of whatever it is you are holding,

fling open your arms, lift up your eyes, and

allow the current of the river of God to

move you and carry you into

His eternal rhythms for the sake of the world.

——————-

Blessings,

Jenna Perrine & The Practice Team

 

 

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • Larry Manassa says:

    I missed Sunday’s “The Practice” but would like to start attending on a regular basis. Is there a way for me to obtain the “How is it with your soul inventory ? I think that would be a really good tool for me right now. Appreciatively, Larry Manassa

    • Jenna Perrine says:

      Hi Larry, thanks for reaching out and sharing your interest! We look forward to seeing you in the upcoming weeks – unfortunately the inventory is not free to view online, so to obtain a copy of the “How is it with your soul?” inventory, please visit our Connections Table on the Sunday night you visit and one of our team members will get you one. We have plenty of extra copies available for people who were unable to attend our first week and we really want to get it into everyone’s hands.

      Blessings,
      Jenna & The Practice Team

  • Trish Sprain says:

    Hi there. Is there a way to buy the “How is it with your soul?” inventory? I am listening to the Podcast, but don’t live in the Chicago area. I would love to be able to find the inventory and spend some time on it. Thanks!

    Trish

  • Baylee M says:

    I would love to implement this fall series in a small group setting – do you have recommendations for the best way to go about that?

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