Welcome back to Week 2 in our Resting in the Rhythms of Grace email/blog series. Last week, we looked at a lot of ideas to incorporate into your daily rhythms to help you feel connected with God. This week, I want to expand the timeline just a bit and move to some ideas of what you can do to implement weekly and monthly rhythms into your schedule that will help you remain fresh in your faith.
The ancient Jews gathered each Sabbath (Saturday) for worship through teaching, Scripture readings, prayer, sacrifices, and more. This practice was continued by the early Christians, who simply saw themselves as Jews doing what they had always done. However, they shifted from worshiping on the Sabbath to worshiping on "the Lord's Day" (Sunday), the day of the week when Jesus rose from the dead.
For centuries, the global Church across numerous cultures has kept this rhythm. With a noisy culture bombarding you through YouTube, commercials, social media, and more trying to convince you how to live, it's good for Jesus-followers to gather with other Jesus-followers each Sunday to be reminded of God's love and call on your life.
Along with gathering each Sunday with other believers, the early church also gathered in homes (as we learn in Acts 2:46) to stay connected with one another. This practice helped them stay connected with God through the gospel.
While the Scriptures do not mandate weekly Growth Group attendance, it is a great rhythm to gather with a small group periodically (weekly, every other week, etc.) who you can learn with, laugh with, cry with, and pray with to mutually encourage one another to follow Jesus.
Another weekly rhythm you might consider in order to stay connected to Christ through human connection is a one-on-one friendship where you study Scripture, talk about life, and pray for each other.
Another rhythm you might introduce into your life (if you haven't already) is to unplug from social media and technology for a time. It could be for just a morning or evening, or possibly even a full day. You might be amazed at the wonders done in the heart and mind by setting aside your phone for a couple of hours or turning off the TV for a day for the purpose of connecting with God and your family.
If you try to incorporate this rhythm into your life, I suggest setting aside the same day and time each week and then trying it out for at least two months. Most people are so used to looking at their phone, flipping on the TV, or opening up the laptop, they do it almost without thinking. Like trying to play a song in 7/8 time, this rhythm takes some getting used to.
Last week, I encouraged you to connect daily with God through Scripture and prayer. You might consider doing more with this rhythm of grace by taking a half-day (or even full-day) retreat. Your retreat could consist of...
This is a great rhythm to help you find rest in Jesus. If you can't incorporate this rhythm monthly, we'll talk about this more next week when we look at quarterly and annual rhythms.
While you can incorporate this rhythm into your weekly schedule, I'm including it in this Monthly section as an encouragement to simply begin. Don't wait until our 21 Days of Prayer at the start of each calendar year to fast, making it an annual rhythm. Make it a part of your life more regularly.
Consider giving up food or some habit for an entire day once a month, substituting meal times with Jesus time. For some people, this is a hard rhythm to blend into life, so consider doing this with your spouse or a good friend.
My last idea this week is to once a month do something in secret. You might quietly drop off groceries on someone's front porch, or mow someone's lawn while they are in the hospital, or mail someone a gift card for the local gas station, or even schedule for a bouquet of flowers to be delivered to a shut-in. It's okay to do these things non-anonymously, but sometimes we need to purify our motives by giving in such a way that we receive none of the credit.
As I've previously said, don't try to incorporate all of these ideas at once. Pick one or two and begin to implement them, with the focus being on connecting with Christ and enjoying His grace.
I hope you'll join us next week as we continue our series by considering some rhythms you can incorporate quarterly and/or annually. Until then, have a great week resting in the rhythms of grace!
Receive Riverwood's "News & Notes" weekly email in your inbox. Submit your email address below and stay in the loop.
We are on a mission to help people love like Jesus loved and live like Jesus lived.
It doesn't matter to us if you:
No matter where you are in your spiritual journey, we want to help you become who God has created you to be.