Week of November 28
Sanctuary Church is built around the idea of following the path of Jesus, together. We believe that to be an apprentice of Jesus is to order your life to journey in 4 directions:
UPWARD / be with Jesus,
INWARD / become like Jesus,
OUTWARD / do what Jesus did and
WITHWARD / do it together.
Our dream is that as we live this way, our lives, our communities, and our cities, will be transformed. Our prayer is as Jesus prayed, that God’s will would be done in our neighborhoods as it is in Heaven.
Every time we gather in our home church we hit some or all of these four directions. For instance we may focus on UPWARDS by doing a traditional bible study or we might turn more attention INWARDS to wrestle with the application of the message by exploring spiritual practices.
Personal & family practices and a shared Rule of Life suggestion:
*Before you begin, if you are meeting online please check out our online homechurch suggestions for engagement.
Optional arrival exercise
This practice helps us to release to God anything we’re carrying with us into the present moment–maybe worry over our finances, the sting of a conversation, shame over something we’ve done wrong, grief over a recent loss, or fear of something in the future. We won’t ignore these things but we rather will entrust them to the Lord so that we might be fully present with Jesus and with one another.
*Before you begin, have someone read Matthew 11:28-30 and open in prayer.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Jesus
-RELEASE (at least 3 minutes)
Place your palms down as a symbolic indication of your desire to turn over any concerns you may have to God. In silent prayer, share that with God–”Lord I release to you….” You may release to God a worry, an unresolved dispute, a health condition, a fear, something you want to confess, or something else.
-RECEIVE (at least 3 minutes)
After several moments of surrender, turn your palms up as a symbol of your desire to receive from the Lord. In silent prayer, receive from God what he wants to give you– “Lord, I receive…” You may receive God’s peace, joy, forgiveness, relief, or something else.
-CENTER ON GOD (3 minutes)
Having centered down, spend the remaining moments in complete silence. Do not ask for anything. Allow the Lord to commune with you, to love you. If impressions or directions come, fine; if not, fine.
This Weeks Practice:
Sacred Reading/Lectio Divina
Traditionally, Christians have considered Advent–the four Sundays leading up to Christmas–as the beginning of the year. Advent provides an opportunity for reflection and recalibration for all who follow Jesus. We anticipate the coming of Jesus, celebrate his birth, and experience his presence with us as light in our darkness.
This week’s passage: Luke 1:46-48, 50-53
46 And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant. …
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
Four steps to Lectio Divina (you will do these 4 times)
1–Read the passage aloud slowly each time.
2–Listen As the passage is read, listen carefully.
Here’s what to listen for each time:
*During the first reading, listen for a word or phrase that sticks out to you
*During the second reading, allow an image to come to mind from the text
*During the third reading, listen for how this passage relates to you at this very moment
*During the fourth reading, listen for an invitation from God
3–Reflect: After each reading, spend 3 minutes in quiet.
4-Share: Share with the group what stuck out to you each time. There is no right or wrong answer. It’s okay to pass!
The goal for Path Community is to gather regularly with 3-5 people of the same gender, to press in together as disciples of Jesus, and to practice the most neglected commands, disciplines, and practices of the Christian life.
We don’t want to be people who just hear the Word without putting it into practice, allowing deception into our lives. We believe that following spiritual practices in these 4 directions can produce disproportionate spiritual fruit for the time and context in which we are called to follow Jesus.