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March 14 // The Community

March 14 // The Community

Lent is a season in which we are very aware of the process of becoming more Christ-like. It is a season to examine what things need to be put to death in us so that we can resurrect with Christ and live more fully in his freedom, forgiveness, and power.

The process of becoming more and more like Jesus can be both freeing and arduous. We are learning to let go of identities that have defined us so we can embrace our belovedness.  We are laying down habits that hinder us from displaying Christ’s love. We are releasing relationships that have become obstacles to God’s purpose for our lives. We are letting go of bitterness to live in forgiveness. There are hundreds of “deaths” we are experiencing so we can know abundant life in Christ.

Walking through daily “deaths,” on the path of becoming, requires a rootedness in love and support. Christ’s great love for us compels us to follow him.  And our love for one another, as the family of God, encourages us along the way. In the process of becoming like Christ and sorting out what we believe, it is imperative to know that we belong to a community of friends on the same path.

In our community, we are all at different places on the path of following Jesus. Some have been following him for a long time and are clear on what they believe.  Some people are just stepping into the Redemption community and don’t claim any belief in Jesus. Some have been following Jesus for a long time and are re-examining what it is they believe. We are a community in the process of becoming more fully who God created us to be.  How can we cheer each other on in the journey?

A redemptive community is one where people can come and belong, regardless of where they are in the journey of faith.  Who can you cheer on this week in their journey of becoming? Send them a text or a note. Who needs a place to belong? Reach out to them and invite them to your Community Group or a Sunday service.  And while you’re reaching out to others, share with them the things that you are letting die in this Lent season. Tell someone what you are releasing so you can embrace life in Christ.

Prayer Practice: Lectio-Divina

Begin in silence, turning all your thoughts and desires over to God.

Read Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 slowly and carefully at least twice. Notice any word, phrase or image that seems to have energy for you. It could be a word that invites you, a phrase that puzzles you or an image that intrigues you.

Sit in silence with your word or phrase or image. Ruminate on the word gently, allowing it to sink into your heart deeply. Consider how it connects with your life today. Ponder how it calls you to confession, gratitude, or a new way of living. This may even include a struggling with the text as the word becomes incarnate within you.

Fall deeply into prayer. Be honest with God about your feelings. If you want, write your word in your journal. Draw your image. Express how God is present with you now.

Rest silently in the presence of God. Move beyond words, phrases or images. Enjoy the freedom that comes in His presence.

Art For Further Contemplation:

“Dancers” by Ben Enweonwu

Additional Resources:

Belong, Believe, Become