Encounter: As you enter into this time of reflection, prepare your space, your heart and your mind to listen and be aware of how God may speak to you about your relationship to what is going on around you in the culture, in your relationships and how you interact with people in your everyday life.
Slowly read through Micah 6:1-8 in the New Living Translation and the NIV. Write down or underline any words or phrases that shimmer or stand out to you. Read through 2 more times and either sit in silence or take a walk thinking about what you have read, asking God what does this message mean to you today.
One of the spiritual disciplines in my Rule of Life that I regularly practice is the “Examen.” It is taking a few minutes at the end of each day and asking two primary questions:
One: When and how did I experience God’s love for me today?
Two: How did my awareness of God’s love for me affect the way I interacted with others, my circumstances and myself today?
When I make time for this consistently, I find that I am more aware of God’s movement in and around my life and also equal to this is how I treat others and how I invest my time in what is important to God. What is right, what is kind and how I live through grace.
C.S. Lewis shared that his spiritual director would often remind him, “Look after the roots and the fruits will look after themselves,” and in his commitment to follow Christ he wrote, “I cannot learn to love my neighbor as myself until I learn to love God: and I cannot learn to love God except by learning to obey Him.” Just as laughter can produce joy, practicing the way of Jesus produces the good fruit within us when we are rooted deeply in our relationship with God. Our community study, Crafting a Rule of Life, will help us to root down to rise up (as we say in our Holy Yoga practice).
But as the word “practice” reminds me, much of this does not come naturally and so I’m always a student of Jesus, humbled by all God does to transform me into His image. I’m a mixed bag and so are you. I can watch a gambling video promoted by the NFL cause me to rise up and want to start a grassroots effort to ban these commercials to try and curb the damage to families due to the gambling pandemic and then I can turn around and be short with a customer service representative on the phone or put a label on someone because of a mistake they made. And then I hear the voice of my Shepherd,
No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.
Making someone’s day or making our own day is described in this passage as doing what is right (justice), acting merciful towards others and walking humbly with God. Justice can be as simple as how you choose to vote, or an email to an elected official. Kindness can be as simple as a good deed. And humility can be as simple as recognizing that nothing we have, or have done, came solely from ourselves.
We walk humbly with our God because it is God who has given us great abundance to share. Thanks be to God! But we warned! Performing acts of kindness may make you feel great:) See you Sunday!
Practicing the Way with you,
Don't forget! There’s still time to join our community wide study. Options for Sunday and Monday nights available. Reach out to me if you would like to start this week, email@example.com
Reflect: Go to the Eden Church app or your hard copy of the journal exercises for our SAD series and read this week’s reflection, journaling practice and invitation to kindness.
Encourage: Is there something going on in our culture that you know God wants to change and it weighs heavy on your heart? Is there someone in your circles of influence that could use an encouraging word or blessing? How is your time with God in the scripture, worship and small group causing you to interact differently with God and others?
Gather: In our community wide study, Crafting a Rule of Life, Chapter 1 has us reflecting on all the roles we play in life and our responsibilities to those relationships. One of the invitations is to consider one of your key roles and primary relationships and if given the opportunity to share words of blessing to speak to that person. Maybe in person or through a kind note or even a Facetime or MarcoPolo, or a post on their social media wall. Share about your experiences in your small group time.