Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Lent Deeply Formed Life Message + Mass @ Home | Lamentations 3:26-29: Contemplative Rhythms for an Exhausted Life


The Deeply Formed Life: Five Transformative Values to Root Us in the Way of Jesus by Rich Villodas Book Cover

The late Japanese theologian Kosuke Koyama wrote a book titled Three-Mile-an-Hour-God. Dr. Koyama was trying to convey that if we want to connect with God, we'd be wise to travel at God's speed. God has all the time in the world, and as a result He is not in a rush. + Rich Villodas, The Deeply Formed Life

Previous 2021 Lenten Deeply Formed Message + Mass:

Story of God Liturgy Flow | Creation, Crisis, Covenant Community, Christ, Church, (New) Creation

(1) Creation

Call to Worship | Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9 + Our World Belongs to God (49)

Make Your ways known to me, LORD; teach me Your paths. Guide me in Your Truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; I wait for You all day long. ... The LORD is good and upright; therefore He shows sinners the way. He leads the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.

One: Rest and leisure are gifts from God that relax us and set us free to discover and to explore. But we confess that often our addiction to busyness allows our tools and toys to invade our rest and that an internet world with its temptations distorts our leisure.
All: Reminding each other that our Maker rested and gave us rest, we seek to rest more trustingly ...
Katharina A. von Schlegel, 1752 A.D.

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to your God to order and provide; 
In every change, He will remain.

Be still, my soul: your God will undertake 
To guide the future, as in ages past. 
Your hope, your mind, your will let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on 
When we shall be forever with the Lord, 
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone, 
Sorrows forgot, love's joys restored.

Be still my soul! (repeat) And praise Him! (repeat)

(2) Crisis

Prayer of Confession + Assurance | 
Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me, a sinner ...   
All: Our peace-making God, we confess that we have sinned against You by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We humbly repent. Have mercy on us and forgive us that we may be still, rest in You, and walk in Your ways to the glory of Your Name until Your Kingdom comes fully on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

Assurance: Our God pardons those who humbly repent and believe the Gospel. In Christ we have peace with God, to whom be praise and honor forever. Amen.

(3) Covenant Community

Sermon Scriptures | Lamentations 3:26-29

Sermon Application | 4 Deeply Formed Practices of Contemplative Rhythms

1) Silent Prayer
4 Ways Forward to Cultivate a Life of Silent Prayer

+ Focus on relationship: not a technique, but a relationship to enter
+ Normalize boredom: think of boredom as an act of purifying
+ Reframe distractions: distraction becomes a means of reunion w/ God
+ God waits with open arms: God is waiting for us and speaks in silence

2) Sabbath Keeping
A Weekly 24-hour Period of Unhurried Delight

3) Slow Reading of Scripture
Read, Meditate, Pray, Contemplate

4) Solidarity Commitment to Stability
Do All of the Above Alongside Other People, Beholding God, Beholding Each Other

Sermon Poem | Will You Meet Us? by Jan Richardson

Will You meet us
in the ashes,
will You meet us
in the ache
and show Your face
within our sorrow
and offer us
Your word of grace:

that You are life
within the dying,
that You abide
within the dust,
that You are what
survives the burning,
that You arise
to make us new.

And in our aching,
You are breathing;
and in our weeping,
You are here
within the hands
that bear Your blessing
enfolding us
within Your love.

Additional Sermon Resources | 

by Justin Whitmel Earley 

(Also see "Spiritual Rhythms for Quarantine: Love God, Love Neighbor, Resist Despair, Embrace Hope" by Earley for specific contemplative practices during COVID restrictions)

(4) Christ

Christ has died. Christ is risen! Christ will come again!

The Feast
William Gadsby, 1838 A.D.

With wondering eyes, 
Lord we admire the feast prepared by grace; 
Come, Lord, and set our souls on fire, 
And fill each heart with peace. 
These emblems of Your precious love,
By faith may we receive.
And with a solemn pleasure prove, 
We in Your name believe.

We eat this bread, we drink this wine, 
Come give Yourself to us.
We know You’re here, that’s why we’ve come, 
To feast on You with love.

No goodness of our own we bring; 
We’re sinners vile and base; 
Christ is our all; of Christ we sing, 
And long to see His face.
O may we each with heart and tongue sing, 
“Worthy is the Lamb!”; 
To Him alone the praise belongs, 
And we’ll adore His name. 

(5) Church

Fall Afresh
 Jeremy Riddle, 2011 A.D.

Awaken my soul, come awake 
To hunger, to seek, to thirst. 
Awaken first love, come awake 
And do as You did at first.

Spirit of the Living God,
Come fall afresh on me,
Come wake me from my sleep.
Blow through the caverns of my soul, 
Pour in me to overflow,
To overflow.

Awaken my soul, come awake
To worship with all Your strength. 

Come and fill this place,
Let Your glory now invade! 
Spirit, come and fill this place,
 Let Your glory now invade! 

(6) New Creation


May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you 
until He returns to make all things new.

Lectionary Readings

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Links for Deeply Formed Life Lent 2021:

Christ is all,

Rev. Mike "Sully" Sullivan

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