Thursday, December 10, 2009

Advent Prayer and Fasting Challenge

This note was uploaded to Facebook via the author's blog.

During the season of Advent New Season Church will be having a season of corporate prayer and fasting. We are challenging regular attendees at New Season to fast once a week and pray every day during Advent. This is obviously all voluntary but we hope you will participate if you are able.

The idea behind fasting is to simply take our focus off of our physical wants, needs, and desires in order to better focus on our spiritual wants, needs, and desires. It is an intentional way for us to worship God and proclaim our need for Him. Though there are several relevant variations of fasting practiced in our current culture, we are inviting you to participate in a fast where we abstain from food in order to have heightened awareness of our craving for God.
(But please note, if you have any type of eating disorder, do not attempt to fast. If you have any kind of medical condition, please talk to your doctor before participating in this fast.)

Why are we doing this?
Scripture regards several instances where God calls his people to cooperate in a fast. As God prompted then, we believe we are responding to the Holy Spirit’s prompting now. We know God desires our church to move deeper in our intimacy and in our relationship with Him. This fast is our obedient response.

Second, we want to seek and ask God to continue to move each of us to the place where the love of God is the consistent foundation for everything we do. As quickly as each of us can move back to a place of dependency on so many other things, this fast is a statement of our desire to be dependent solely on the love of God.

Check out the whole Advent Prayer and Fasting Challenge here.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Service Precedes Proclamation

In a very real sense service must precede proclamation.

Here is what I mean. Sometimes, in order to gain an audience with someone or some persons, in order to gain street cred, in order for someone to giving a flyin' flip what you have to say about Jesus, your faith, or his power to change lives, you first must serve.

Serving someone or some people has the power to unfold arms, to smash stereotypes like here comes those whacked out religious zealots, and to gain a hearing. Whether an act of service is big or small it can help make a way in the desert for proclamation to be effective. And while Christ certainly does not need our preparatory handiwork in order for him to work, he calls us to serve. It is in our serving we move people closer to him because when we serve we are like him. Think of the many times Jesus served before saying anything.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Follow the Light

You hear many people who have near death experiences talk about being drawn to a light. During this season of waiting and anticipation in the church called Advent we are drawn to the light of the world, made known to us in Jesus Christ.

It is so very easy for that light to be diminished for us in all the busyness leading up to Christmas. I used a resource last year and am using a resource this year to help me to focus on the "Light of the World." It is called Following the Star and is a short devotional for each day of Advent. I use it to start my day. Maybe it could be helpful to you as you remember the "reason for the season" and you follow the light. Wisemen and wise women still seek him.

You can find the devotional here.