Lent Practices – Week 4 – 3.7.2018

THEME:Subtracting Consumption, Gaining Love

BREATH PRAYER: Jesus, replace my desire for consumption with Your consuming love.


CENTERING:

As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
1 Timothy 6:17

SETTLING IN:

  • In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
  • Open with silence. Set a timer for 1, 3, or 5 minutes so you can be free to rest and breathe deeply.
  • Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.
  • Read the centering verse above slowly (aloud or silently).
  • Pause for a few moments of silence, then pray this week’s breath prayer.

PRACTICE:
SIMPLICITY

With this week’s breath prayer in our minds, today we welcome God’s presence and direction on how we might simplify our consumer-based actions. Most of us are not naturally simplistic; we live in 21st century America, after all. Simplicity might not come easily, but as we practice, opening ourselves to the realizations God brings to mind, we find our thoughts and reactions increasingly in line with the Truth of Jesus’ teaching.

Review this list of principles Richard Foster set forth in Celebration of Discipline:

  1. Buy things for their usefulness rather than their status.
  2. Reject anything that is producing an addiction in you.
  3. Develop a habit of giving things away.
  4. Refuse to be propagandized by the custodians of modern gadgetry.
  5. Learn to enjoy things without owning them.
  6. Develop a deeper appreciation for the creation.
  7. Look with a healthy skepticism at all “buy now, pay later” schemes.
  8. Obey Jesus’ instructions about plain, honest speech.
  9. Reject anything that breeds the oppression of others.
  10. Shun anything that distracts you from seeking first the kingdom of God.

Which of these seems to stick with you as you read? Why do you think the Lord might be drawing your attention to it? Does the idea of simplifying your material consumption affect your identity? How might this exercise in simplicity allow you to make space for Christ’s love? Is there an action you think He might be calling you to take?

Journal the thoughts that come to your mind, even if you question whether they’re from the Lord or not. Thank Him for His presence and for speaking to you with kindness and patience.

Summary: Write in your journal a brief summary (five sentences or less) of your practice.

Closing: Jesus, replace my desire for consumption with Your consuming love.


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