Spiritual Homework Week 3

Spiritual Assignments Week Three

April 1, 2020

Hello, church!

In this week’s video that went out on Sunday, I mentioned this being an opportune time to practice some jubilee. Specifically, the challenge was to find ways to extend forgiveness to others and to “rest the land” by tending to and spending time in our environments. This week’s “homework” will follow these themes, and I hope you will take the time to nurture yourself spiritually. As always, if there’s something you’d like to see added, something I’ve missed, or if you’d just like to check in or chat, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Peace,

Chess

P.S. At the end of this document, you’ll find a fun activity – the ACOC Quarantine Challenge for Kids – provided for families by Linda Hlasta.

 

Memory verse: Luke 4:18-19

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he has anointed me
        to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
    and recovery of sight to the blind,
        to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

This week’s verse is from Jesus’ inaugural sermon in Nazareth, and while he isn’t directly quoting from Leviticus 25, most scholars agree that he has jubilee in mind. It is important to notice that as Jesus imagines jubilee, it looks like good news to the poor, captive, blind, and oppressed. As you recite and meditate on these words this week, I encourage you to ask where you fit into this vision of jubilee. Are we one of those for whom this is good news? Do we actively bring this news to such people? Are we in any part a hindrance of jubilee to others?


Bible Reading:
I have relocated the links to the lectionary, as well as all previous links, to the bottom of this doc so that we can build a list of resources there. This week, however, I encourage you to read and re-read Leviticus 25. I know it is a technical and kind of clunky read, but please sit with it this week and read it several times. When you feel like you have a handle on it, I’d like you to envision what jubilee would look like right now and right that out. Take the list you brainstorm and consider turning it into action and please share it with me so that I can compile all our ideas and send that out. We are all looking for ways to be good neighbors during this crisis, and I think we can help and inspire one another.


Prayer:
Please consider joining us as we commit to prayer at 9am, noon, and 9pm as this crisis continues. Additionally, this week, I’d like to suggest you look into and consider practicing breath prayers. Breath prayers are an extremely old Christian practice of matching scripture to the rhythms of our breath as a way to pray. The most common version is to take the cry of Bartimaeus from Mark 10:47 and pray it with our breathing: “Jesus, son of David” on an inhale, and “have mercy on me!” on an exhale. This type of prayer steeps you thoroughly in scripture and lets your very life tune itself to the rhythm of scripture.  I recommend this know because, as with most breathing exercises, this practice will also have the side effects of bring a sense of calm, reducing anxiety, and helps to center and focus our minds and hearts on God. As many of us feel a growing sense of pressure, worry, and uncertainty, this practice can be a very valuable resource. For more on this, here’s a blog I wrote on the topic.

 

Previous Links: Below are the links to resources I have mentioned in previous emails for your continued reference.

Weekly Lectionary

Daily Lectionary

Bible Gateway Reading Plans

Phyllis Tickle’s, Divine Hours.

 

The ACOC Quarantine Challenge for Kids: Here are 20 activities for kids of most ages to do without their parents: https://www.arlingtonfamily.org/quarantine-challenge-for-kids/. May they provide fun for the children … and maybe provide a welcomed break(?) for moms and dads.


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