Tuesday, April 4, 2017

EmmDev 2017-04-06 [Lent2017] Lent Worship Lifestyle 5/5 (Seasons)

Lent Worship Lifestyle 5/5 (Seasons)

"Can you make the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast."      (Luke5:34-35)
Our final watering can of worship sounds simple, but is actually profound and can hold the key to consistent spiritual growth rather than the "up and down" patterns many of us experience.

If one thinks of the physical seasons, there are practices that are appropriate for each season.

  • In spring we plant and prepare. It is a hopeful time
  • In summer we nurture the abundant growth we see. It is a joyful time.
  • In Autumn we harvest and store. It is a thoughtful time.
  • In Winter we rest and recuperate. It is a simple time of rest.

Jesus recognised that there would be seasons in the life of the disciples. We need to apply the seasons idea to our walk with God. The seasons of summer, autumn, winter and spring are not necessarily the only seasons we experience (I think there can be seasons like grief or revival) but they make a helpful basic framework to reflect on.

Our spiritual practices need to be appropriate for each season and we need to adjust our expectations for each season:

  • In Summer we enjoy the bounty and fullness of blessing and growth. Our spiritual practices are Bible reading, grateful prayers, abundant activity and bearing lots of fruit. We are joyful, content and slip easily into spiritual practices.
  • In Autumn we sense winter coming. This needs to be a time of preparation. We harvest fruit from God's word and our fellowship times and store it up for the winter. We tend to be reflective and we need to be disciplined about filling the store-houses.
  • In Winter we slow down our frantic activity and rest. We focus on essentials. Very often we are facing the cold winds of disappointment and the frost of failure. This is often a time of introspection, confession and repentance - it's like the slow growth that makes the dark rings in a tree stump - it gives the wood its strength.
  • In Spring we are hopeful about the new growth that comes after the slow-down of winter. We thoughtfully inculcate the practices and disciplines of growth in anticipation of the summer that is coming.

Many of us try to live in the spiritual practices and disciplines of summer and we feel guilty when we can't keep up summer disciplines in seasons of autumn and winter.

When we are more creative about our devotional lives and adjust our spiritual practices, attitudes and expectations to fit the spiritual season we are in, we will grow.
This rounds off our reflections on the five watering cans of worship and our reflections for Lent. The EmmDevs are going to take a break until 1 May.

I pray that you experience a blessed celebration of Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday and that your Lent journey leads to a summer season of growth and fruitfulness.

With much love,

No comments:

Post a Comment