Stopping to Consider and Commit

My brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,

For the sake of our growth into the full likeness of Christ Jesus by the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the benefit of others bothinside and outside the Body of Christ …

  • Let us endeavor to be attentive to the current objects of our attention by keeping track of and considering our current behaviors, words, and a regular examination of the aspects of our life – body, mind, will, and heart. In so doing let us ask the Holy Spirit to show us the current condition of our life in Christ so that we may both rejoice and repent in faith, hope, and love.
  • Let us be aware of the fact that the way we live affects our attention/conviction and our attention/conviction affects the way we live. (What we believe affects our behavior and our behavior affects what we believe.)
  • Let us begin, once we have some data, to ask the following questions in specific terms: “Why do I pay attention to what I pay attention to? And “How does it affect my way of life in life-giving and life-robbing ways?
  • Let us endeavor, by the grace that God provides, to be more regularly and consistently attentive to the Lord throughout the day by:
    • journeying together in a regular and consistent fellowship of accountability and encouragement under the authority of the Holy Spirit.
    • being attentive to the Word of the Lord and the work of God in and through the lives of our brothers and sisters among the saints.
    • being attentive to the aspects of a healthy spiritual life as communicated to us through the rhythms of the “Church Year” and commit ourselves to living in accordance with the themes of the season of Great Lent that we might more deeply live a resurrected life.
      • Scripture – personal and/or congregational according to seasonal emphasis
      • Prayer – personal and/or congregational according to a seasonal emphasis
      • Fasting – addressing, in a serious manner, our bodily appetites
      • Almsgiving – pouring out our life in some way on behalf of the poor/needy
      • It must be noted that our observance of these disciplines should not be based on our personal preferences or convictions of what is appropriate. It is not about what we want or would prefer to do, but about what we need to do. The decision regarding how we observe these disciplines should, therefore, for our salvation’s sake be the result of an authentic conversation with the historical tradition and our current life-giving fellowship of accountability and encouragement.
  • Let us count the cost, as Jesus encouraged us to do, for the sake of being able to build to completion not for the sake of never beginning to build.

Fr. Thomas

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