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The Rhythms of Grace
Growing Deeper: The Rhythms of Grace
All Saints Wells & Wyche and St Andrew's Malvern
Jesus in the great commission in Matthew 28 gave instructions to his followers to go and make what?…not converts…not church members….but ‘disciples of all nations.’ He demonstrated in these last words of his, that one of the core businesses, maybe even the core business of the church, was to make ‘disciples, who made disciples.’ But what does it mean to be a disciple? What does a disciple ‘look like’? What we seeking with God’s help to become?
In order to help us unpack those questions, we’re going to look this term in our sermon series at the 5 Rhythms of Grace which have been taken from the Community of Saint Chad (click to open link in a new tab). They provide us with a really helpful framework and language for us as we seek to grow as whole-life, life-long followers of Jesus.
The phrase ‘Rhythms of Grace’ comes from the Message version of Matthew 11:28-30…
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
These five rhythms are not to be seen as a set of rules that dictate how we are to behave, but rather act as a series of aspirational statements which we are all invited as disciples of Christ, and in the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, to aspire to.
They are the ‘rhythms’ – the patterns of life – which we as Christians want to cultivate so that we can grow more like Jesus and become the people He wants us to be.
The five rhythms begin ‘by God’s grace…’ thus reminding us that this is not simply about us ‘trying harder’ in our own strength, but about us being open to God to transform us and mature us by His grace, and through His Holy Spirit.
Rhythms of Grace Small Group Material
Over these next few weeks we will be looking at these rhythms in our sermons and in our small group material:
We are all at different places on our journey – to some, much of this may be very new and to others this might be a helpful reminder of what we are seeking to become – but wherever we are on our Christian journey, I encourage you to be open to God growing you further and ‘taking you deeper’ over these coming weeks and months.
We are encouraging you to use this material, preferably alongside others, so that we can all encourage each other and ‘spur one another on’ to draw closer to God and to grow as disciples over these coming months.
You may like to connect with others in a variety of ways:
- In a community group. The community groups will all be working through this material this term. Why not join a community group for this term at least and journey with others? There will be some new groups starting for this series. Please contact Dave Bruce (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want to be in a community group.
- In a smaller ‘companion’ group of 2-4 people. Maybe you would like to work through this with a smaller group of people on your own, either working through all of it together or working through it on your own and meeting up to reflect, share and pray with others about what you have been discovering.
As you will see from the small group material, the focus of this material is not on imparting information, but on formation of us as disciples, and each week there is a “Live it out” section and a “prayer for the week ahead” – to encourage us all to put this into practice in the days after the session.
Let us pray that God would take us all deeper as we walk with Him and learn the unforced rhythms of grace…
You can watch a good quality video or listern to an audio of Dave Bruce's sermon on the 8th January 2017 (as well as his PowerPoint slides) to introduce the sermon series by clicking here.
Further resources are available on this website by clicking here or going to the sub-page through the menu on the left.