Lent – The Jesus Creed

Ash Wednesday CrossIt was great to gather with the Blvd Abbey community last Sunday night, the first Sunday of Lent.  We heard everyone share their stories and perspectives; as well as just listening in silence, singing, and speaking words of prayer and blessing together.  We discussed the idea of giving something up for the season of Lent, creating space in our lives to take up a simple practice as a community.  This Lent, our community is going to spend regular time meditating on, and trying to live out the words of Mark 12:30-31.  One biblical scholar even calls this ‘The Jesus Creed,’ because daily meditation on this was a simple spiritual rhythm that was likely part of Jesus’ life.

“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.”

The words of theologian Stanley Hauerwas resonated with a lot of our community, “God doesn’t want to be believed in, God wants to be loved.”  And the reminder that, before we can ever learn what it means to “love the Lord your God,” we have to receive God’s love.  Receiving is hard for many of us!  But this is about more than a to-do list, it is about being open to God.  It is about remembering that God is the source and initiator of love.  “Love comes from God,” and “we love because he first loved us (1 John 4:7, 19).”

We were challenged to hear that when some of us say ‘love,’ what we really mean is ‘power.’  We want to do things for God and for others, where we can control (or think we can) the results, and get what we want in return.  Being open to, receiving, and allowing God’s love to transform us often feels like a big risk!  But it’s where we must start.

So as we meditate on ‘The Jesus Creed,’ remember it’s not just about asking ‘how am I learning to love,’ but first of all ‘how am I letting God’s love in?’  And then, ‘how am I allowing that love to overflow to others?’

Join us in our 40 days of meditation on the Jesus Creed.  Whether you do this practice daily, weekly, or whatever works for you… it’s not too late to start.

And come to our community dinner on Sunday night, March 3, to share and hear Lenten stories.

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Giving Up and Taking Up

Ash Wednesday CrossAsh Wednesday, 2013

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  (Matt. 11:28-30)

Ever feel like your life is getting too crowded?  Full of noise?  Maybe it’s the endless barrage of activities we all do each week.  Maybe it’s the constant chatter we immerse ourselves in on social media.  Maybe it’s even possessions, attitudes, or memories that have too strong a grip on us… Sooner or later we find ourselves becoming what we crowd our lives with.  Stressed out, getting angry easily, and heading towards lives much different than the beautiful Kingdom life God invites us into.

Christ’s simple word to us is, “rest.”  At its best, life with God should be free, full of rest, not a weight holding us down.  No, I’m not saying just follow God and everything will be easy!  No, I’m talking about a state of being; at our core, in the middle of it all, every good or bad or stressful thing… “rest.”

Today is Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of Lent (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lent).  This is a season of reflection, where we prepare for the journey of the Cross and Easter.  Many focus on giving up something for Lent.  Once again we hear the words of Christ, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…”  It’s important not just what we give up, but what we take up.  What we give up during Lent creates space in our lives, space for the Spirit to breathe life into us.  Often this also means taking something up that will refocus us.  Maybe that ‘thing’ is silence, or time alone, or more meditation and prayer.  Or maybe that ‘thing’ is a practical act of love or service to another.

Whatever that is, I encourage you to take some time this Lent to de-crowd your life.  Give up something, so that you can take up practices that will help form you into the person God is calling you to be; a person whose core being is at “rest.”

Join the Blvd Abbey church community as we began our journey of Lent together.

Sunday night @ 6pm.

https://www.facebook.com/events/429528520456911/

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Advent/Christmas Gatherings!

This Sun., Dec. 16 @ 6pm- We continue to celebrate Advent through readings, stories, music, teaching and communion.

Sun., Dec. 23 @ 6pm… Christmas Eve’s Eve Gathering Join us as we celebrate Christmas (a little early) with readings, music, teaching… bring a holiday desert to share!

Both gatherings are at: 2230 Monroe Ave., Unit 1, San Diego Ca 92116

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Sept./Oct. Events

Join us at one or all of these… as we embrace an everyday spirituality, with others, for our neighborhood!

Adams Ave. Street Fair- Sat., Sept. 29:  A few of us will be going in the afternoon.  Comment or contact Matt if you want to join us.

Sleepless San Diego- Sun., Sept. 30, 5am: A few of us will be helping serve breakfast for this great event, bringing awareness and solidarity to our homeless friends in SD.  http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=355198897895630&set=a.127266754022180.30979.125447654204090&type=1&theater

Contact Matt if you want to help.

Community Dinner/Gathering- Sun., Oct. 7, 6pm

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July/Aug 2012 Schedule

Saturday, July 21 – Pride.  Join us for Mimosas @ 9:30am, and then we’ll walk down to the parade together.  A time to be WITH, standing in solidarity with our friends… as well as just have fun!  Meeting at Sarah’s place.  Leave a comment here, or let Matt know if you need directions.

Saturday, July 28 – Screen on the Green.  7:15 pm @ Balboa Park, on the East Botanical Lawn.  A fun eve in the Park and a classic Bogart film with your Blvd Abbey peeps.  Part of being church means being out in the neighborhood! http://www.sdmart.org/calendar/screen-green-beat-devil-1953

Sunday, August 5 – Dinner/Gathering.  6pm @ Matt’s place.  Community dinner and a worship gathering combined.

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Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the Season of Lent.  Lent is a time for reflection and repentance; turning from things that hinder in order to turn towards God.  Really, it’s about making space in our life for a greater awareness of God, as well as both the brokenness and beauty of our humanity.  As Jesus fasted for 40 days in the desert preparing for his public ministry, so we spend the next 40 days in intentional reflection/contemplation.    This ultimately leads us to the Cross and Easter.

At the Blvd Abbey, we often ask people, not only what are they going to ‘give up,’ but how does that create space to help us ‘take up’ the spiritual practices we need for this season.  So… what are you ‘giving up,’ and what are you ‘taking up?’

Join us on Sunday night, March 4 @6pm, as we celebrate and discuss Lent together.

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February Schedule

February 2012 Schedule

Saturday, Feb. 11 – H.A.T. Training, 9am-12:30pm.  http://pumsd.org/Seminar.html

Sunday, Feb. 19 – 7pm, Sunday night Gathering @ Matt’s

Wednesday, Feb. 22 – Ash Wednesday

 

Questions or info: matt@blvdabbey.com

www.blvdabbey.com

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