Throughout church history, Christians have repeatedly turned to the Psalms as a school for prayer. In these collections of prayerful poems and songs, we find the guides and examples for the life of prayer. In every circumstance - the heights and the depths of life - these stanzas model for us how to respond to God. After all, prayer is always a response. God speaks through Scripture, the creation, the presence of the Holy Spirit and we respond in prayer.
Despite this long tradition of praying from the many different psalms, many of us haven't spent much time in this particular school for prayer. One of our shared ministry priorities this year is to grow in prayer. Eugene Peterson's A Long Obedience in the Same Direction is a devotional on the Songs of Ascent (Psalms 120-134). These were the Psalms sung by the Jewish pilgrims as they made their way up to Jerusalem for the festivals. They are Psalms that are especially appropriate as we celebrate our 10th Anniversary.
In March we'll begin a study on the Songs of Ascent using Peterson's book in our community groups and Thursday night Bible Study. There will also be four discussions after service on March 15, April 19, May 17, and June 14. The book will be available for purchase beginning this Sunday for $14.00 (cheaper than on Amazon!). If that's too steep, pay what you can or grab it for free!
This would be a great time to join a community group or visit Bible Study if you're not already a part of a group. Email Won Kim for more info.
Lent begins with our Ash Wednesday service ( 7:00PM at Kennicott) on February 26. If you're new to New Community, during Lent we observe to fasting days - Ash Wednesday and Good Friday - when we fast from food until after our evening service. Fridays during Lent we abstain from meat. We also encourage you to consider whether there are things you can abstain from during this time as a way to draw closer to God in prayer.
For more information about Lent read this reflection about why Christians fast, watch this video from Bible Study two years ago when we studied the biblical perspective about fasting, and check out this handout focusing on what Christians historically have fasted in response to.