Christians are disciples, and disciples engage in spiritual disciplines.
Disciples practice spiritual disciplines not to earn God’s favor but in response to that favor and as a way of connecting with the Lord who first loved us. That is a repeated pattern in scripture, including in Ezra and Nehemiah, which we are studying during Lent.
After 70 years of exile in Babylon God’s people were allowed to return to the promised land and to rebuild both the temple and the walls of Jerusalem. That was pure grace, and in response as well as to help them in the returning and rebuilding effort, where their connection to God was vital, the people adopted a number of spiritual disciplines.
This year for Lent we want to unpack those disciplines and explore how we can apply them to our lives today that we might return to the Lord and rebuild our lives around Him.
While scripture and our spiritual fathers and mothers have identified a number of disciplines, the particular ones we will focus on from Ezra and Nehemiah are: confession, prayer, generosity, worship, celebration, sabbath and study of scripture. My belief is that adopting these disciplines will help us return to the Lord and rebuild our lives around him, and so I pray you will jump in.
– Pastor Jon