Becoming Chris Kamalski

"There's a Writer outside ourselves, plotting a better story for us" ~Don Miller

Tag: Liturgical Rhythm

The Weekdays of Our Lives/Ordinary Time 2012.

Snap, Crackle, Pop!

Download [The Weekdays of Our Lives/Ordinary Time 2012] pdf here.

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Torn//Lent 2011.

Torn//Lent 2011 pdf download

Torn//Lent 2011 teaching at 3rd Place

My Lent Fast

TORN//LENT 2011

Listen to these startling words, whispered by God towards a lover long gone: “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead” (Joel 2:12-13a, NLT). David echoes this same sentiment in Psalm 51:17: “The sacrifice You desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.”

What working with a stylist (Pierre Du Plessis), graphic designer (Janet Prinsloo), and fashion design/theology student (Elani Joubert) gets you in terms of an Ash Wednesday vibe!

 

Lent is a season within the rhythm of the Church year, preceding the startling explosion of the Easter resurrection, whereby hearts are torn, spirits are broken, and wills are bent towards walking with Jesus in the way of the cross. Robert Webber writes that what God wants of us is a spirit that is truly broken of pride and self-sufficiency and a heart that leads towards the presence of God in obedience to His will for my life. In essence, a fresh tearing of our souls, a deliberate wounding through which hardness of heart is softened and a return to dependency upon God is renewed.

We chose to theme 3rd Place's Lenten season around the concept of "TORN," taken from a phrase in Joel 2 where God instructs us to 'not tear our garments, but our hearts instead.' Powerful!

A 40-day practice of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving whereby we walk with Jesus on the road to the cross, Lent calls us to die to ourselves in order to renew the reality of our own resurrection within life gone stale. Joan Chittister echoes this call, writing “Lent demands both the healing of the soul and the honing of the soul, both penance and faith, both a purging of what is superfluous in our lives and the heightening, the intensifying, of what is meaningful.”

Torn. A journey into the heart of Christ, for the purpose of allowing Christ to journey deep within our own broken hearts. Welcome to the season of Lent.

To emphasize the season of sacrifice, we sat on the floor in front of candles + crosses, surrounded by flowing red cloth that everyone tore strips from to keep with them throughout this season. The sound of ripping cloth is haunting to this day. We confessed sin corporately while listening for what the Spirit was calling us to die to in this season.

 

THE PRACTICES OF FASTING, PRAYER, + ALMSGIVING

The season of Lent asks us to “enter into a fresh conversion experience with Jesus Christ by an act of metanoia (turning), a turning from sin to Christ. To assist us in this pilgrimage Lent calls us to fast, pray, and give alms. The nature of these actions is to help us to actually embody what it means to turn from sin and put our trust in Jesus. Fasting, prayer and almsgiving is not only the act of giving something up…it is also the activity of taking something on…to turn towards a virtue that replaces our sin” (Robert Webber).

 

Pierre + Elani running through a last minute flow for our Ash Wednesday experience.

FASTING: “The purpose of this fast is to be liberated from the flesh…to liberate us from the power that flesh holds over the spirit, the power that brought Adam into ruination” (Robert Webber). The question to ask the Spirit is “What is my spirit in bondage from in this season of life?” followed by, “What is the Spirit desiring to free me from?” Fasting can encompass bodily actions (freedom from addiction to alcohol, caffeine, food, etc), to distractions (freedom from media, technology, etc), to internal vices (freedom from negative self-thought, sinful patterns, etc).

My notes. It's been such a meaningful experience helping shepherd a faith community through the rhythms of the Church liturgical year!

PRAYER: Prayer fills the space that fasting creates in one’s life. As Robert Webber writes, “Prayer is the actual experience of turning to God in dependence.” As fasting produces room within one’s busy, distracted life, prayer breathes fresh life and wind into that newly created space. Explore a fresh discipline of prayer in this Lenten season.

The sounds of a sitar player, a ringing metal bowl, and chanting filled the Story Space throughout Ash Wednesday. We were taken to a different place by the haunting minor chords!

ALMSGIVING: “Almsgiving is the symbol of the virtue we are taking on to replace our sin” (Robert Webber). In essence, giving testifies to the internal transformation taking place in our soul through the practices of fasting and prayer. Almsgiving is an ancient spiritual practice that takes seriously Jesus’ teaching that our heart will reside in the place where our treasure lays. How can you actively seek to fast from something in this season, and to then financially engage in a project of justice + mercy, putting your resources where your heart truly desires to reside? Engage a friend in this creative work, and tell the story of where God leads you among our community at 3rd Place.

Torn. A journey into the heart of Christ, for the purpose of allowing Christ to journey deep within our own broken hearts. Welcome to the season of Lent.

Torn//Lent 2011 pdf download

Torn//Lent 2011 teaching at 3rd Place

My Lent Fast

(Each week I will attempt to post a story or reflection about some aspect of the work that our missional community, NieuCommunities South Africa, is currently engaged in here in Pretoria. I’ll simply attempt to answer the question, ‘What stories are you co-writing with God in South Africa, and how does this story fulfill your unique mandate to apprentice South African leaders into sustainable mission around the globe?’)