This is Pastor Ryan’s sermon series for the weeks leading up to Easter in 2022. He looks in detail at Jesus’ prayer in John 17, which comes at the end of Jesus’ last teachings to his disciples just before he was betrayed. Jesus prays for his followers, but also for all who will believe in him afterwards, which includes us. What did Jesus pray for in his last prayer on Earth? What does he want us to remember?
“Jesus calls us from loneliness to solitude…We can cultivate an inner solitude and silence that sets us free from loneliness and fear. Loneliness is inner emptiness. Solitude is inner fulfillment.”
~Celebration of Discipline, p. 96
Jesus withdrew to the wilderness and prayed. ~ Luke 5:16
“Scripture has so much to say about fasting that we would do well to look once again at this ancient Discipline. The list of biblical personages who fasted reads like a “Who’s Who” of Scripture: Moses the lawgiver, David the king, Elijah the prophet, Esther the queen, Daniel the seer, Anna the prophetess, Paul the apostle, Jesus Christ the incarnate Son.”
~ Celebration of Discipline, p. 48.
Video thumbnail photo by Manu Schwendene on Unsplash.com
“Prayer catapults us onto the frontier of the spiritual life. Of all the Spiritual Disciplines prayer is the most central because it ushers us into perpetual communion with the Father. … To pray is to change. Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us.”
~ Celebration of Discipline, p. 33
Video thumbnail photos by Samuel Martin on Unsplash.com
While our church building was closed and gatherings were not permitted because of the COVID-19 crisis, Pastor Ryan Emmons made a series of short video sermons based on the classic book Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster.
Spiritual disciplines are ways that we can maintain a connection with God at all times, but especially so in a time when we were unable to worship, learn, and serve with other people.
Here is the description of the book from the Renovare website:
Hailed by many as the best modern book on Christian spirituality, Celebration of Discipline explores the “classic Disciplines,” or central spiritual practices, of the Christian faith. Along the way, Foster shows that it is only by and through these practices that the true path to spiritual growth can be found. Dividing the Disciplines into three movements of the Spirit, Foster shows how each of these areas contribute to a balanced spiritual life. The inward Disciplines of meditation, prayer, fasting, and study, offer avenues of personal examination and change. The outward Disciplines of simplicity, solitude, submission, and service, help prepare us to make the world a better place. The corporate Disciplines of confession, worship, guidance, and celebration, bring us nearer to one another and to God.
Pastor Ryan’s videos were on:
- Introduction to Spiritual Disciplines
- Inward Disciplines:
- Outward Disciplines:
- Corporate Disciplines:
Other recommended resources:
- Ken Shigematsu’s book Survival Guide for the Soul (on Christian Meditation)
March 1, 2020 – Pastor Ryan Emmons
Series: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (based on the book/study by Peter Scazzero)
The Joseph Model:
1. Joseph had a profound sense of the bigness of God
2. Joseph admitted honestly the sadness and losses
of his family
3. Joseph rewrote his life script according to Scripture
4. Joseph partnered with God to be a blessing