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Free & Fit Lenten Study - Week Four - Walk, Jog or Run as you Exercise, Examen & Educate your Mind

Free & Fit Lenten Study - Week Four - Walk, Jog or Run as you Exercise, Examen & Educate your Mind - by Tim Cheux

Jesus Saying for the Week:

“About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud [agonized] voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?””

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭27:46‬ ‭AMP‬

Collect for the Week:

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever in Jesus name. Amen

Source: BCP 1982

Invitation to Examine

• Relish the moments that went well and all of the gifts I have today.

• Request the Spirit to lead me through my review of the day.

• Review the day.

• Repent of any mistakes or failures.

• Resolve, in concrete ways, to live tomorrow well.

Example of Examen

Specifically, How Do You Do the Examen?

Ignatius provides a simple five-step routine for our daily Examen:

1. Give thanksgiving.

I begin by giving God thanks for all the things I’m grateful for today. I allow my mind to wander as I reflect on the ways God has blessed me on this particular day. I allow big things and small things to arise—everything from the gift of my faith, to the gift of my marriage, to the easy commute to work today.

2. Ask for the Spirit.

Next, I want to look at the moments in my day when I did not act so well. However, before doing so, I ask God to fill me with his Spirit so that the Spirit can lead me through this difficult soul-searching. Otherwise, I’m liable to hide in denial, wallow in self-pity, or seethe in self-loathing.

3. Review and recognize failures.

I look back at my day and ask the Lord to point out to me the moments when I have failed in big ways or small. I take a sobering look at the mistakes I’ve made this day.

4. Ask for forgiveness and healing.

If I have sinned, I ask God to forgive me and set me straight again. If I have not sinned but simply made a mistake, I ask for healing of any harm that might have been done. I ask for help to get over it and move on. I also ask for wisdom to discern how l might better handle such tricky moments in the future.

5. Pray about the next day.

I ask God to show me how tomorrow might go. I imagine the things I’ll be doing, the people I’ll see, and the decisions I’ll be mulling over. I ask for help with any moments I foresee that might be difficult. I especially ask for help in moments when I might be tempted to fail in the way I did today.

Source: Excerpted from Reimagining the Ignatian Examine.

Scripture for Examine

Psalm 100: 1-5

“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.

Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.

Know that the Lord is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise.

Give thanks to him, bless his name.

For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭100:1-5‬ ‭NRSV‬‬

Reference for Psalm 100

Walk & Workout for Examine

Psalm 100 Reflection:

Psalm 100 is a “Song of Thanksgiving”. This brief Form Criticism Exegesis will go through a short analysis of the text and will be based upon a thesis of this Psalm being a “Song of Thanksgiving”. This paper will follow a three-part process suggested to be used by Herman Gunkel. The translation referenced in this text is the New Revised Standard version. Through Gunkel’s method this exegesis will explore how this Psalm creates a passageway, a gateway if you like, of thanksgiving to the Lord and how we, as Christians, should declare his name with Songs, Worship and Thanksgiving.

This Psalm is a Song of Thanksgiving. This is made evident through the Psalmist’s instruction to Worship and Praise the “Lord who is God” (Psalm 100, v3). In verse two it states that we should “Worship the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100, v2) and in verse four “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with Praise. (Psalm 100, v4).” The theme of Thanksgiving remains constant throughout with several references to thanking God for what he has done. This is evident in verse four where the Psalmist states that God’s people should “Give thanks to him, bless his name (Psalm 100, v4).” Through the consistent references to thanksgiving in Worship, Singing, Belonging and Thankfulness the Psalmist provides abundant evidence to establish a clear thesis of Thanksgiving.

The Psalmist provides a clear identity to the two groups in Psalm One Hundred. The Psalmist references the first group as the God to whom the song is to be sung and the second group as the people who should be Singing, Praising and Worshipping God. In verse three it states, firstly, that the “Lord is God”, not that he is just God, but our God. Verse three continues and states that God is he "who made us”, that “we are his (that we belong to him)”, that “we are his people” and that “we are the sheep of his pasture (Psalm 100, v3).” The Psalm is upbeat and focused on giving thanks to God, with reference to singing songs of Praise which helps to remind his people of his majesty and awesomeness through the vastness of his creation. The Psalmist defines whom the God of Psalm One Hundred created, the relationship between his people and their God and that God is Worthy to be Praised.

Psalm 100 could be written in the setting of a Temple, Synagogue or Religious building. With such emphasis on “Thanksgiving” and “Praise” the song seems to be provided for a House of Worship. Perhaps for the Hebrew Jewish people originally, today the song could be sung in Christian, Jewish or Muslim religious worship houses due to the nature of the Psalms existing across different faith traditions. The nature of the Song appears to be, according to Gunkel, a Song of Thanksgiving or perhaps an individual Song of Thanksgiving. However, due to the context on the Psalm relating to “we” so many times, four in just one verse, it is hard to believe that this would be based on one individual worshipping. The Psalm continuously references joy with references of “Gladness’ and “Singing” in verse two, “Thanksgiving” and “Praise” in verse four describe emotions of joyful worship.

Throughout Psalm One Hundred the Psalmist invites the Worshipping community to Praise God from beginning to end. Verse one “Make a joyful noise to the Lord (Psalm 100, v1)”, this continues throughout the Psalm in verse two “Worship the Lord with gladness come into his presence with singing (Psalm 100, v2),” in verse four the Psalmist states “Give thanks to him, bless his name (Psalm 100, v4)” and verse five which states “for the Lord is good (Psalm 100, v5). This theme of being invited into Praise identifies and suggests perhaps that the Psalmist is a Worship Director writing a hymnal theology of Praise which leads the Worshipping community to “Enter his (God’s) gates with thanksgiving and his courts with Praise (Psalm 100, v4).

On reflection of the Psalm it is evident that the thesis of a “Song of Thanksgiving” has been proven to be continuously consistent throughout the Psalm and it would not be impossible to imagine a heavenly style setting of Harps, Hymns, Songs of Praise and Angels and Archangels gathering to worship God. Almost like a picture of heaven. Simply Beautiful. This would perhaps be how some of us picture heaven, in the clouds, with people singing with a choir, instruments being played and angels flying, worshippers dancing and singing Psalms and Praising the Lord.

It reminds the author of the HTB Leadership Conference at the Royal Albert Hall in London that he attended in 2013 where over one hundred members of the Church choir joined with a worship band to sing and proclaim the Word of God. The words “Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah” were being sung, thousands of people were gathering into one place and the name of Jesus was being proclaimed above every other name. The Worship leader was declaring “There is no other name than Jesus name which stands in heaven or on earth and today we sing “You will wear the Victors Crown, you will overcome this virus, every stronghold shall be broken, every virus shall be cured in Jesus name. Amen.”

In conclusion, through the form criticism style of this exegesis and the three part process introduced to the author by Herman Gunkle it has been evident that today Psalm one hundred is a song to be Sung to the Heavens, to give Thanks and Praise to God and to devote ourselves in Worship to him. The Psalm could be considered a teaser or a trailer for heaven and a spotlight of what is yet to come. Throughout the Psalm it is evident the verses are words invited to be sung in Praise and Worship to the Lord and in a religious context. This could be perceived to be, historically, in a Temple or Synagogue and more familiar to us today in a Church or Christian House of Worship. The Psalm is an insightful and promising introduction to Worshipping in the future and provides a window, a gateway or a passageway to heaven above.

Let us Pray…

Lord help us to reflect each day. To give thanks, to reflect, to confess, to pause and to slow down and follow you in Jesus name. Help us this day and everyday to follow you in Jesus name. Amen

Activity for the Week:

This week in the Catholic tradition across all three years of the Lectionary readings of week four in Lent they find the theme of Jesus fresh renewal of forgiveness. So this week our challenge is how can we Honor God in our forgiveness. How can we examine ourselves to give God Thanks and Praise. Today, and everyday, this week Give God Glory and Praise through your Examen.

Weekly Question to Ponder:

What can we do as a Faith and Fitness community to extend the invitation for these two concepts to be used by individuals as a Spiritual Discipline as one?

At Free & Fit we aim to build community through relationship with people through a shared common interest such as Sports or the Arts. The art of sharing, being a part of something bigger than yourself and developing community is integral for an individual to be physically, socially, spiritually, and emotionally well.

We believe in combining Faith and Fitness, our original name when we launched in May 2013, as one. When practiced together, not separately, they can form spiritual practices. For example, when running on the road prayers can be said, when jogging to work worship songs can be sung and when walking or hiking contemplation can happen in relationship with God. We can all invite individuals and groups into these spaces.

Twinning two concepts of Sport & Spirituality together simplifies how one part of the combination can work alongside another and not instead of one or in addition to the other. For example, Sport can often on a Sunday morning take priority over a Spiritual Sunday morning Sermon. Its often that Sport or Spirituality take place instead of the other. Not that they could be considered compatible or complement the other.

As one concept, intwined together, Sport and Spirituality posses opportunities for building new roads and new rivers to work together as one concept. Similar to Faith and Fitness as one. Intwined as one Spiritual practice Sport & Spirituality can develop conceivable new outreach programs, evangelism classes and Christian discipleship seminars of Christian practices to discover new ways to encourage participation in healing, wholeness and self discovery as part of a complete spiritual, physical, mental and social well-being.

As part of a morning workout by praying the Lords prayer whilst stretching, reading scripture and reciting Jesus teaching on prayer as a practice we can incorporate sports and spirituality or faith and fitness as a discipline of daily prayer. This does not have to be practiced only as a daily said prayer, but can also be said as a way of entering into dialogue with God and making requests and petitions known. When said specifically, in an open conversation with God, we can make clearly defined structure and said prayers accessible to others. Again, the Lords prayer may also be used as guidance to infform workouts, prayer requests and praise reports during corporate worship or whilst working out, worshipping and meditating on Gods word.

In conclusion, we should all pray and stretch to the Lords Prayer, not as a religious legal practice, but as a gateway to the beginning, mid point or end of our day. Together let us stretch and pray with the Lords prayer:

He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: ‘“Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone

who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.”

Passage of Scripture for the Week from Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in Jehovah with all thy heart, And lean not upon thine own understanding: In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he will direct thy paths.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭ASV‬‬

Scripture Reference:

Examen Workout Example:

Examen Walk, Jog or Run:

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