50-Day Encounter to Experience New Life

Receive weekly inspiration and activities on Mondays for seven weeks.

Participate on your own, with a friend or your family.

The resurrection of Jesus was not just an event that occurred 2,000 years ago. It is an ongoing reality, inviting us to experience new life and hope daily.

For the next seven weeks – the time between Easter and Pentecost Sunday, May 29, we are inviting you on a journey that will help you grow deeper in your love for God and all people, and experience resurrection in your own life.  

On the Monday of each week, we are offering different practices for you to choose from.

They are categorized by Jesus’ great commandment to “love God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:36-40 

  1. Love God: These prompts are designed to align your passions, perspectives, and behavior with the heart of God.
  2. Love Others: These prompts improve your relationships with others and meet the needs of people around you.
  3. Love Yourself: These prompts help you care for yourself and strengthen your capacity to be of service to God and others. 

MAKE THIS JOURNEY YOUR OWN  

This journey is customizable. Choose one or more of the practices to focus on for the week ahead. This is a self-directed and Spirit-led time for you. You might choose to journal your activities and reflections in a notebook or phone app, to keep track of what God is saying to you.  

Week of April 10: Love is Patient

INTRODUCTION:

Every week, you are invited to read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, which is the central scriptur of our “Love Conquers All” worship series. For this first week, focus on the phrase “Love is Patient.” What does that idea mean to you, and what is one change you need to make in your life to make that quality real in you? 

Also, consider these words from John Wesley, from his sermon “The Almost Christian”: If someone asks, “What does it mean to be an “Altogether Christian”? I answer first, the love of God. For the Bible says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. This kind of love captures one’s whole heart, consumes one’s whole desire, fills one’s soul, and guides all of one’s actions.”  

PRACTICAL EXERCISES:

1. Love God 

One way to love God is to get as close as we can to the heart of God, and to think about what breaks God’s heart in our community or the world. So, what is something in the community or world that breaks your heart, that also breaks the heart of God? 

2. Love Others

Text a different person each day a message of something you appreciate about them. 

3. Love Yourself

Take a ten-minute walk regularly during the upcoming week.

Week of April 17: Love is Kind

INTRODUCTION:

Every week, you are invited to read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, which is the central scripture of our “Love Conquers All” worship series. For this second week, focus on the phrase “Love is Kind.” What does that idea mean to you, and what is one change you need to make in your life to make that quality real in you? 

Also, consider these words from John Wesley, from his sermon “The Almost Christian”: “The second aspect of being an “altogether Christian” is to love our neighbor. Jesus said that if anyone asks, ‘Who is my neighbor?’ we reply, everyone in the world … this includes our enemies, enemies of God, or enemies of themselves. We should love everyone as ourselves, “as Christ loves us.”

PRACTICAL EXERCISES:

1. Love God 

One way to love God is by making God’s priorities our priorities. This includes prioritizing kindness in our actions. What problems in the community and the world might be alleviated with more kindness? How might you be a part of offering that kindness to those situations?  

2. Love Others

Compliment someone you don’t know or don’t speak to very much.  

3. Love Yourself

Practice this breathing exercise for the next week: Inhale slowly for a count of four. Hold that full breath for two seconds. Exhale slowly for a count of six. Hold that emptiness for two seconds. Repeat as needed to feel more relaxed. 

 

Week of April 24: Love is Humble

READ AND CONSIDER THESE

 Every week, you are invited to read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, which is the central scripture of our “Love Conquers All” worship series.

 For this third week, focus on the phrase “Love is Humble.” 

  • What does that idea mean to you?
  • What changes do you need to make in your life to make that quality real in you?

Then, consider this paraphrase from John Wesley’s sermon “On Charity.” “The amount of love in your heart is directly proportional to the amount of humility in your life. Nothing humbles the soul so deeply as love. It casts out pride, gives us proper perspective on ourselves, and makes us willing to be servants of all people.” 

PRACTICAL EXERCISES TO DO THIS WEEK 

  1. Love God 

Say thank you to God for the humility displayed by Jesus, who gave himself in service to the world, that we might practice that same humility. What problems in the community and world would be better served with more humility? How might you be a part of offering more empathy, curiosity, and humility in those situations?  

  1. Love Others 

Seek out someone older than you to learn any valuable life lessons they might teach you. Also, seek out someone younger than you to offer you the same.  

  1. Love Yourself 

Invite someone to join you in engaging in physical exercise. It could be something fun like a sport, or something leisurely like a walk, jog or bike ride. Observe the conversations and connections that are created.

Week of May 1: Love is Gentel

READ AND CONSIDER THESE

Every week, you are invited to read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, which is the central scripture of our “Love Conquers All” worship series.

For this fourth week, focus on the phrase “Love is Gentle.”

  • What does that idea mean to you?
  • What changes do you need to make in your life to make that quality real in you?

Then, consider this paraphrase from John Wesley’s sermon “Further Thoughts on Christian Perfection”: “Some lack meekness, quietness of spirit, composure, evenness of temper. They are up and down, sometimes high, sometimes low; their mind is not well balanced. Their desires are either imbalanced, having too much of one and little of another; or they are not well integrated, at odds with each other. Their soul is out of tune, and cannot make the true harmony.”

PRACTICAL EXERCISES TO DO THIS WEEK

  1. Love God 

Think about images that help you picture God’s gentleness. Maybe it’s a placid scene from nature, or the care of a friend, or the innocence of a child. How might that image help you control unhealthy anger within you? What are situations in the world that deserve a response of healthy anger? What do you think is the difference between healthy and unhealthy anger?

  1. Love Others 

Perform a random act of kindness for people throughout the week, without any expectation of acknowledgement or return.

  1. Love Yourself 

Spend time this week focusing on your nutrition. Eat foods that are as balanced and healthy as possible, given what you know about your body and guidance from your doctor. Note the improvement throughout the week in how you feel.