“You know… you are what you eat,” a friend recently remarked to me as I took yet another bite into my cheeseburger. Now on the one hand of course, this preferred idiom of my health conscious companion was quite silly. I am (hopefully) very clearly not a cheeseburger, nor does one especially gluttonous meal a “cheeseburger” make. But, as I tried to shake my friend’s phrase out of my mind to enjoy my healthy dose of fries, I started to ponder that he actually had a point. You see, one cheeseburger certainly won’t change you. But eating one every day probably will (as that classic documentary “Supersize Me” terrifyingly demonstrated). With this observation, the reverse of course is also true. An apple a day might just keep the doctor away. Now I’m certainly not stumbling into any new truth here. In fact it was the ancient Christian church that began to observe that while one interesting conversation might stoke your curiosity, it was the weekly and daily actions of our worship that actually shape who we are. For this reason, the church began to intentionally ask, “How should our worship reflect the ways we are being invited to be shaped by God?”
Now I will be the first to admit, growing up taking part in a “liturgy” was about the farthest thing from a “good time” that I could have possibly imagined. I’m certain that some, if not all of us have had a few experiences in the name of “liturgy” that, to follow my earlier analogy with my friend, I may have responded, “if this is eating healthy, I’d rather risk it with the cheeseburger.” However, to dismiss liturgy on behalf of a rather dusty experience is to throw the “baby” of liturgy out with the “bath water” of high-nosed religion. Formation takes place, whether we like it or not, through the slow steady stream of repetitive motions, slowly smoothing away the rough edges of our jagged stone hearts. We deeply need the same motions, again and again and again, to help shape us into the very image of Christ, the people of God. However, where most have gotten lost in the church woods is that we’ve never been given the chance to explore, “Why is it that the church chooses to worship the way that it worships and how is that supposed to matter for my every day life?”
For this reason, we’re thrilled that over the next six weeks, we’ll be going on a journey together to explore what “Living the Liturgy” might actually look like.
On June 15th, Curtis Miller will be taking us deep into the practice of reading Scripture communally, asking how the shared word matters for our own weekly time in the word.
On June 22nd, Jenna and I will explore the confession and assurance that we practice each week, and how the full story of repentance can become a necessary journey to daily encounter God’s grace.
On June 5th, the one and only Jonathan Martin will be returning with Nicole Nordeman to explore with us the formative practice of weekly Eucharist as the launching point into our own daily tables.
Finally on June 12th, Kellye Fabian will talk about our deep need for blessing, and how the passing of the peace and the benediction we practice each week both speak to and send us out with the very blessing of Christ.
Perhaps what has been most exciting to us about this upcoming series is it invites any and all who are new to liturgy or are perhaps returning to liturgy again, to explore with us why it is that we worship the way that we do, and how that worship shapes our day to day lives. We can’t wait to see where this time takes us, what questions come up and how we might be launched from Sunday evening into “Living the Liturgy” in our lives.
Join us at 6pm on Sunday May 8, as we dive into the sacred rituals that shape our daily lives,
John Perrine & The Practice Team