Something extraordinary for every ordinary day

After listening to an interview with Tish Harrison Warren on the Renovare podcast recently, I decided to pick up her recently published and popular book, Liturgy of the Ordinary

In the interview, she said it's not a book about having mystical visions of God while brushing her daughter's hair, or other supernatural experiences, but rather about the ordinary, mundane peanut-butter-and-jelly moments of our everyday routines. Not even necessarily about "finding" God in those moments, but about stopping and recognizing that we are "found" by God there.

Many of us who grew up on high-octane Christian youth subculture (she being one of them) can feel a void in our lives when we are just washing the dishes or writing emails at work.

But, God is present.

For those who don't have a "high church" Christian heritage (the author is a low-church Baptist turn high-church Anglican priest, which means she is now more in step with a sacramental theology that recognizes God's presence in the historical, material sacraments of the church, namely baptism and Eucharist) may stumble over some of the language in this book, but the content is tremendously significant. We aren't called into a Sunday morning religion. No, Jesus leads us into a new reality which transforms the everyday, ordinary moments into something extraordinary: a life lived in the known presence of God with full access to his throne of grace and mercy.

Do not be conformed any longer to the "liturgy" of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may be able to see and approve what flows from the good and supreme will of God. (Paul writing to Roman Christ-followers, c. 60 AD)

The way we approach everyday, ordinary activities become habits. Like a child learning to write who traces the outline of the letters of the alphabet, so we learn to follow a pattern - a liturgy - of how we approach the mundane activities of the day. They become habits. Those habits shape our minds. Our thoughts then determine our lives.

How much more do we need a renewing of our minds - a new pattern, a new liturgy, to follow - for the everyday, ordinary moments so we can live with our all-sufficient, all-satisfying God, and follow his movements in the world, rather than be beholden to our misleading, carnal desires which leave us disappointed, wandering and wanting.


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