(This week I’ve been speaking with home school moms about making the education and formation of our children even more Christ-centered. I began to share about my journey into living liturgy and worship practices in the home. There was such an interest we decided to include a series here for anyone interested. I hope you enjoy! These are the trenches of ministry for us daily– training our children and creating God-glorifying disciples!)
“The music, the prayers, the bowing and rising, the incense–all of it was breaking down my defenses. That’s what good liturgy does. It breaks your heart open and turns you toward God.”
At first glance, the word liturgy appears to be an old and antiquated term. For many, it conjures up dusty images of stony icons in the rustic cathedrals of days gone by. It may evoke thoughts of gothic churches, choir boys in robes, call and response and flickering candles. Others might envision the pope in relation to liturgy or growing up as an acolyte in church performing rituals and rites that seemingly hold no meaning for today. For the modern world, the word liturgy has come to mean nothing but memorized prayers, catechisms and creeds. For the modern evangelical, liturgy may be scoffed at as something that smacks of a formality and structure that we have been freed from in order to have relevant church that appeals to the masses of today. Yet liturgy is far from outdated. It is applicable for any worshipper who desires to live out what he believes and continues to hold promise and power for our lives today.
Liturgy is a “formula” so to speak of how worship is conducted. The liturgy in a worship service provides structure and meaning through time tested traditions. It provides a form and an outlet for the worshippers that are present and gives them the means by which they can participate in the service itself. Yet the word liturgy does not have to confine itself to the four walls of a church building, be it Anglican or Baptist, gothic or modern. It has the potential to affect so much more. The word liturgy actually stems from the Greek leitourgia which means ‘public service’. It is our “public working”, or service, that affects those around us. It is where what is on the inside of us shows up on the outside in what we do and say. It is how we live in our homes, conduct our lives and order our days. Liturgy is how we minister and how we serve those around us. It is the fleshed-out worship of our lives.
Liturgies hold significance for our personal, daily lives as well and should not be limited only to Sunday worship. Liturgies possess the power to come into our homes and bring order to our lives. As we embrace them they have the potential to grow us into the worshippers we are called to be and eventually show forth a picture of our salvation to all those looking on.
There is more to this intriguing word that we must explore. It is traditional, it is enduring and it is classical. Liturgies have enabled the Church to endure through many generations and denominational divisions yet still preserve a general sense of what Christian worship looks like. It is like a standard that points the way. Standards are good. They set the bar, provide direction and show us where to aim.
As Believers, we need better practice and we require more intentionally strategies if we are going to see greater results. As a parent, I desire practical ideas on how to point my children to Christ and center our home life and home schooling around the Lord and the worship of Him.
I spend much time feeding upon beautiful ideas and great books illuminating the lives of other disciples or even fictional characters with lives I desire to emulate. I love beautiful ideas. I enjoy reading about them and discussing them. But, I must admit, the practical side of me puts down each lofty idea and walks away from each inspiring discussion with one questions gnawing me- What does this look like in my daily life? I want to do more than just think beautifully; I want to live that way as well. I have gradually learned over the years to take each lovely idea I have gleaned, determine its importance in achieving my desired overall mission and then create a liturgy that brings it into my every day. I am still learning. Mornings, Priorities, Poetry, Scripture, Journaling, Commonplacing, music, meals, reading aloud, conversation, blessing, cultivating wonder that results in gratitude, embracing leisure- These all have become the liturgies that define my living. Would you allow me to open up my heart and our home to you within these pages in the hopes of starting you on your own journey of converting what seems lofty into doable routines that shape your life?
More to come…..If you would like to follow this series on living liturgy please include your email on the sidebar and subscribe. New posts will be emailed right to your inbox!
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