Desiring the Kingdom Part 4

Have you ever thought of yourself as a liturgical person? Probably not. Liturgy basically means order, or could be understood loosely as habits. A liturgical worship service follows a particular, often prescribed, order.

We are all liturgical people. We go through our days based on particular habits, whether intentional or not, and make decisions that are influenced by our unique orientation.

Here is an illustration to help. When you drive on a familiar route, let’s say from home to work and back, how often do arrive at your destination without giving much thought to the pressure of the gas pedal, the grip of the steering wheel, the turning on of signal lights, checking mirrors, etc.?

Now, think about the first couple weeks after starting to drive for the first time. Can you remember learning how much pressure to apply on the pedals? How you needed to turn in order to avoid hitting the curb? Which way you had to push the signal light switch to make it signal left or right?

I have heard it said that over 90% of our decisions each day are subconscious. They flow from habit or routine. And, unfortunately, many of our decisions are poor decisions. We have learned bad habits. We have a liturgy that produces idolatry rather than worship of the one true God.

There are some things we can do to develop liturgies that will transform our worship, redirect our vision toward Jesus. You can probably think of some already. Morning prayer and Scripture reading is vital. Weekly attendance at a local church worship service is a must.

There are things we can do daily that many Christians do not immediately think about. Here are a few suggestions you can try out with your family. You may find that after a few weeks of regular practice, some of your subconscious habits, your daily liturgies, will begin to change:

  1. Begin each day with a song of praise, a call to worship so to speak (you can choose to sing it or not). Example:
    Come, let us bow down in worship,
    let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
    For he is our God
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    the flock under his care. (Psalm 95:6-7, NIV)
  2. Meditate on a short (1 or 2 verses) passage from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), or from an instructional passage in the Old Testament such as ones found in Deuteronomy 5-8.
  3. Find someone you can regular make confessions to (accountability partner). Tell them about what you have done that you feel guilty about. Make sure this is someone who you trust and who can remind you of the forgiveness of God.
  4. Learn some of the ancient Christian Creeds and recite them regularly.
  5. Practice communion with your family regularly (weekly or more).

Note: for more reading on this topic, check out Desiring the Kingdom by James K.A. Smith.