What is the Liturgy of your Life?

RestorationTexture by Kim Klassen; 0216 Magic

When God forgives, he at once restores.
~Theodore Epp

Liturgy. The word most likely conjures up negative impressions of stuffy, stale religious services that don’t really speak to our enlightened, contemporary culture. By definition, liturgy means: a customary repertoire of ideas, phrases, or observances; a prescribed form for public religious worship. Now, admit it…your thoughts went straight to rigid, boring and conforming. Am I right?

But, it doesn’t matter if we describe our worldview and beliefs as Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Agnostic….or even Atheist. The fact is, every single one of us embraces some sort of liturgy that guides our life.

Granted, the term, liturgy, is mainly associated with religious worship. But there are other types of liturgy present in our culture. Liturgy is simply the set of beliefs and ideals that we embrace as part of our life. It’s how we live at our core….and many times, that can be very surprising….regardless of what we admit in public.

Our culture has been programmed to pursue personal happiness above everything else. We hold sacred the need to have a positive self-image and crave affirmation in oder to feel worthy. We get hurt emotionally and hunt tirelessly for self-help ways to cure our damaged psyches. We search for someone…anyone….to blame for our unhappiness. And if we were just a little richer, a little thinner, a little taller, a little more successful…then we’d be so much happier. If we had our perfect job, perfect spouse, perfect children, perfect house, perfect car, life would be…..perfect! This is part of our culture’s liturgy.

The condition of our hearts is the determining factor in what type of liturgy we adopt for our lives. Many people experience tragic losses or become deeply hurt psychologically and emotionally. Some descend into an endless cycle of brokenness and their lives reflect this in their actions and how they live. Others are able to shed tears, feel the pain….yet they aren’t incapacitated and live forever in an abyss. Why is that? How can some people accept brokenness without letting it consume them?

Brokenness is a symptom of our heart’s condition…It’s only when we realize the world is broken….life is broken….we are broken…that we can take steps to truly heal and be whole again.

First century Corinth has a lot in common with our twenty-first century cultural liturgy. Theirs was a culture of wealth, arrogance, immorality, permissiveness, idolatry and excessiveness. The church in Corinth called themselves Christian, yet embraced pervasive practices…which led them down a path of brokenness and unfulfillment. They spent their time seeking happiness in all the wrong places. They adopted the cultural liturgy of personal gain and happiness at any cost, and hoped it would satisfy their needs, wants and desires. But it didn’t. It just caused them to crave more and left them feeling empty.

God is not as interested in us being happy all the time as we are. He’s much more focused on making us holy than making us happy. And many times that process takes the form of making us humble and broken. He will use situations and experiences to break our arrogant, prideful hearts and humble us to ask for His help. Some of us experience the first part….the brokenness part….but don’t embrace the humbleness and asking God for help part. When that happens, we tend to spend our lives in an endless cycle of depression, self-pity, blaming others and are generally sucky to be around. The sooner we admit we’re broken and won’t be able to fix it by looking to our culture’s quick-fix solutions or blaming others, the sooner God can restore in us the hope of a better future.

Christians across the world celebrated Easter last week. The time when Jesus chose to insert himself into the culture’s liturgy and die to reconcile broken lives back to a fulfilling relationship with the Creator. As a Christian, with the saving grace of his messy death and divine resurrection, the liturgy of my life should be one of humbleness, gratitude and self-sacrifice. With that, everything else that unfolds in my life will look entirely different.

What is the liturgy of your life?

Linking up with the lovely people who share their lives over at Life Through the Lens, Texture Tuesday and Texture Twist.


9 thoughts on “What is the Liturgy of your Life?

  1. Thoughtful, wise, these thoughts you’ve scribed to “paper” are that and more. The eternal search for the “perfect” whatever – which doesn’t exist. That is crippling.


  2. I enter and exit each day with thankfulness. My liturgy is to always do what is right (kind, compassionate, and honest) to all.
    This is a beautiful post…thank you, Lisa.


  3. ” And many times that process takes the form of making us humble and broken.”

    You said it, Lisa. It wasn’t until I went through a very difficult and challenging time in my life, back in 2003, was I truly brought to my knees in humbleness. And it was then that I understood how feeling powerless actually made me more powerful because I was finally able to see all the things in my life that I had to be grateful for.

    So I think my liturgy is, and always will be, to focus on GRATITUDE.

    Great post, my friend!


  4. “…Jesus did not advocate non-violence merely as a technique for outwitting the enemy, but as a just means of opposing the enemy in such a way as to hold open the possibility of the enemy’s becoming just as well. Both sides must win. We are summoned to pray for our enemies’ transformation, and to respond to ill-treatment with a love that not only is godly but also, I am convinced, can only be found in God.”
    ― Walter Wink, Jesus and Nonviolence: A Third Way


  5. Personally, I love the traditional liturgy for several reasons. In the church I used to attend, the liturgy contained the Gospel. That means that even if the sermon isn’t so hot, you still get to hear what matters. I also love the history that is passed on from generation to generation through the liturgy. Now, I attend a church with a contemporary service or liturgy. Thankfully, the pastor is good at preaching/teaching.

    I love how you have taken liturgy out of the church and into the culture. Centuries can pass, but people never change, which is why ancient Corinth is a picture of modern life.

    I have never really considered what my personal liturgy is. That is a thought provoking idea. I pray every day that God will help me stay out of my own way, so that He can use me and that His will be done. There have been times I have felt broken as I tread my spiritual path. That is when faith is most important. I try to remember to check my motives and treat others with kindness. I love the prayer of St. Francis. It inspires me to be a better person. At the end of every day, I review my day, and ask for forgiveness where it is needed and show gratitude for God’s blessings.

    Only you can get me to talk about my faith. 🙂 I rarely share that part of my life on my blog or on any social media.


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