Book of the Week: Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren
Book 16: Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren
Genre: Christian Living/ Spiritual Formation
This book was named the 2017 book of the year by Christianity Today, so I thought I'd give it a read. If you've been following James K.A. Smith's work on discipleship, desire, and habit (You Are What You Love)—or if you enjoyed one of my earlier books of the week, Kyle Bennett's Practices of Love—then this book is the next read for you.
Warren is a wonderful writer and she does a great job of connecting Christian liturgical practices and spiritual disciplines with daily life. In so doing, she helps us to see that all time is God's time and all of our actions play a role in forming who we are. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on sending and receiving email. Warren likens the menial task of sending and receiving email to the liturgical practice of sending the congregation to serve the community. Doing one's work well is a means to serve your co-workers and the people who come to you for assistance. Something as simply as making prompt and helpful responses can go a long way towards aiding another, especially if your work includes working with people who are in crisis or transition.
My wife advises students and about 90% of her job is responding to students via email. The best advisors are the ones that make every effort to respond to students in a timely fashion with accurate and understandable information. Students that have to send several emails, receive the wrong information, or have to go it alone often grow frustrated, or even worse, end up in crisis situations because they prepare to graduate only to discover that they haven't fulfilled all of the requirements necessary. Warren's book will help people who feel like they’re trapped in a cubicle—or stuck in a rut at home or work—to see that everything they do folds into the category of liturgy ("the work of the people" of God for the glory of God).