Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life
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InterVarsity Press / 2016 / Paperback

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Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life

InterVarsity Press / 2016 / Paperback

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Product Description

In each chapter of Liturgy of the Ordinary, Tish Harrison Warren looks at something-making the bed, brushing her teeth, losing her keys-that the author does every day. Drawing from the diversity of her life as a campus minister, Anglican priest, friend, wife, and mother, Tish Harrison Warren opens up a practical theology of the everyday. Each activity is related to a spiritual practice as well as an aspect of our Sunday worship. Come and discover the holiness of your every day.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.5 (inches)
ISBN: 0830846239
ISBN-13: 9780830846238

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Publisher's Description

In the overlooked moments and routines of our day, we can become aware of God's presence in surprising ways. How do we embrace the sacred in the ordinary and the ordinary in the sacred? Framed around one ordinary day, this book explores daily life through the lens of liturgy, small practices, and habits that form us. Each chapter looks at something—making the bed, brushing her teeth, losing her keys—that the author does every day. Drawing from the diversity of her life as a campus minister, Anglican priest, friend, wife, and mother, Tish Harrison Warren opens up a practical theology of the everyday. Each activity is related to a spiritual practice as well as an aspect of our Sunday worship. Come and discover the holiness of your every day.

Author Bio

Tish Harrison Warren writes regularly for , and her writing has also been featured in ,,, , , , , and the White Horse Inn. After seven years in campus ministry with InterVarsity Graduate and Faculty Ministries at Vanderbilt and UT-Austin, she now works with InterVarsity Women in the Academy and Professions. Warren has a masters in theology from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and is a priest in the Anglican Church in North America, serving at Resurrection South Austin. She and her husband live in Austin and have two young daughters. Andy Crouch (MDiv, Boston University School of Theology) is executive editor of and the author of books such as and . Andy serves on the governing boards of Fuller Theological Seminary and Equitas Group, a philanthropic organization focused on ending child exploitation in Haiti and Southeast Asia. He is also a senior fellow of International Justice Mission’s Institute for Biblical Justice. His writing has appeared in , the and several editions of and . Crouch served as executive producer for the documentary films and , as well as the multi-year project This Is Our City, which featured documentary video, reporting and essays about Christians seeking the flourishing of their cities. He also sits on the editorial board for and was editor-in-chief of . He also spent ten years as a campus minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Harvard University. A classically trained musician who draws on pop, folk, rock, jazz and gospel, Crouch has led musical worship for congregations of five to twenty thousand. He lives with his family in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.

Editorial Reviews

"Sunday liturgy shapes our faith through its mix of prayers, songs, Scriptures, and sermons. We hear from and are shaped by God through these practices. Under Tish Harrison Warren's insightful gaze, our seemingly 'boring' daily routines become a liturgy of their own—calling us to confession and community, Scripture and Sabbath, baptism and embodiment. Some spiritual directors listen for God's invitations in our prayers. Tish discerns God's invitations in our everyday life. She reminds us that God intends to speak, to invite, and to transform us in every situation we find ourselves in. Tish confronts us with the reality that God will not be confined to 1.5 hours on a Sunday. She is the prophet and pastor that our churches desperately need. At least this harried working dad needs her voice. I am approaching the daily routines of housework and homemaking with my wife and kids with newfound expectation and hope."
"To live in the vision that Warren is offering—to find sacredness in the everyday practices of life—will require that we engage with these and other institutional realities in our midst. The small stuff, the daily habits—yes. And we must allow these small, daily habits to help us reimagine some of the big stuff—otherwise it will just be small enclaves of quotidian mysterylovers within the larger structures that inhibit us from receiving the gift of the ordinary from God's hand and being shaped to seek the good of others in this world."
"Warren's message flies in the face of our culture's love of distraction and pursuit of extreme sensation. We would do well to slow down for a bit and hear her out. . . . Liturgy of the Ordinary isn't the first book written in praise of prosaic moments, and Warren's isn't the first voice to counsel slowing down. But Warren admirably explores these themes from both a theological and practical perspective. Her words can help us grasp what my grandfather learned through a lifetime of commonsense faith—and a lot of sweeping: The 'new life into which we're being baptized is lived out in days, hours, and minutes. God is forming us into a new people. And the place of that formation is in the small moments of today.'"
"God's life and kingdom surround us on every side. But how do we find this reality and derive our life from God's—like a branch does from the vine? In Liturgy of the Ordinary, Tish Harrison Warren reveals simple, grounded, and beautifully repetitive practices in the small things of our workaday lives and the rhythms of liturgy. Tish gets it. If you let her be your guide, you too will get it: a life in God in your everyday life."
" Liturgy of the Ordinary is a baptism of vision. Tish Harrison Warren warmly and wisely helps us find God in the strangest of places: standing at the sink, sitting in traffic, stooping to make a bed. As it turns out, our everyday habits are imbued with the holy possibility of becoming new people in Christ."
"Sometimes the difference between drudgery and epiphany is just seeing things from the right angle, a frame that reframes everything, even the mundane. This marvelous little book is that certain slant of light that illuminates the everyday as an arena of sanctification, where the Spirit makes us holy in ways we might miss. You don't need more to do in a day, Warren shows. Instead, reframe the everyday as an extension of worship, and folding the laundry, washing dishes, and even commuting become habitations of the Spirit."
"This beautiful book will brush the dust from your dingy days and reveal the extraordinary that is to be found in the ordinary. No mundane daily task will be the same once these pages open your eyes to how the work of your hands reflects the ways of the Creator and the rhythms of eternity."
"In this moment in culture, when much feels complicated and shallow, Tish Harrison Warren offers a beautiful and life-giving narrative: a way toward the ordinary sacred. This book is gentle in its simplicity and rich in wisdom. I wish I had read it a decade ago."
"If Christianity is to retain its witness in our frenetic and fragmented age, it must take root not only in the thoughts and emotions but also in the daily lives and even bodies of those who call Christ Lord. Tish Harrison Warren has beautifully 'enfleshed' the concepts and doctrines of our faith into quotidian moments, showing how every hour of each day can become an occasion of grace and renewal. If you want to know how faith matters amid messy kitchens, unfinished manuscripts, marital spats, and unmade beds, Liturgy of the Ordinary will train your eyes to see holy beauty all around."
"Tish Harrison Warren is both a priest and a mother who changes poopy diapers. She embodies the high calling of the church and the high calling of the home and in those dual vocations has written a book of tremendous importance. Tish writes with candor, insight, and intelligence about the sacredness of quotidian living. The highest compliment I can offer is that her book inspired me to go back to my dirty sink and my screaming kids with a renewed sense of purpose."
"Tish Harrison Warren shows us what it looks like to be shaped and formed, in a book as down-to-earth and inviting as it is wise. I don't know of any book that's more winsome in commending a life lived in sync with the church calendar."
"Big gifts often come in small packages—sometimes even a plain cardboard box. Tish Harrison Warren has a talent for unpacking these gifts that God has placed all around us."
"With the writer's (and indeed the poet's) gift of slowing down and paying the best kind of attention, Tish Harrison Warren connects the moments of an ordinary day with the extraordinary pattern of classical Christian worship. . . . With its laugh-out-loud moments and moving descriptions of a life lived imperfectly but well, this is a great gift of a book—an ordinary book, in one way, but also not ordinary at all."

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  1. Michele Morin
    Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Sacred Ordinary/Ordinary Sacred
    January 7, 2017
    Michele Morin
    Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Annie Dillard has (famously) said, How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. This is a cautionary saying for those of us who live our days as the sandwich-makers, the sock sorters, and the finders of misplaced library books. Therefore, Liturgy of the Ordinary has landed upon my reading list like a benediction, for in Tish Harrison Warrens words, I hear the husky contralto sound track of Peggy Lees musical question Is That All There Is? Thanks be to God, Tish arrives at a resounding No! The daily, mundane tasks that comprise civilization and self-maintenance on this planet are clearly not all there is. On the contrary, they are shot through with the sacred even all the repetitive and seemingly Sisyphean tasks that, while admittedly are sacrificial, seem hardly to be sacramental.

    Liturgy of the Ordinary pushes back against the dualism that differentiates between answering emails and writing sermons, between talking theology over coffee and talking science fair project over milk and cookies because, for believers, ministry and everyday life are intrinsically part of one another, (89).

    Tish celebrates the reality that the spiritual disciplines that sustain the following life are quiet, reflective, and homely. The trappings of devotion, even the elements of the Eucharist, can be found in any North American kitchen, and the inhale and exhale of communion with God around a verse of Scripture can, literally, be done with ones eyes closed.

    Since liturgy is, by definition, the work of the people, the faithful have been commissioned to do whatever is needful in the name of Christ. Tishs liberating thesis works itself out in the unfolding of the ordinary day of a wife, mum, ministry professional, and friend, a woman who chafes against the routine, who longs for a good nights sleep, and who delights in the simple beauty of a vanilla steamer alongside a great novel. The Glory of the Embodied Life

    When we wake, no matter how we wake (instantly bolt upright or groping toward consciousness), we begin our day beloved by God, and the staggering truth is that nothing we do in the course of each day will either magnify or diminish that standing. Beginning each new day echoes that first gleam of dawn which characterizes the path of the righteous (Proverbs 4:18) at the outset of the Christian life.

    Careening toward the age when it takes twice as long in front of a mirror to look half as good, it is a joyful thing to be reminded that what we do with our bodies and what we do with our souls are always entwined, (39). In taking on flesh, Christ decimated the false notion that the body is an evil burden and not worthy of respectful treatment and conscientious care:

    Because of the embodied work of Jesus, my body is destined for redemption and for eternal worship for eternal skipping and jumping and twirling and handraising and kneeling and dancing and singing and chewing and tasting, (48).

    Let There Be Peace on Earth

    Living as redeemed and God-breathed dust on a fallen planet is not without its vexing moments in which the self is uncovered in an unflattering light, particularly when lost keys and broken appliances hook faithless ponderings around theodicy faster than the gripping news feed from Aleppo. Repentance like a steady drumbeat (57) is the posture that counteracts brokenness, and it is also true that a life of wholeness is sustained by proper nourishment. The preparation and consumption of a humble meal points the heart toward Gods abundant provision in the Word, the true Bread of Life, while also serving as a pale adumbration of the gathering and gratitude that happen around the cup and the simple loaf.

    There is paradox in the truth that the soft answer to my husband or children that turns away wrath in my home is inextricably linked to the larger mission of peace that embodies the believers everyday work of shalom, (74), and becomes an integral component of the larger work of reconciliation that Paul outlines in II Corinthians 5.

    The Third Way

    As a gardener, I delight in the cooperation with God that is crucial to success. I weed; God waters. God provides a bountiful crop; I harvest and preserve it. Down in the dirt picking green beans or uprooting pesky cow vetch from the tomato patch, I believe that I am doing holy work, and 14th century monk Walter Hilton would agree with me. He would have described my Mary-like approach to Martha-work as a third way, a mindset that infuses the daily round with meaning and points to a future day in a millennial kingdom where we will long enjoy the work of our hands, (Isaiah 65:22).

    This opens the way for a truce in my on-going battle against the clock. As a do-er, a three on the Enneagram, I share Tishs need to see things happen in a timely manner, and this question is a howl that put words around the frustration of my own heart:

    How can I live as one who watches and waits for the coming kingdom when I can barely wait for water to boil? (104)

    For those of us who struggle to find our way into the alternative chronology of the Christian life, the liturgical calendar provides much-needed hand holds, guidance in the disciplines of preparation and waiting, training wheels for the cycles of mourning and celebration. Tishs reminder that we are a people in training, together learning to wait (109), gives me permission to enter into worship for its own sake as part of my learning process for living in the present while also waiting for the ultimate redemption of all things.

    The Ministry of Friendship, the Sacrament of Coffee, and the Gift of Rest

    The call and response of worship shows up in Christian friendship, particularly in Tishs friends of the right hand, for we tell each other the truth:

    Who we are;

    Who God is;

    How this impacts on good times and bad.

    When we sow this practical Gospel into each others lives, we become community because we have communed. As the entity that first invented coffee (Ethiopian monks? Who knew? 131), the church is uniquely positioned to lead the way in the art of enjoyment and pleasure.

    All good things are a gift from Gods hand, and one of those very good things is rest. Tish turns the lens of liturgy last on sleeping, for both gathered worship and our sleep habits profess our loves, our trusts, and our limits, (141). I will sacrifice sleep for those I love and to pursue what I consider a worthy goal. I will neglect my body and skew my priorities to pursue a misplaced affection for work or entertainment. However, if I truly believe that the Lord watches over the city, or, in my case, the country hill (Psalm 127:1), I will savor His good gift of rest and trust God with my [my] sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life, (Romans 12:1, 2 MSG).

    Truly plac[ing] it before God as an offering, brings the sacred close, and with remarkable steadiness of attention, Tish Harrison Warren draws a clear line of connection between the activities of her daily routine and the pursuit of holiness. Liturgy of the Ordinary is an invitation to bring belief and praxis into alignment around the daily work of sanctification and the never-ending duties that will become, after all, the way we spend our lives.

    This book was provided by IVPress in exchange for my review.
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