Tuesday 7 October 2014

James K.A. Smith on Vocational Liturgies

There’s a nice piece here on the High Calling website by Jamie Smith which begins by musing on the rituals that start our day – checking email, Facebook, newspapers, etc. – and how an anthropologist from Mars would interpret them. He asks:

‘And what if those rituals aren’t just something that you do? What if they are also doing something to you? What if those rituals are veritable “liturgies” of a sort? What if pursuing God in our vocations requires immersion in rituals that direct our passions?’

In cultivating our calling, he says, ‘we ought not settle for simply being Christians who happen to be artists or lawyers who are simply also Christians. We should see our vocations as ways to pursue God himself’.

And a little later in the piece:

‘If we want to pursue God in our vocations, we need to immerse ourselves in rituals and rhythms and practices whereby the love of God seeps into our very character – is woven into, not just how we think, but who we are.

‘This is one of the reasons why worship is not some escape from “the work week.” To the contrary, our worship rituals train our hearts and aim our desires toward God and his kingdom so that when we are sent from worship to take up our work, we do so with a habituated orientation toward the Lover of our souls.

‘This is also why we need to think about habit-shaping practices – “vocational liturgies,” we might call them – that can sustain this love throughout the week.’

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