Monday, June 4, 2012

Life Liturgy: Gotta Serve Somebody

"You gotta serve somebody...It may be the devil, or it may be the Lord, but you're gonna have to serve somebody." --Bob Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody"

Our day-to-day lives are worship services. For many of us they're the kinds of worship services God doesn't attend, those Isaiah 1 worship services that God detests because they're full of sound and fury signifying nothing. Our hands are covered with the blood of the innocents and our hearts are far from God, while our lips speak empty words of flattery and pucker to kiss the hind-end of anyone who will help us up to the next rung.

But if we'll take seriously our call to leitourgia (lit. "work, occupation, service"), we begin to move beyond only the liturgy reserved for religious services and into something new: Life Liturgy. Our Life Liturgy is the intentional ordering of our day-to-day lives to turn them away from the apathetic hum-drum of the status quo and the Joneses, and toward the electric mystery of the presence of God. This reordering can be kicked off in three recognitions:

1) We Worship God in Our Being: All things are from God, through God, and to God be glory forever! (Rom. 11:36). The very existence of our lives--first in the mind of God, then in creation--is an act of worship. God is delighted that he made us! Going about dividing the world between "sacred" and "secular" does us little good. The best thing we can do is to LIVE LIFE FULLY...reveling in the whole earth that is full of God's glory!

2) We Worship God in Our Surrender: Climbing up on the altar and laying ourselves bare before God, trusting only his goodness and mercy...this is Life Liturgy (Rom. 12:1). We can't give our minds to God but our bodies to the world...or give our affections to God but follow someone else's agenda for us. We must LOVE GOD COMPLETELY...whole mind, whole strength, whole heart, whole soul.

3) We Worship God in Our Transformation: We can come to know the mind and heart of God and, thus, God's will (Rom. 12:2). This is what the world so desperately wants to know: What does it all mean? Why am I here? What am I supposed to do? Who am I supposed to be? But we become like what we worship through the Life Liturgy we choose--either conforming to the image of those who really know no better than we do, or being transformed into the glorious image of God. We must LEARN APPRENTICESHIP to the only Master who is Love.

Our only hope amidst the fragmentation of our lives in pieces of sacred and secular, divided devotions between God and selfishness, conformity to the agendas of hollow men, is to begin to be intentional about our Life Liturgy. Because you're gonna have to serve somebody...choose this day whom you will serve.

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