Tish Harrison Warren Quotes

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Everyone wants a revolution. No one wants to do the dishes.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
When suffering is sharp and profound, I expect and believe that God will meet me in its midst. But in the struggles of my average day I somehow feel I have a right to be annoyed.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
The new life into which we are 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.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
In the creation story, God entered chaos and made order and beauty. In making my bed I reflected that creative act in the tiniest, most ordinary way. In my small chaos, I made small order.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Similarly, when we denigrate our bodies—whether through neglect or staring at our faces and counting up our flaws—we are belittling a sacred site, a worship space more wonderous than the most glorious, ancient cathedral. We are standing before the Grand Canyon or the Sistine Chapel and rolling our eyes.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
...small bits of our day are profoundly meaningful because they are the site of our worship. The crucible of our formation is in the monotony of our daily routines.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
I need rituals that encourage me to embrace what is repetitive, ancient, and quiet. But what I crave is novelty and stimulation.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Our task is not to somehow inject God into our work but to join God in the work he is already doing in and through our vocational lives.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
But here's the thing: pretty good people do not need Jesus. He came for the lost. He came for the broken. In his love for us he came to usher us into his foundness and wholeness.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Flannery O’Connor once told a young friend to “push as hard as the age that pushes against you.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Ordinary love, anonymous and unnoticed as it is, is the substance of peace on earth, the currency of God's grace in our daily life.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
The crucible of our formation is in the monotony of our daily routines.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Christian friendships are call-and-response friendships. We tell each other over and over, back and forth, the truth of who we are and who God is. Over dinner and on walks, dropping off soup when someone is sick, and in prayer over the phone, we speak the good news to each other. And we become good news to every other.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
I worry that when our gathered worship looks like a rock show or an entertainment special, we are being formed as consumers - people after a thrill and a rush - when what we need is to learn a way of being-in-the-world that transforms us, day by day, by the rhythms of repentance and faith.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
A sign hangs on the wall in a New Monastic Christian community house: “Everyone wants a revolution. No one wants to do the dishes.” I was, and remain, a Christian who longs for revolution, for things to be made new and whole in beautiful and big ways. But what I am slowly seeing is that you can’t get to the revolution without learning to do the dishes. The kind of spiritual life and disciplines needed to sustain the Christian life are quiet, repetitive, and ordinary. I often want to skip the boring, daily stuff to get to the thrill of an edgy faith. But it’s in the dailiness of the Christian faith—the making the bed, the doing the dishes, the praying for our enemies, the reading the Bible, the quiet, the small—that God’s transformation takes root and grows.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Of all the things he could've chosen to be done "in remembrance" of him, Jesus chose a meal. He could have asked his followers to do something impressive or mystical--climb a mountain, fast for forty days, or have a trippy sweat lodge ceremony--but instead he picks the most ordinary of acts, eating, through which to be present to his people. He says that the bread is his body and the wine is his blood. He chooses the unremarkable and plain, average and abundant, bread and wine.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
How should we respond when we find the Word perplexing or dry or boring or unappealing? We keep eating. We receive nourishment. We keep listening and learning and taking our daily bread. We wait on God to give us what we need to sustain us one more day. We acknowledge that there is far more wonder in this life of worship than we yet have eyes to see or stomachs to digest. We receive what has been set before us today as a gift.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
We have everyday habits—formative practices—that constitute daily liturgies. By reaching for my smartphone every morning, I had developed a ritual that trained me toward a certain end: entertainment and stimulation via technology. Regardless of my professed worldview or particular Christian subculture, my unexamined daily habit was shaping me into a worshiper of glowing screens. Examining my daily liturgy as a liturgy—as something that both revealed and shaped what I love and worship—allowed me to realize that my daily practices were malforming me, making me less alive, less human, less able to give and receive love throughout my day. Changing this ritual allowed me to form a new repetitive and contemplative habit that pointed me toward a different way of being-in-the-world.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Having a body is a lot of work.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
The psalmist declares, “This is the day that the Lord has made.” This one. We wake not to a vague or general mercy from a far-off God. God, in delight and wisdom, has made, named, and blessed this average day. What I in my weakness see as another monotonous day in a string of days, God has given as a singular gift.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
We often understand the Protestant Reformation as a conflict about doctrine. Justification. Grace versus works. Ecclesiology. Indulgences. And it was. But what captured the imagination of the commoners in Europe during the Reformation was not only the finer points of doctrine, but the earthy notion of vocation.3 The idea that all good work is holy work was revolutionary. The Reformation toppled a vocational hierarchy that had placed monks, nuns, and priests at the top and everyone else below. The Reformers taught that a farmer may worship God by being a good farmer and that a parent changing diapers could be as near to Jesus as the pope. This was a scandal.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Annie Dillard famously writes, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”6 I came across Dillard’s words a couple years before I went to seminary, and throughout those years of heady theological study I kept them in my back pocket. They remind me that today is the proving ground of what I believe and of whom I worship.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
The church has a reputation for being antipleasure. Many characterize Christians in general the way H. L. Mencken wryly described Puritans: people with a “haunting fear that someone, somewhere might be happy.”3 In reality, the church has led the way in the art of enjoyment and pleasure. New Testament scholar Ben Witherington points out that it was the church, not Starbucks, that created coffee culture.4 Coffee was first invented by Ethiopian monks—the term cappuccino refers to the shade of brown used for the habits of the Capuchin monks of Italy. Coffee is born of extravagance, an extravagant God who formed an extravagant people, who formed a craft out of the pleasures of roasted beans and frothed milk.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
He anoints the bathroom mirror with oil and prays that when people look into it, they would see themselves as beloved images of God. He prays that they would not relate to their bodies with the categories the world gives them, but instead according to the truth of who they are in Christ.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
But now this taco soup is an anonymous commodity. It arrives on my table seemingly by magic. With this anonymity comes ingratitude—I do not recall those farmers and harvesters to whom I owe a debt of thanks. I do not think of God’s mercy in providing a harvest. And with anonymity and ingratitude comes injustice. Like so much of what we consume in our complicated world of global capitalism and multinational corporations, purchasing this corn and these beans involves me, however unwittingly, in webs of systemic injustice, exploitation, and environmental degradation that I am ignorant about and would likely not consent to. I do not know where the onions in my soup came from or how the workers who harvested them were treated. My leftovers may have been provided by a man whose kids can’t afford lunch today.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
In reality, the church has led the way in the art of enjoyment and pleasure. New Testament scholar Ben Witherington points out that it was the church, not Starbucks, that created coffee culture.4 Coffee was first invented by Ethiopian monks—the term cappuccino refers to the shade of brown used for the habits of the Capuchin monks of Italy. Coffee is born of extravagance, an extravagant God who formed an extravagant people, who formed a craft out of the pleasures of roasted beans and frothed milk.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
In the Christian faith it’s almost a philosophical principle that the universal is known through the particular and the abstract through the concrete. We love people universally by loving the particular people we know and can name. We love the world by loving a particular place in it—a specific creek or hill or city or block. The incarnation of Jesus is the ultimate example of this principle, when the one who “fills all in all” became a singular baby in a tangible body in a particular place in time.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
My works and worship don’t earn a thing. Instead, they flow from God’s love, gift, and work on my behalf. I am not primarily defined by my abilities or marital status or how I vote or my successes or failures or fame or obscurity, but as one who is sealed in the Holy Spirit, hidden in Christ, and beloved by the Father. My naked self is one who is baptized.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Together as a church we are practicing, learning the strokes that teach us to live our lives.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Repentance is not usually a moment wrought in high drama. It is the steady drumbeat of a life in Christ and, therefore, a day in Christ.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
My theology was too big to touch a typical day in my life. I'd developed the habit of ignoring God in the midst of the daily grind.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
I'm a pacifist who yells at her husband.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Without realizing it, I had slowly built a habit: a steady resistance to and dread of boredom.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Old Testament prophets are terrible at tea parties.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
At the Last Supper Jesus tells his disciples to eat in remembrance of him. Of all the things he could’ve chosen to be done “in remembrance” of him, Jesus chose a meal. He could have asked his followers to do something impressive or mystical—climb a mountain, fast for forty days, or have a trippy sweat lodge ceremony—but instead he picks the most ordinary of acts, eating, through which to be present to his people. He says that the bread is his body and the wine is his blood. He chooses the unremarkable and plain, average and abundant, bread and wine.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Wendell Berry warned, “It is easy . . . to imagine that the next great division of the world will be between people who wish to live as creatures and people who wish to live as machines.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
How should we respond when we find the Word perplexing or dry or boring or unappealing? We keep eating. We receive nourishment. We keep listening and learning and taking our daily bread.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
But in facing the reality of death, we learn how to live rightly. We learn how to live in light of our limits and the brevity of our lives. And we learn to live in the hope of the resurrection.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
The kind of spiritual life and disciplines needed to sustain the Christian life are quiet, repetitive, and ordinary. I often want to skip the boring, daily stuff to get to the thrill of an edgy faith. But it’s in the dailiness of the Christian faith—the making the bed, the doing the dishes, the praying for our enemies, the reading the Bible, the quiet, the small—that God’s transformation takes root and grows.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
In Jewish culture, days begin in the evening with the setting of the sun. (We see this in Genesis 1 with the repetition of “And there was evening and there was morning.”) The day begins with rest. We start by settling down and going to sleep. This understanding of time is powerfully reorienting, even jarring, to those of us who measure our days by our own efforts and accomplishments. The Jewish day begins in seemingly accomplishing nothing at all. We begin by resting, drooling on our pillow, dropping off into helplessness. Eugene Peterson says, “The Hebrew evening/morning sequence conditions us to the rhythms of grace. We go to sleep and God begins his work.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Worship itself is made up of ordinary stuff. We use plain words. Some of the most the glorious words in Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer are, well, common and plain enough to make you weep—“We have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and we have done those things which we ought not to have done, and there is no health in us.” We are baptized in plain water. We consume plain bread and wine. And it all is lifted up by plain people.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Anne Lamott writes that we learn the practice of reconciliation by starting with those nearest us. “Earth is Forgiveness School. You might as well start at the dinner table. That way, you can do this work in comfortable pants.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Christian worship, centered on Word and sacrament, reminds me that my core identity is not that of a consumer: I am a worshiper and an image-bearer, created to know, enjoy, and glorify God and to know and love those around me.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
When we confess and receive absolution together, we are reminded that none of our pathologies, neuroses, or sins, no matter how small or secret, affect only us. We are a church, a community, a family. We are not simply individuals with our pet sins and private brokenness. We are people who desperately need each other if we are to seek Christ and walk in repentance. If we are saved, we are saved together--as the body of Christ, as a church. Because of this, I need to hear my forgiveness proclaimed not only by God but by a representative of the body of Christ in which I receive grace, to remind me that though my sin is worse than I care to admit, I'm still welcome here. I'm still called into this community and loved.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Theologian Stanley Hauerwas argues that to truly learn a story, we can’t just hear it. We must also act it out. In our worship—and Hauerwas specifically cites the practices of baptism and communion—we act out the story of the gospel with and through our bodies.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
The habit of praying before my meal trains me in a way of being-in-the-world. It reminds me that my personal experience is not what determines whether or not something is a grace and a wonder, and that some of the most astonishing gifts are the most easily overlooked.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Jesus is eternally beloved by the Father. His every activity unfurls from his identity as the Beloved. He loved others, healed others, preached, taught, rebuked, and redeemed not in order gain the Father's approval, but out of his rooted certainty in the Father's love.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
There are a few very goods meals I remember and there are a few truly terrible meals I remember. But most of the meals I’ve eaten, thousands upon thousands, were utterly unremarkable. If you asked me what I ate for lunch three weeks ago on Monday, I could not tell you. And yet that average, forgettable meal nourished me. Thousands of forgotten meals have brought me to today. They’ve sustained my life. They were my daily bread. We are endlessly in need of nourishment, and nourishment comes, usually, like taco soup. Abundant and overlooked
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
But in Christian worship we are reminded that peace is homegrown, beginning on the smallest scale, in the daily grind, in homes, churches, and neighborhoods. Daily habits of peace or habits of discord spill into our city, creating cultures of peace or cultures of discord.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
The one who is worthy of worship, glory, and fanfare spent decades in obscurity and ordinariness. As if the incarnation itself is not mind-bending enough, the incarnate God spent his days quietly, a man who went to work, got sleepy, and lived a pedestrian life among average people.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
If I am to spend my whole life being transformed by the good news of Jesus, I must learn how grand, sweeping truths—doctrine, theology, ecclesiology, Christology—rub against the texture of an average day. How I spend this ordinary day in Christ is how I will spend my Christian life.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
It must be remembered that life consists not of a series of illustrious actions, or elegant enjoyments; the greater part of our time passes in compliance with necessities, in the performance of daily duties, in the removal of small inconveniences, in the procurement of petty pleasures.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
We’ll spend our day conservative or liberal, rich or poor, earnest or cynical, fun-loving or serious. But as we first emerge from sleep, we are nothing but human, unimpressive, vulnerable, newly born into the day, blinking as our pupils adjust to light and our brains emerge into consciousness.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
In this alternative economy of the true bread of life, we are turned inside out so that we are no longer people marked by scarcity, jockeying for our own good, but are new people, truly nourished, and therefore able to extend nourishment to others. The economy of the Eucharist is true abundance.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
A fascinating and somewhat disturbing study out of the University of Virginia showed that, given the choice, many preferred undergoing electric shock to sitting alone with their thoughts. Study participants were exposed to a mild shock, which they all reported they didn’t like and would pay money not to undergo again. But when left alone in an empty room with a “shocker” button for up to fifteen minutes, removed from all distractions, unable to check their phones or listen to music, two-thirds of men and one-fourth of women in the study chose to voluntarily shock themselves rather than sit in silence. Dr. Tim Wilson, who helped conduct the study, said, “I think this could be why, for many of us, external activities are so appealing, even at the level of the ubiquitous cell phone that so many of us keep consulting. . . . The mind is so prone to want to engage with the world, it will take any opportunity to do so.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
We are born hungry and completely dependent on others to meet our needs. In this way the act of eating reorients us from an atomistic, independent existence toward one that is interdependent. But the Eucharist goes even further. In it, we feast on Christ, and are thereby mysteriously formed together into one body, the body of Christ.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Christ’s ordinary years are part of our redemption story. Because of the incarnation and those long, unrecorded years of Jesus’ life, our small, normal lives matter. If Christ was a carpenter, all of us who are in Christ find that our work is sanctified and made holy. If Christ spent time in obscurity, then there is infinite worth found in obscurity.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Apocalypse literally means an unveiling or uncovering. In my anger, grumbling, self-berating, cursing, doubt, and despair, I glimpsed, for a few minutes, how tightly I cling to control and how little control I actually have. And in the absence of control, feeling stuck and stressed, those parts of me that I prefer to keep hidden were momentarily unveiled.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
When my daughters were baptized, we had a big celebration with cupcakes and champagne. Together with our community we sang “Jesus Loves Me” over the newly baptized. It was a proclamation: before you know it, before you doubt it, before you confess it, before you can sing it yourself, you are beloved by God, not by your effort but because of what Christ has done on your behalf. We are weak, but he is strong.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
We do not know this Messiah solely through the red letters in the gospel texts. We know him in his fullness because we are joined to him in his Body, the church. In this joining, we do not lose our individuality or our individual stories of conversion and encounter with Christ. Instead, our own small stories are wrapped up in the story of all believers throughout time, which are together part of the eternal story of Christ.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Many feel that the church (if it’s necessary at all) is primarily intended to serve our individual spiritual needs or to group us together with like-minded people—a kind of holy fraternity. If we believe that church is merely a voluntary society of people with shared values, then it is entirely optional. If the church helps you with your personal relationship with God, great; if not, I know a great brunch place that’s open on Sunday.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Rich Mullins, one of my favorite writers and musicians, said that when he was a kid he’d walk down the church aisle and be “born again again” or “rededicate” his life to Christ every year at camp. In college he’d do it about every six months, then quarterly; by the time he was in his forties it was “about four times a day.”3 Repentance is not usually a moment wrought in high drama. It is the steady drumbeat of a life in Christ and, therefore, a day in Christ.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Alfred Hitchcock said movies are “life with the dull bits cut out.”5 Car chases and first kisses, interesting plot lines and good conversations. We don’t want to watch our lead character going on a walk, stuck in traffic, or brushing his teeth—at least not for long, and not without a good soundtrack. We tend to want a Christian life with the dull bits cut out. Yet God made us to spend our days in rest, work, and play, taking care of our bodies, our families, our neighborhoods, our homes. What if all these boring parts matter to God? What if days passed in ways that feel small and insignificant to us are weighty with meaning and part of the abundant life that God has for us?
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Through the practice of an embodied liturgy we learn the true telos of embodiment: Our bodies are instruments of worship. The scandal of misusing our bodies through, for instance, sexual sin is not that God doesn't want us to enjoy our bodies or our sexuality. Instead, it is that our bodies— sacred objects intended for worship of the living God— can become a place of sacrilege. When we use our bodies to rebel against God or to worship the false gods of sex, youth, or personal autonomy, we are not simply breaking an archaic and arbitrary commandment. We are using a sacred object— in fact, the most sacred object on earth— in a way that denigrates its beautiful and high purpose.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
We don’t wake up daily and form a way of being-in-the-world from scratch, and we don’t think our way through every action of our day. We move in patterns that we have set over time, day by day. These habits and practices shape our loves, our desires, and ultimately who we are and what we worship.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
If I were a lioness, I would snarl. As it is, I brood.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
No matter how much I love or fear something, ultimately my human need for rest kicks in. Even when my kids are sick and really need me, I can’t stay awake with them day and night for long. Our powerful need for sleep is a reminder that we are finite. God is the only one who never slumbers nor sleeps. A few years ago a Sprint commercial proclaimed defiantly, “I want—no, I have the right—to be unlimited.” This is the message we receive from our culture: no limits. Nothing should stop you, slow you down, or limit your freedom. Not even human embodiment. You can be unlimited, and if you’re not, someone’s to blame. We believe that we need better technology, better efficiency, and better organization so that we can exist as people unbridled from creaturely limits. We can be boundless, competent, and utterly self-determining.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
We disdain limits. Wendell Berry warned, “It is easy . . . to imagine that the next great division of the world will be between people who wish to live as creatures and people who wish to live as machines.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Repentance is not usually a moment wrought in high drama. It is the steady drumbeat of a life in Christ and therefor, a day in Christ.
Tish Harrison Warren
It must be remembered that life consists not of a series of illustrious actions, or elegant enjoyments; the greater part of our time passes in compliance with necessities, in the performance of daily duties, in the removal of small inconveniences, in the procurement of petty pleasures. DR. JOHNSON
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
The truth is, I’m far more likely to give up sleep for entertainment than I am for prayer. When I turn on Hulu late at night I don’t consciously think, “I value this episode of Parks and Rec more than my family, prayer, and my own body.” But my habits reveal and shape what I love and what I value, whether I care to admit it or not.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
What if days passed in ways that feel small and insignificant to us are weighty with meaning and part of the abundant life that God has for us?
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
How should we respond when we find the Word perplexing or dry or boring or unappealing? We keep eating. We receive nourishment. We keep listening and learning and taking our daily bread. We wait on God to give us what we need to sustain us one more day. We acknowledge that there is far more wonder in this life of worship than we yet have eyes to see or stomachs to digest. We receive what has been set before us today as a gift.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
I’m fairly certain that one day there will be three numbers engraved on my tombstone as a legacy and a warning: my birth date, my death date, and the number of unopened emails still awaiting a response in my inbox.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
many hollows. It is obvious and known before Your Throne of Glory that if even one of them ruptures, or if even one of them becomes blocked, it would be impossible to survive and to stand before You (even for a short period). Blessed are You, Hashem, Who heals all flesh and acts wondrously.1
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
We acknowledge that we do not and cannot live alone but are the beneficiaries of the kindness and mysteries of grace upon grace.”3
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
The singular mark of patience is not endurance or fortitude but hope. To be impatient . . . is to live without hope. Patience is grounded in the Resurrection. It is life oriented toward a future that is God’s doing, and its sign is longing, not so much to be released
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Ordinary love, anonymous and unnoticed as it is, is the substance of peace on earth, the currency of God’s grace in our daily life.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
My willingness to sacrifice much-needed rest and my prioritizing amusement or work over the basic needs of my body and the people around me (with whom I'm far more likely to be short-tempered after a night of little sleep) reveal that these good things—entertainment and work—have taken a place of ascendancy in my life. In the nitty-gritty of my daily life, repentance for idolatry may look as pedestrian as shutting off my email an hour earlier or resisting that alluring clickbait to go to bed. The truth is, I'm far more likely to give up sleep for entertainment that I am for prayer. When I turn on Hulu late at night I don't consciously think, "I value this episode of Parks and Rec more than my family, prayer, and my own body," But my habits reveal and shape what I love and what I value, whether I care to admit it or not.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
And in the absence of control, feeling stuck and stressed, those parts of me that I prefer to keep hidden were momentarily unveiled.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
In C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters, senior demon Screwtape coaches a junior devil on how to infect a man’s relationship with others: “Keep his mind off the most elementary of duties by directing it to the most advanced and spiritual ones. Aggravate that most useful of human characteristics, the horror and neglect of the obvious.”2 He continues, “I have had patients of my own so well in hand that they could be turned at a moment’s notice from impassioned prayer for a wife’s or son’s ‘soul’ to beating or insulting the real wife or son without a qualm.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
The kingdom of God comes both through our gathered worship each week and our “scattered” worship in our work each day. Thus all work, even a simple, small task, matters eternally.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
A comprehensive study in the United Kingdom recently revealed that kids learn to rest in the same way they learn to walk, run, and talk.1 Rest takes practice.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
In his brief theology of sleep, Scottish pastor John Baillie writes that in Christ, we “wake up better men than when we went to sleep.”16 If it is hard for us to believe that God is at work in us and in the world even while we sleep, it reveals who we truly think is the mover and maker of our lives and spiritual health.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
A sign hangs on the wall in a New Monastic Christian community house: “Everyone wants a revolution. No one wants to do the dishes.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Food has so much to teach us about nourishment, and as a culture we struggle with what it means to be not simply fed, but profoundly and holistically nourished.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Alfred Hitchcock said movies are “life with the dull bits cut out.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
In his book Earthen Vessels, Matthew Lee Anderson argues that just as basketball players train their bodies through practice drills, “practicing the presentation of our bodies as living sacrifices in a corporate context through raising hands, lifting our eyes to the heavens, kneeling, and reciting prayers simply trains us in our whole person, body and soul, to be oriented around the throne of grace.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
My body led in prayer and led me—all of me, eventually even my words—into prayer.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
I couldn’t find words, but I could kneel. I could submit to God through my knees, and I’d lift my hands to hold up an ache: a fleshy, unnamable longing that I carried around my ribs. I’d offer up an aching body with my hands, my knees, my tears, my lifted eyes. My body led in prayer and led me—all of me, eventually even my words—into prayer.4
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
The bodies we use in our worship service each week are the same bodies we take to our kitchen table, into our bathtubs, and under our covers at night.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
there is little enthusiasm for the patient acquisition of virtue, little inclination to sign up for a long apprenticeship in what earlier generations of Christians called holiness. Religion in our time has been captured by a tourist mindset. . . . We go to see a new personality, to hear a new truth, to get a new experience and so somehow to expand our otherwise humdrum life.”5
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
The practice of confession and absolution must find its way into the small moments of sinfulness in my day. When it does, the gospel—grace itself—seeps into my day, and these moments are transformed. They’re no longer meaningless interruptions, sheer failure and lostness and brokenness. Instead, they’re moments of redemption and remembering, moments to grow bit by bit in trusting Jesus’ work on my behalf.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Many feel that the church (if it’s necessary at all) is primarily intended to serve our individual spiritual needs or to group us together with like-minded people—a kind of holy fraternity. If we believe that church is merely a voluntary society of people with shared values, then it is entirely optional. If the church helps you with your personal relationship with God, great; if not, I know a great brunch place that’s open on Sunday. But while an individual relationship with Jesus is an important part of the Christian life, it is not the sum total of the Christian life.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Coffee was first invented by Ethiopian monks—the term cappuccino refers to the shade of brown used for the habits of the Capuchin monks of Italy. Coffee is born of extravagance, an extravagant God who formed an extravagant people, who formed a craft out of the pleasures of roasted beans and frothed milk.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Czesław Miłosz wrote in his poem “One More Day”: Though the good is weak, beauty is very strong . . . And when people cease to believe that there is good and evil Only beauty will call to them and save them So that they still know how to say: this is true and that is false.21
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Teeth. So needy.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
My minty breath—a little foretaste of glory.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
This is a great mystery. My teeth will be in eternity and are eternally good.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
We tend to want a Christian life with the dull bits cut out.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
The question is not whether we have a liturgy. The question is, "What kind of people is our liturgy forming us to be?
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
The practice of confession and absolution must find its way into the small moments of sinfulness in my day. When it does, the gospel - grace itself - seeps into my day, and these moments are transformed. They're no longer meaningless interruptions, sheer failure and lostness and brokenness. Instead, they're moments of redemption and remembering, moments to grow bit by bit in trusting Jesus' work on my behalf.
Tish Harrison Warren
For some of us, the idea of repentance can bring to mind a particular emotional experience, or the minor-key songs of an altar call at a revival meeting. But repentance and faith are the constant, daily rhythms of the Christian life, our breathing out and breathing in.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
The contemporary church can, at times, market a kind of "ramen noodle" spirituality. Faith becomes a consumer product - it asks little of us, affirms our values, and promises to meet our needs, but in the end it's just a quick fix that leaves us glutted and malnourished.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
We grow in holiness in the honing of our specific vocation. We can't be holy in the abstract. Instead we become a holy blacksmith or a holy mother or a holy physician or a holy systems analyst. We seek God in and through our particular vocation and place in life.
Tish Harrison Warren
It's easy for me to assume that the parts of my vocation that God cares about are the parts that I like.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Even the Puritans, derided by Mencken, seem like paragons of pleasure compared to overworked, stressed-out modern Americans.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
When we enjoy God’s creation, we reflect God himself. God does not stoically pronounce creation “good”, like a disinterested manager checking off a quality checklist so he can clock out early.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
He said to me, “You don’t need to give anything up. Your whole life is Lent right now.” He told me to take up the practice of pleasure: to intentionally embrace enjoyment as discipline.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Our culture of restlessness and limitlessness has not only affected our bodies, it has shaped our faith. As Americans and as evangelicals, the subtle idea that our relationship with God relies on our own efforts and energy is part of our DNA.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
The often unseen and unsung ways we spend our time are what form us.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
As we examine them we realize that we need to make new habits that form us as more faithful worshipers. Some habits may simply need to be examined as the important spiritual practices they are.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
when we gaze at the richness of the gospel and the church and find them dull and uninteresting, it’s actually we who have been hollowed out. We have lost our capacity to see wonders where true wonders lie.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
We are not left like Sisyphus, cursed by the gods to a life of meaninglessness, repeating the same pointless task for eternity. Instead, these small bits of our day are profoundly meaningful because they are the site of our worship.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Eugene Peterson calls this quest for spiritual intensity a consumer-driven “market for religious experience in our world.” He says that “there is little enthusiasm for the patient acquisition of virtue, little inclination to sign up for a long apprenticeship in what earlier generations of Christians called holiness. Religion in our time has been captured by a tourist mindset. . . . We go to see a new personality, to hear a new truth, to get a new experience and so somehow to expand our otherwise humdrum life.”5
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
We’ve inherited a faith that, while beautiful in many ways, was formed and shaped by the concept of a market-driven religious experience.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Similarly, when we denigrate our bodies—whether through neglect or staring at our faces and counting up our flaws—we are belittling a sacred site, a worship space more wondrous than the most glorious, ancient cathedral. We are standing before the Grand Canyon or the Sistine Chapel and rolling our eyes.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
When suffering is sharp and profound, I expect and believe that God will meet me in its midst. But in the struggles of my average day I somehow feel I have a right to be annoyed. The indignations and irritations of the modern world feel authentic and understandable. I’m no Pollyanna. In a shipwreck, yes of course, “Be content.” But the third day in a row of poor sleep and a backed-up sink? That’s too much to ask. In Letters to Malcolm, C. S. Lewis says that people are “merely ‘amusing themselves’ by asking for patience which a famine or a persecution would call for if, in the meantime, the weather and every other inconvenience sets them grumbling.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Or, more painfully, it’s not just that I’m mad about your criticism today, it’s how a pattern of criticism, comment by passing comment, bumps up against my own patterns of sin, woundedness, and self-defensiveness. Today’s conflict is not
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
can get caught up in big ideas of justice and truth and neglect the small opportunities around me to extend kindness, forgiveness, and grace.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Dorothy Bass explains this practice: “For all Christians, baptism embodies release from yesterday’s sin and receipt of tomorrow’s promise: going under the water, the old self is buried in the death of Christ; rising from the water the self is new, joined to the resurrected Christ.” Martin Luther charged each member of his community to regard baptism “as the daily garment which he is to wear all the time.”2 We enter each new day as we enter the sanctuary, by remembering our baptism.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Steven and Bethany have a lot of friends on the streets, and the afflicted extend hospitality to them. They are welcomed into homeless camps and given advice about where to sleep most comfortably. When they brought their five-month-old on a retreat with them, someone showed them the safest places to spend the night with their baby. One friend they met on the street prayed for them, asking for angels to protect them, for their safety in the night, and that they’d meet the morning with a good breakfast. Bethany
Tish Harrison Warren (Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep)
The evangelical quest for a particular emotional experience in worship and the capitalistic quest for anonymous, cheap canned goods have something in common. Both are mostly concerned with what I can get for myself as an individual consumer. But the economy of the Eucharist calls me to a life of self-emptying worship.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
My wet fingers dipped in the baptismal font remind me that everything I do in the liturgy—all the confessing and singing, kneeling and peace passing, distraction, boredom, ecstasy, devotion—is a response to God’s work and God’s initiation. And before we begin the liturgies of our day—the cooking, sitting in traffic, emailing, accomplishing, working, resting—we begin beloved. My works and worship don’t earn a thing. Instead, they flow from God’s love, gift, and work on my behalf. I am not primarily defined by my abilities or marital status or how I vote or my successes or failures or fame or obscurity, but as one who is sealed in the Holy Spirit, hidden in Christ, and beloved by the Father. My naked self is one who is baptized.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
This kingdom vision—our identity as those blessed and sent—must work itself out in the small routines of our daily work and vocation, as we go to meetings, check our email, make our children dinner, or mow the lawn.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Habits shape our desires. I desired ramen noodles more than good, nourishing food because, over time, I had taught myself to crave certain things and not others. In the same way I am either formed by the practices of the church into a worshiper who can receive all of life as a gift, or I am formed, inevitably, as a mere consumer, even a consumer of spirituality. The contemporary church can, at times, market a kind of “ramen noodle” spirituality. Faith becomes a consumer product—it asks little of us, affirms our values, and promises to meet our needs, but in the end it’s just a quick fix that leaves us glutted and malnourished.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
But repentance and faith are the constant, daily rhythms of the Christian life, our breathing out and breathing in.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Otherwise, I’ll spend my life imagining and hoping (and preaching and teaching about how) to share in the sufferings of Christ in persecution, momentous suffering, and death, while I spend my actual days in grumbling, discontentment, and low-grade despair.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
We are marked from our first waking moment by an identity that is given to us by grace: an identity that is deeper and more real than any other identity we will don that day.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
want life to have meaning, we want fulfillment, healing and even ecstasy, but the human paradox is that we find these things by starting where we are. . . . We must look for blessings to come from unlikely, everyday places. KATHLEEN NORRIS
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
The church’s prophetic witness to an outrage culture is to be a people who know how to weep together at the pain and injustice in the world (both past and present) and at the reality of our own sin and brokenness.
Tish Harrison Warren (Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep)
Enjoyment requires discernment. It can be a gift to wrap up in a blanket and lose myself in a TV show but we can also amuse ourselves to death. My pleasure in wine or tea or exercise is good in itself but it can become disordered. As we learn to practice enjoyment we need to learn the craft of discernment: How to enjoy rightly, to have, to read pleasure well. There is a symbiotic relationship, cross-training, if you will, between the pleasures we find in gathered worship and those in my tea cup, or in a warm blanket, or the smell of bread baking. Lewis reminds us that one must walk before one can run. We will not be able to adore God on the highest occasions if we have learned no habit of doing so on the lowest. At best our faith and reason will tell us that He is adorable but we shall not have found Him so. These tiny moments of beauty in our day train us in the habits of adoration and discernment, and the pleasure and sensuousness of our gathered worship teach us to look for and receive these small moments in our days, together they train us in the art of noticing and reveling in our God’s goodness and artistry. A few weeks ago I was walking to work, standing on the corner of tire and auto parts store, waiting to cross the street when I suddenly heard church bells begin to ring, loud and long. I froze, riveted. They were beautiful. A moment of transcendence right in the middle of the grimy street, glory next to the discount tire and auto parts. Liturgical worship has been referred to sometimes derisively as smells and bells because of the sensuous ways Christians have historically worshipped: Smells, the sweet and pungent smell of incense, and bells, like the one I heard in neighborhood which rang out from a catholic church. At my church we ring bells during the practice of our eucharist. The acolyte, the person often a child, assisting the priest, rings chimes when our pastor prepares the communion meal. There is nothing magic about these chimes, nothing superstitious, they’re just bells. We ring them in the eucharist liturgy as a way of saying, “pay attention.” They’re an alarm to rouse the congregation to jostle us to attention, telling us to take note, sit up, and lean forward, and notice Christ in our midst. We need this kind of embodied beauty, smells and bells, in our gathered worship, and we need it in our ordinary day to remind us to take notice of Christ right where we are. Dostoevsky wrote that “beauty will save the world.” This might strike us as mere hyperbole but as our culture increasingly rejects the idea and language of truth, the churches role as the harbinger of beauty is a powerful witness to the God of all beauty. Czeslaw Milosz wrote in his poem, “One more day,” “Though the good is weak, beauty is very strong.” And when people cease to believe there is good and evil, only beauty will call to them and save them so that they still know how to say, “this is true and that is false.” Being curators of beauty, pleasure, and delight is therefore and intrinsic part of our mission, a mission that recognizes the reality that truth is beautiful. These moments of loveliness, good tea, bare trees, and soft shadows, or church bells, in my dimness, they jolt me to attention and remind me that Christ is in our midst. His song of truth, sung by His people all over the world, echos down my ordinary street, spilling even into my living room.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)