Bringing Meaning to the Rhythms of Our Work
In the Evangelical realm, we often don’t think about the term, “liturgy.” In fact, some Christian traditions go so far as saying the church service is free form or “anti-liturgy.”
Yet, if you imagine the church service next Sunday morning, certain images come to mind. The worship band plays a handful of recognizable songs. The pastor will give a sermon, of which you could imagination the mannerisms and style of delivery. You could envision the style of clothing the pastors and the congregation wears. You could probably recite the benediction or elements of the closing prayer.
The root of the word liturgy emerges from the Greek words, “leitos” meaning “public” and “ergos” meaning “work.” A liturgy is an external order of activities. For this reason, any church that meets as an assembly of people proceeds through this order of activities, even if it is free form.
These rhythms are consistent enough that the average church attendee could describe what will happen on any given Sunday.
Our Daily Practice
Just as the church has rhythms and order to its services, our daily lives have rhythm and order. We tend to wake up around the same time each day. We order the same cup of coffee from Starbucks everyday. We drop our kids off at school the same time and in the same way every day. We check our emails in consistent patterns. We approach our communication with our fellow employees in a similar way. We likely approach conflict in a consistent manner. We often approach our evening routines in the same way.
Given the definition of liturgy, our daily practices could be considered a form of liturgy. But, the importance of liturgy, especially in older Christian traditions, surrounds the intentional pursuit of rhythms and practices that shape us. A Christian focuses on liturgy because she recognizes the importance of rhythms on how Christians act as salt and light in the world.
For this reason, what if we took a similar intentional approach to our daily rhythms? What if we considered the meaning behind the cup of coffee we pour, the approach to our workplace communication, the way we navigate conflict?
While we have big experiences at church on Sundays, God meets us in our daily work. For this reason, we have an opportunity to consider intentionally the way God forms us as we take our kids to school, as we write an email, and as we drive home in traffic.
Our liturgy is important. So let’s be intentional about how the rhythms of our work shape us.
Photo credit: Olu Eletu