JESUS COMES RIGHT INTO THE ORDINARY
Olivia Shields | October 12, 2018
Post written by Olivia Shields, RUF Campus Staff at Baylor University.
Every day looks different for me. Though I am meeting with students, planning for Bible studies and events, etc. each week, the day to day varies. In this job, and just in general, I long for consistency and routine. I go to the same coffee shops over and over and order the same thing. I order the same tacos at Torchy’s and the same number eight at Chick-fil-a. I try to watch new shows on Netflix, but find myself back on season four of The Office every time. Each day is unpredictable, unexpected, and can leave me feeling anxious. In the ever-changing nature of my job, I often find myself tired moving from one meeting to the next, wondering what I’m going to make for lunch, and hoping my phone doesn’t die before 5pm.
One thing I’ve started doing during my week to build structure and rest is read for fun. I’ve never been a reader, but recently picked up a couple books I’ve been meaning to read. The most recent have been Narnia, Spurgeon’s Sorrows, Hinds Feet on High Places, and Liturgy of the Ordinary.
Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren has quite literally changed my life (I now make my bed every morning). Warren looks at mundane things we do every day such as making the bed, losing keys, calling a friend, and sleeping, and asks, ”How do we embrace the sacred in the ordinary and the ordinary in the sacred?” When I make my bed every morning, I am forming a habit and setting a routine. Our habits and routines shape our hearts and focus throughout the day. I need to be reminded that I am marked from my first waking moment as Christ’s beloved. So as I make my bed, I can remind myself that God was at work while I was sleeping. He woke me and has set the day before me. When I call a friend, confess my sin and share life with her, I am taking part in the greater narrative of the Church communing with other saints. Warren explains that Jesus redeems our every day; he knows our particular days, weaknesses, and struggles. “There is no task too small or too routine to reflect God’s glory and worth,” she writes.
My every day can be exhausting.
There can be a lot of waiting.
There’s sadness. Broken relationships, disappointments, frustrations.
Disruptions to the routine I try so desperately to keep.
And in all of these disappointments and frustrations I’m reminded that I am inconsistent. On my busy week days of running to meetings and studies, I’m reminded that I am not in control. I need someone outside of myself to be consistent and faithful. I get to rest in the One who never changes. The One who is in control. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He has been faithful to me when I have been so unfaithful.
So when I lie down to sleep each night, I admit that I am weak. I cannot sustain myself and need rest and rejuvenation. I am vulnerable in those sleeping hours, needing a God who will do the work I am not able to do.
Jesus meets me in each part of my scattered days. He comes right into the ordinary.
We are a weak and forgetful people, people who need routine and reminders of our true identity. When we gather each Sunday for church, we are reminded of God’s love and care for His children as we sit under the preached Scripture and partake in the sacrament of communion. We sit and stand with others corporately singing to our great God. As we join in the liturgy of the day set aside by God, we are reminded that we are part of a bigger story, one of God’s redemption for His people. Praise God that He is near.