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Tish Harrison Warren: Liturgy of the Ordinary

Tish Harrison Warren, Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2016), 182 pages, ISBN 9780830846238.

For Christian believers not engaged in ‘typical’ church ministries, it may be difficult to find anything sacred about the day-to-day activities that occupy our mind and energy. Whether it’s doing housework, chauffeuring the kids to school or Little League, grocery shopping, or clocking in to a job, we can feel like our lives are mundane, boring, and almost certainly not a calling to live out God’s purposes in such unholy tasks. Warren, however, would beg to differ. The author draws parallels between the ordinary habitual practices of our everyday life and the spiritual rhythm of worship. We can live in tune with God’s purposes in this world, all the while we make the bed, brush our teeth, check email, and sit in traffic, to name just a few of those daily tasks. Moreover, Warren deftly reveals through these everyday examples how much we need God’s orderliness and purpose in our lives when we realize how often we fall short of meaningful goals and fail to notice the Spirit’s presence in the day-to-day.

We can live in tune with God’s purposes in this world, all the while we make the bed, brush our teeth, check email, and sit in traffic.

Eleven chapters, each covering one aspect of our day, both earnestly and humorously challenge our ideas about what is sacred and worthy of our attention. Provided at the end of the book are discussion questions and practices, which are useful both for individual reflection and small-group work. Warren’s Anglican context shapes the way these ordinary activities are correlated to the sacred (for example, references to the liturgical calendar and daily office), but any reader can find affirmation in these pages that ecclesial ritual can help us meet God on a deeper, more mindful and intentional, level.

Tish Harrison Warren

Reviewed by Michelle Vondey


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Editor’s Note: It has been reported that Liturgy of the Ordinary was the subject of major counterfeiting scheme. See: Kate Shellnutt, “Amazon Sold $240K of ‘Liturgy of the Ordinary’ Fakes, Publisher Says: A Christian bestseller (and CT Book of the Year) was targeted by a major counterfeiting scheme” (July 8, 2019).

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Category: Living the Faith, Spring 2019

About the Author: Michelle Vondey, Ph.D. (Regent University) and M.Div. (Church of God Theological Seminary), has more than twenty years’ experience working in non-profit organizations. Her interests are focused mainly on developing followers in their roles in organizations. She teaches courses in leadership, critical reasoning, and Christian discipleship. 2012 dissertation LinkedIn

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