Christian Liturgy confounds our cultural idols and fosters humble, formational worship.

Note: This is a series of posts highlighting Mission Hope Beckley’s core values.

Trends come and go (including TED Talk style sermons paired with cool concert music), but these innovations often fail to confront our cultural idols or shape us spiritually into citizens of heaven. Christian Liturgy is aimed at including us in worship (liturgy means “the work of the people”), welcoming us into the presence of God, and turns our attentions and affections toward God. Form matters. It forms us. Our heritage is rich and humbly receiving it, without being a prisoner to endless personalties or fads, is a relief and joy. 

Christian Liturgy confounds our cultural idols and fosters humble, formational worship. 

“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.” Gustav Mahler

“It’s very important to have your preferences accommodated in the worship service…if you’re the one being worshiped.” Bill Haynes

“The modern habit of doing ceremonial things unceremoniously is no proof of humility; rather it proves the offender’s inability to forget himself in the rite, and his readiness to spoil for every one else the proper pleasure of ritual.” – C. S. Lewis

“It looks as if [pastors] believed people can be lured to go to church by incessant brightenings, lightenings, lengthenings, abridgements, simplifications, and complications of the service…Novelty, simply as such, can have only an entertainment value. And they don’t go to church to be entertained. They go to use the service, or, if you prefer, to enact it. Every service is a structure of acts and words through which we receive a sacrament, or repent, or supplicate, or adore. And it enables us to do these things best—if you like, it ‘works’ best—when, through long familiarity, we don’t have to think about it. As long as you notice, and have to count, the steps, you are not yet dancing but only learning to dance. A good shoe is a shoe you don’t notice. Good reading becomes possible when you need not consciously think about eyes, or light, or print, or spelling. The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God.”  C. S. Lewis

“It is of the new things that men tire—of fashions and proposals and improvements and change. But it is the old things that startle and intoxicate; it is the old things that are really young.” G. K. Chesterton

“The Academy and the Church used to influence mass media, now mass media influences the Church, with disastrous consequences. It is one thing for the Court Jester to be at court, it is another thing when he rules the kingdom.” Ken Myers