You Are What You Love

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Pat is the Associate Pastor for Congregational Care at First Presbyterian Church of Sioux Falls. She can be reached at pathammond@fpcsiouxfalls.org.
— First Presbyterian Church

But what is so interesting about this book is that the author, James K. A. Smith, points out that there are other liturgies out in the world, other habits that we catch from our surrounding culture—heart shaping habits, liturgies, that are forming us without us even knowing it and telling us a rival story. These cultural liturgies are habits that over time can bend the needle of our heart’s compass away from the gospel and Jesus Christ. These cultural liturgies tell us that we don’t really need God—we’ve got this. And when this happens God is pushed to the margins of our life and we become the center of our world. It really does become all about me.

Take my smart phone for example. What I have inadvertently learned from using my smart phone is that the world should be available to me on my terms when I want it and how I want it. I should never be bored, I should never have to talk to someone I don’t want to talk to, everything should be available to me on my terms because I am what matters, and the world should come to me.

Clearly, there are times when we just need to stop and ask ourselves, “what are the habits I am giving myself over to?” “And to what kingdom are these habits aimed?” “What kind of person do these habits want me to become?”

This is why worship is so important. In worship we find liturgies, habits and rhythms, that recalibrate our heart’s compass back to true north – Jesus Christ. Because it is through the liturgies of worship that Christ trains our hearts and it is in this space that we are reminded and reoriented toward the one whose image we bear—this is why worship is so important.

 


 
 

By Pat Hammond

You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit is the title of the most recent book I read for my Doctor of Ministry studies. This book is about discipleship and the importance of worship on forming who we are as human beings. In worship we follow liturgies – love shaping, heart directing habits that shape us.

Liturgies are the things we do during worship that over time become second nature to us – like reciting the Lord’s Prayer, affirming what we believe by saying together the Apostle’s Creed, receiving the assurance of pardon which always follows our prayer of confession—things like this. The words we say and the format we follow during worship help guide and aim us in the direction of God and these habits form and shape and train our hearts in certain ways.

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