CTK Pastor Bradley Barnes recommended a book to his congregation for their summer reading. We thought the larger CTK and Grace community would benefit from it as well.
Happy Summer! As July gets underway, I am reminded of the blessing of seasons. I am particularly thankful for the change of pace summer brings. Longer daylight, and shorter weeks, upended schedules and flexible bed times. I am praying for you all, that you will find re-creation in your recreations, and a deep soul rest. I am reminded of Isaiah’s words regarding rest: “those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength”, and “in repentance and rest you will find your salvation, in quietness and trust, your strength.” How opposite that is from our ‘working out’ mentality! Our confession of need and failure as the gateway to salvation, and our inactivity as strength-building. God’s ways always seem to upend our ways, from his questions to Adam and Eve in their hiding, to the upside-down nature of the Gospel. He truly changes the way we perceive life. I am thankful for our seasons.
With this in mind, I want to recommend reading, You Are What You Love, by James K. Smith. It winsomely explains how our lives are filled with liturgies that compete to define reality. He argues that we become what we love, and that our liturgies shape our loves.
As you travel, vacate, and recreate this summer, I hope you’ll consider what liturgies we inhabit and how they shape our loves, our affections. I pray our hearts will be re-calibrated to worship the one true God, in community and through the communion we share in Jesus. And, I wait with anticipation as the Holy Spirit uses the liturgy of our corporate worship to refresh us and to prepare us for the tasks of living and loving to God’s glory.
Bradley Barnes is pastor of Christ the King, Newton.