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Pastor Raul: The Liturgy Of Life

on November 5, 2017 - 5:45am
By Pastor Raul Granillo
La Vista Church of the Nazarene
White Rock
 
Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. Exodus 12:17
 
One of my tasks, as a parent, is to help my kids develop good habits. My wife and I realized, early on, that children will typically develop poor habits if good habits are not encouraged. We teach them to say “please” and “thank-you,” and we try to teach them to be respectful of the world and its inhabitants, as well as respectful of themselves. These things, as any parent knows, require intentional practices.
 
There is an old Latin adage, “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi”. In essence, what it means is, “As you worship, so you believe, and so you will live.” You are probably asking what worship has to do with celebrations and raising kids? Good question. Please bear with me.
 
The phrase is obviously meant to be applied to religious practices, but it is a truth that applies to many parts of our lives. Take for example the “worship” of a sports team. I love the Cubs. I love them because I was raised to love the Cubs. The Cubs were the team we rooted for in my family. The continuous practice of rooting for the Cubs led me to actually believe that they were somehow better than the other teams. Curious, since the first 39 years of my life proved otherwise! However, my practice (orandi), contributed to by belief (credendi), which affected my living (vivendi). I finally took my family to Wrigley Field and, like most fans, dumped too much money in supporting my team. Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi.
 
Consider the iPhone. Much like my Cubs, they are not really known for performance (Ouch!). All the same, those who have joined the iPhone club believe that they are the best option and are willing to spend crazy amounts of money to get the latest and greatest version. To be fair, the same is true of Android lovers, or any other brand that we are loyal to. This is so true that our commerce system depends upon Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi even if they aren’t aware of that particular phrase.
 
Think about it. Businesses’ try to get you to participate in the regular practice of something until you believe it to be true, so that you will live your life as such, and spend your money appropriately. This basic truth even affects how we relate to certain people or groups, political views, music preferences, parenting styles, and just about everything. This is the cultural liturgy by which we live everyday of our lives.
 
In our Christian faith, we can often practice bad habits that lead us to believe unbiblically. As such, we live out those false beliefs. God commands the people to observe certain ceremonies, special days, even specific liturgical practices. What we may not realize is that He doesn’t command observances just to spice up worship; they have a specific purpose. They remind us of who God is and what God has done. They allow us the opportunity to respond in gratefulness and by living holy lives that share His love and grace with the world. Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi.
 
Take, for example, the very act of gathering for worship. When a Christian misses a service or two, typically, nothing bad happens. Their worship (orandi) is semi-regular.
 
This may lead them to believe that missing church is not really a big deal (credendi). As they practice this style of worship with others, they convince themselves that they don’t need to attend church to worship God. This belief further affects how they live. The belief allows different parts of life to, more and more easily, get in the way of corporate worship (vivendi).  
 
On the flip side, when a person makes it a point to attend regular worship (orandi), they may begin to see why it is important to do so as they develop in their faith and in their bonds with the church family (credendi). This realization changes how they treat the corporate worship of God (vivendi).
 
When we do attend church services, everything that happens should be for the sake of replacing the cultural liturgy with holiness liturgy. The songs that are sung should speak theological truths, not be emotionally manipulative. The one reminds us of the truths of God; the other acts as a narcotic for the pains of life.
 
The very prayers that are prayed should seek to help us hear God, not make us sound pious in front of the body. The one confesses our imperfections with confidence in His love and grace. The other is a platform for personal benediction.
 
The very messages preached during the service should be biblical and encourage transformation into Christlikeness not seek to affirm our lifestyle. The one glorifies God and benefits the world. The other glorifies the individual and benefits the church’s income. Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi.
 
A biblical and intentional liturgy in worship serves to benefit the entire church by leading us, over and over again, through the gospel message. It reminds us that everyone of us was lost, that we had no hope, and that, out of His love and grace, God pursued us and offered life eternal. The way we practice worship should lead us to conclude that God desires that none be lost and that we, the body of Christ, would love this world as He does so that we too would take up our cross for the sake of others. This is the vivendi that will manifest from a proper orandi.
 
Worship like it matters, because it does!
 
If you have a Biblical question, comment, or concern, please feel free to email me at raul@lavistanaz.org.
 
To find out more about La Vista Church, or to hear this and other messages, visit our website at www.lavistanaz.org. Follow Pastor Raul on Twitter @RaulGranillo007.
 
Please come join us as we fix our eyes on Jesus. Our NEW HOURS are Sundays at 9 a.m. for Sunday school and 10:30 a.m. for worship. Everyone is welcome!

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