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Daily Offices Intro
June 06 2013
June 06 2013


Have you ever played Dizzy Lizzy- the game where you spin around a bat, get very dizzy and then try to run in a straight line? Our postmodern American society is alot like taking a turn playing Dizzy Lizzy.  It disorients us, making our minds spin and tripping us up as we try to run the straight line after God.(1) That is, if you are anything like me, living in postmodern America, I find that - though I am incredibly productive and competent - I can make it through an entire day without thinking about God, his word or his call on my life.

As an antidote to this dizzying cultural influence, protestant evangelicals have often employed daily “Quiet Times”. Quiet Times are daily times spent in God's word and prayer designed to help fuel us to live for Him throughout the day. Quiet times are good and I in no way want to discourage Christians from having Quiet Times. However, I do want to encourage those of us at Hope to also employ some of the historic, ancient practices of the church. Specifically, I would like for Hope to become a community that practices the “Daily Offices”.

First,... as I am sure you just noticed, I used a technical term - offices. What do I mean by “office”? When we hear office, we think of a room where someone does all of their work. But this word is derived from a Latin word that originally meant “service” or “ceremony”. So, for example, monks throughout the centuries took Psalm 119:164(2) very serious and held 7 daily offices. To our modern ears, we might do better to understand that they had 7 worship services at various times throughout the day.

These services functioned as glorious interruptions. They paused to remember that they were not on their own, producing and managing all of their life's activities; but instead they forced themselves to realize that the Good One is an invisible hand sustaining and working with them throughout their day. They had to stop and remember that God was worthy of a break.

There are a number of questions yet to be answered as to how we might practice the offices as a community. But for now I will conclude. Perhaps it would be best to think about your day. How does your regular routine create dizzying effects where you forget or neglect God? Would you do well to pause and remember that God is with you? I am learning that I do.

[I also found this short page helpful. You might as well.]

(1) In Galatians 2:14 Paul rebukes Peter for not walking in a straight line with the gospel.(2) “Seven times a day I praise you...”


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