The Everydayness of Worship

The Everydayness of Worship

by Dr. Curt Brannan

Each morning I breakfast looking east.  This is not a religious act, but simply the result of sitting at a table facing a window that opens to the rising sun. Because I tend to get up early, morning after morning I watch as the sun begins to peek over the horizon and take up its daily march across the sky.  Often it dazzles me with an unbelievable palette of constantly changing, sometimes delicate, sometimes overpowering, color and beauty.  And, sometimes it is very colorless and common.

Either way, in our “BIG event” oriented world, moments like this are easily lost or ignored.  I’m not suggesting life’s great events are not important.  They are.  But, the “normal” is just as significant in the eyes of God – maybe even more important.  The sunrise simply “happens”! But, if it were ever to fail, that in itself would be the most significant event most of us could imagine. Sunrise is normal, expected, routine, and very “everyday.” Because of this, it and many other of those routine, normal, everyday moments (like a child’s hug or laughter, an ordinary family dinner, a friend’s voice, the touch of a loved one, another drive to work, or day of classes in school) may be lost to us as worship experiences.  They may be ignored or treated as just interludes on the way to some more significant moment of life.  But, if they are lost something precious is missed.

At the heart of this idea is a key to understanding something of the uniqueness that is Grace Classical Academy. We speak much of our commitment to a God centered view of reality.  But this commitment is not simply to an abstract check list of academically held views that inform human understanding. Note that I’m not suggesting here that the academic element associated with teaching within the boundaries of the Christian view of the world isn’t important to who we are. It certainly is!  This consciously defined stance is the essential key to such great questions as the unity of truth and how we can “know” anything. At GCA, the fact that truth is focused, unified and understood through this lens represents a major element of the strength of our school.  But in my view, this is not something like a “value added” academic element that makes our educational offering a “better buy” for Christian families. It is much more than that!  I would like to suggest another word for “worldview” is simply “worship.”

Christian worldview, though it moves us to see all reality from God’s viewpoint, is not simply a perspective leading to acceptable or “Christian” ideas regarding evolution, stem-cell research or any other challenge of our day.  It must be something that permeates the everydayness of our lives.  It should move us to, as one author writes, “acknowledgement of the sacred character of the normal.” That is, all life – the great controversies, the important events, going to church, playing soccer, sunrises, bird songs, and watching butterflies – all life, little and great, is to be lived as an act of worship.

What is GCA about?  At its center Grace Classical Academy is about helping students appreciate and prepare for, not only the great possibilities of their future, but all of life as significant. The great events, so often the focus of our excitement and anticipation, may get all our attention.  As a result the routine may be robbed of its significance as a moment to be lived out before God in joyful thanks and praise.

Everyday routine acts, things like study, work, chores, washing dishes, or “hanging out”, are not simply insignificant interludes to be lived through so one may move on to greater things. These are moments of wonder, opportunity and worshipful interface with God’s grace.  The great events are exciting, but they will never have their full significance when the routine, everyday and normal are not lived with eyes open to His presence and purposes.

My prayer for our students is that they will see each moment and every experience, every opportunity and problem, trial and task – however big or small, important or inconsequential as they may appear at the time – in the light of God’s truth and reality. This is the goal; not just “thinking” according to some checklist of “Christian ideals,” but to live consistently in the presence of His reality.  The goal is to recognize even the commonplace as saturated with opportunity and significance, an arena of worship, to be lived with thanks and praise before the face of God.

But, there is more.  This is not just an educational approach. Living “Christianly” is God’s call to each of us – student, teacher, parent, employer, employee – whoever we may be and whatever the circumstance of our lives.  Every act of daily living, whether in business or family relationships, with regard to what we say or do, whether monumental or inconsequential, private or public, every act and thought is a point in time where we are called, not just to acquiesce to the idea of God, but to worship Him as God.  To all of us He says: And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  (Col 3:17 ESV)