Living A Simple Life- Part 16 (Worship In Rituals)

Welcome to Part 16 of my series on Living a Simple Life!  To read other installments in this series, click on the “Simple Living Series” tab at the top of the page.

Thank you to everyone who left comments about the beautiful rituals in your lives!  I loved reading them.  For those of you who were wanting to start new rituals, I would love to hear how things are going.  
By integrating rituals into my life, I can worship God in everything I am doing; whether it be cooking a meal, doing laundry, changing a diaper, or writing a letter.  I can glorify God in my “everyday,” by adding beauty and joy to my tasks.  
My rituals are not “rites” or “rules” that I must abide by.  In Joanna Weaver’s book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, she discusses the Pharisees mentioned in Matthew 23:

“Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” (Matthew 23:1-5)

This chapter is shockingly honest about the true nature of the religious burdens the Pharisees placed upon the people.  The Pharisees developed a list of “rules” that were required of worshippers, thus placing a “heavy burden” upon people.

In living a simple life, I attempt to fill my life in worship; to keep my focus upon Christ, instead of the temporary things of this world.  It can be easy to have one’s viewpoint distracted from our true purpose (to glorify God), and begin focusing more on the “tyranny of the urgent” or the “must do/must haves” we place upon ourselves.
In developing rituals in one’s life, it is important that the rituals are avenues of worshipping God, and serving Him in freedom.  We are called to wholly place our lives in God’s hands, not to orchestrate our own lives.  Above all, make sure that your rituals point you (and those you are serving) to Christ, not pointing to yourself, as the Pharisees did.  
No amount of beauty on the outside can cure a sinful heart.  A ritual of beauty should be an outpouring of love and gratitude for what Christ has done in our hearts- rescuing us from the pit of hell through His death and resurrection, and covering us with His grace.  

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  (Ephesians 2:1-10)

Any goodness or beauty I add to my life is an outpouring of my love for God, and taking joy in the life He has given me.  It does not earn me any form of salvation or “reward.”  (I can never be “good enough,” thus I am a recipient of true grace.) 

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” (Matthew 23:27-28)

Dear friend, do not place unnecessary burdens upon yourself.  Embrace the grace God has offered you today.  Allow His beauty to fill your life like a sweet perfume. Simply place your hand in His; your life in His hands, and allow Him to lead you.  Enjoy the beauty and joy of His presence, whether it is in the storms of life, or in moments of bliss.  Be simply His.  

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)

If you have chosen to place your hand in His (whether it is for the first time, or in a refreshing of your relationship with Christ), leave a comment and let me know!  

To be continued… Join me next week for Part 17!  

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1 comment to Living A Simple Life- Part 16 (Worship In Rituals)

  • Jenny

    Today I “renewed” my relationship to the Lord. I became a Christian 16 years ago at age 15, and over the years we had a on-off relationship. So, today, I wanted to make a fresh start and post it here on my favourite blog to keep me accountable.
    Thanks Michelle, for all your articles and brilliant ideas. I have three children about the same age like you and I have been following your blog since summer 2009. It has been a tremendous help on my journey to simplicity.
    Kind regards, Jenny


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