The New Liturgist on What the World Will Say About Christians

The House, being a small–but mighty!–collective, requires that for our day-to-day operations we have all hands on deck. For this reason, we don’t often apply ourselves to the Christian conference circuit. Yet, it never fails that every year we are able to sneak away for a few choice gatherings. While looking at Christianity 21‘s tidy line up (Phyllis Tickle, Nadia Bolz-Weber, and Josh Dubois, to name a few), we remembered with fondness one year in which Lauren Winner led a session on the 21 things she would like the world to say about Christians by the end of the 21st century (or so). Of course, Winner was being somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but it’s worth considering: Are these tendencies far from us to cultivate? Thanks to Hollie Baker-Lutz at Christianity Today for jotting them them down for our reference.

By the end of the 21st century, Christians will…

1. Be peacmakers.

2. Be expected to be the first ones to show up when disaster strikes.

3. Rest, because they know they’re not the ones in charge.

4. While resting, reconfigure their work.

5. Live well in their bodies, whether by their diet, their sex lives, or the clothes they wear.

6. Practice boredom. They will not succumb to the “fetish of the new or the cult of novelty” when it comes to their faith.

7. Be truth-tellers, even if the answer is “I don’t know.” Even “authenticity” and confession can be a pose.

8. Practice silence in small and big ways, including in solitude.

9. Live in communities where everyone has access to power, and everyone can and will share it with others.

10. Live in communities where women can do anything.

11. Go to church with the people they live near.

12. Persist in making Kingdom demands. This means taking the same request to God, over and over!

13. When we think about God, we think about what needs to change next. This is largely informed by Tozer: what we think about when we think about God is the most important thing about ourselves.

14. Eat fewer strawberries. We will tread lightly on the planet and not risk the energy and harm to our planet just so we can have strawberries in January.

15. See ourselves as small characters in a larger story. As Winner’s colleagues at Duke suggest, a “saint” can fail in a way that a “hero” cannot, which opens the doors to ideas like forgiveness and new possibilities of God.

16. Lament. (“We don’t do this well. Jews do it a bit better.”)

17. Throw good parties. After all, we’re here to practice for the heavenly banquet!

18. Not gossip. This means talking about someone who is not present. Period.

19. Have unity without obliterating diversity, and that’s because of the Trinity.

20. Understand something about grace (despite our 19 wonderful attributes above).

21. Describe reality and the spiritual sacraments in such a way as to “make mouths water and hearts hunger.”


What would you add? Challenge?

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