We love because he first loved us

“[Love] is the ultimate virtue. We are to intentionally “clothe ourselves” with love. So the love that attracts us to God is something that grows through practice and repetition, and if we want to pursue God in our vocations, we need to immerse ourselves in rituals and rhythms and practices where the love of God seeps into our very character and is woven into not just how we think but who we are.

This is one of the reasons why worship is not some escape from “the work week.” To the contrary, our worship rituals train our hearts and aim our desires toward God and his kingdom so that, when we are sent from worship to take up our work, we do so with a habituated orientation toward the Lover of our souls.

This is also why we need to think about habit-shaping practices–“vocational liturgies,” we might call them–that can sustain this love throughout the week. […]

I’m reminded of an investment banker in Manhattan who spearheaded the practice of listening to the public reading of Scripture with his colleagues on Wall Street. Or of teachers who have committed to the practice of morning prayer as a way to frame their daily work. There are all kinds of ways to contextualize vocational liturgies that train us to love the God who pulls us and calls us.

Like the father of the prodigal son, God is already out ahead of us. He runs to the end of the lane to meet us where we are. He gives us the gifts of good rituals so we can practice loving him with heart, soul, mind, and strength. Thankfully, we pursue God with God. We love because he first loved us.”

-James K.A. Smith, You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit (Brazos Press, 2016), 187-188.

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