It can sometimes be difficult to see the link between our Sunday worship and the Monday morning grind.
So how can our relationship with Jesus impact how we live and serve in our daily lives?
Tim Chester unpacks how we can relate the Holy to the everyday. He explores how seemingly inconsequential tasks can point us to Jesus. This detailed exploration considers how even washing the dishes can be done to the glory of God as part of a whole life lived in sacrifice to Him. Wonderfully, this doesn’t have to be a depressing or dismal thing, but can leave us marveling again at God’s goodness and grace.
Tim Chester's superb little book will be one of those books I'll spend the next year recommending. We love church, we love CU, we love prayer meetings, all the Christian stuff...but ordinary life can often feel...well...ordinary. This short book helped me link the glorious gospel to this tedious task, before showing me that it's no tedious task at all! In typically readable style, Chester shows theologically and in practice how something as normal as washing the dishes is in fact a gospel activity. I also love that I could read this in one sitting, and so would feel v comfortable sharing it with friends whether they are readers or not. If you are an ordinary person, doing ordinary things, and you love Jesus - this book will help you join the dots and live all of your life for the glory of God.
This book has made me feel excited about doing the washing up – which is quite something. Chester helps us to see that bringing order out of chaos and serving others are what we are designed to do, and so everyday life can become a sacrifice of praise to God. He shows us how the countless ordinary activities we do each day are amazing opportunities to live out and share the gospel. This is a great book to help you think theologically about doing ordinary everyday things. Easy to read and understand, with lots of Bible, I will definitely be recommending this book to just about anyone
My kitchen sink can be a holy place. It certainly doesn't look like it at the moment. But Tim Chester's excellent new book reminds me that it can be if '... [I] offer up [my] washing of the dishes to God as a sacrifice of praise, sharing his delight in creation and serving others in love.' In The Everyday Gospel, Chester helps me to see that everyday activities, like washing the dishes, can be made holy because of the saving activity of Jesus. This extended meditation on a mundane task points me to recall that God orders chaos and that God serves his people. So when I turn a basket of crumpled clothes into a neatly ironed and folded pile, I am being like God by ordering the disordered and serving my family by providing them with wearable shirts. Chester also points out that I can use these times of everyday activity to trace God's handiwork - to contemplate how He has worked to create the pans in my sink, how he made my food, traces of which I am washing away. I can use washing up time to talk to my children, or visitors in my home - for pastoral care. These times are not the bits in between time for God. All of time, however inconsequential it seems, can be holy. A short and accessible read, this book would be brilliant for anyone who ever has to do anything boring. So I make that everyone. Highly recommended.
I've read quite a few of Tim Chester's books and he consistently gives good biblical teaching with a particular emphasis on how Christians should live in missional community with one another, sharing life on an everyday basis, and reaching the lost collaboratively through ordinary day by day activities. I think this book has been written to rectify the idea that 'spiritual' activity like preaching, singing hymns or praying is separate or somehow divorced from 'normal' life where we do chores. The cynic in me sees a male writer choosing as his example chore the task of washing up - which I've heard a few male preachers refer to as well- and part of me wonders if this is the only chore that some of these men actually do! Hence why it crops up so much in illustrations. But that, as I say, is the cynic in me and probably has no real foundation! But I do think that women, who are perhaps exposed to doing more of the mundane household chores (especially if they are full time mums), see them differently to men. I'm making huge generalisations here, I know, but hear me out: don't we, as women, just tend to get on with it anyway and manage (with varying levels of success) to balance housework with our parenting, job, time with the Lord and in fellowship with other believers? I think the need for this book lies in the sad fact that we often value our day by productivity, and often housework doesn't 'count', because our efforts are so quickly undone or replaced by a fresh load of dirty dishes. We live in a culture that seeks to define success by attainment, and if you've done the washing up it's a pretty small victory. We definitely need to re-think the way we assess our lives: are we judging ourselves and others by the values of the gospel or just the (pretty shallow) values of the world around us? If full time mums are feeling judged by people around them as 'wasting' their time and talents in the home and feeling depressed as a result then there certainly is the need for this book to reaffirm the value of doing the small things well and being diligent in your circle of influence. I guess what I want to say to sum up is that this book is true and valid, but perhaps it needs more specific application to different people (or genders, dare I say it?) at different stages in life. Whilst it's true that all of us will have to do mundane tasks each day, for some of us this is more relevant than others! And I think this book could have had a real opportunity to speak into the situations of the full time mum, or the recently retired, as well as to the 'busy' professional. That said, I am probably just being way too critical and I don't want to come across as negative towards a great writer who has produced some fantastic resources, many of which my own church has been really influenced by and I've seen really positive effects from. Perhaps you should buy it yourself and see what you think?
Tim Chester again gets to the heart of the issue in this book on household chores. They can reflect God's character by bringing order to chaos and serving others, but they can so easily be twisted by legalism or perfectionism. A quick read too at only 47 pages.
This is a super little book, a brilliant giveaway at church. Thanks so much @10ofthose, now off to do the washing up.
Total Price: £1.99