A few years ago I attended a service called The Practice for the first time. A friend of mine recommended the service to me, so I decided to go and check it out. The first few times I went, it was because of who was speaking that night, someone like Shauna Niequist, Sarah Bessey, or Ruth Haley Barton. After a couple of times, I found myself wanting to attend because I was drawn to the service instead of just the speaker. Now, I look forward to attending every couple of months as a kind of a personal retreat after busy seasons of ministry.
The Practice is a service and a community that embraces the idea that “A Sunday service is not the main event but rather a training ground to help all of us become people who can live the way Jesus would if he were in our place.” Because of that we should engage in practices together that prepare us to walk in this world as followers of Jesus. Every service is centered around liturgy and practice and sends you with a charge to live out what you’ve just learned. It’s this idea of a practice based faith that Aaron Niequist writes about in his book The Eternal Current.
The book begins by walking you through Aaron’s journey and the Practice service. If you’ve had the chance to visit the practice this is a great look behind the curtain at what drives this service. If you’ve never been to the practice (which you should if you can), this a great picture of what a practice based service looks like.
The wider story of the book is focused on what Aaron calls swimming in the eternal current. We have all received an invitation to swim with Jesus in this river of faith. We are called to follow him by swimming and not just believing. For many of us this consists of keeping strictly to our way of doing and believing, but the truth is the river has been flowing for a long time and our tradition is merely a part of it. While there’s so much richness in this book, the best way for me to sum it all up is that Aaron’s vision is that we would embrace our traditions alongside the traditions of our other brothers and sisters in Christ and learn how to swim more deeply in the current. We need to move beyond the motions of Sunday worship and simply believing the truths of scripture. We need to join together and embrace Jesus’ way of living.
While Aaron’s words aren’t necessarily new or revolutionary, he joins a long history of other pastors and authors who are making the same call to swim in the Eternal Current. The great thing is that his book comes with the experience of living out what he writes, and you too, if you are in the Chicago area can go and experience the practice as well. I hope that you will pick up this book and take the challenge to swim in the Eternal Current.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”