[W]orship does not create an “alternative world” to which we can retreat when ordinary life becomes intolerable. . . . When liturgy becomes a self-absorbed attempt at “religious behavior” or when it calls attention to itself as something “unworldly,” it ceases to be worship and becomes an exercise in self-consciousness. Christian worship is inherently worldly. Its primary symbols are drawn from the messiest activities of human life: giving birth and dying, washing and smearing bodies with oil, eating and drinking, unburdening one’s heart in the presence of another. All this is the septic stuff of the world’s drama—and the stuff of Christian liturgy as well. — Nathan Mitchell