I was reading a review of a book today on Facebook and I was reminded of the word “habitus,” a Latin word which means lived practices and from which we derive our English word “habit.”
Habitus caught my attention today because it is the first day of classes at UK and don’t worry, this won’t be a lecture on how to study or making good time management decisions, at least not academically. I am thinking about habitus on this first day of classes because it’s a great opportunity to think about and make a change in our habits of how we follow Jesus at the University of Kentucky.
When Jesus was walking around Galilee ca. 29 AD, to be a disciple of your teacher, or rabbi, meant to follow so closely behind them that you were said to be walking in their dust. You would imitate their every move and prayer and action. Their habitus became your habitus. The disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1) And we still pray what is called the Lord’s Prayer. We use Jesus as the pattern of our life in this world.
It’s a new academic year. Most public schools, universities, and colleges are back in session, and those that aren’t will be soon. It is a great chance to pick a new habitus, a new way of living, to follow Rabbi Jesus’ way of doing things and at St. A’s we have our Rule of Life. I talk about our Rule all the time because it the way we follow the Way. We seek love, worship, pray, serve, and care for ourselves the way Jesus showed us. We seek to become more like Jesus so that our world looks more like God’s dream for our world.
If you’re tired of your old and you’d like a new one, come join us. If you’re a long-time Christian and you’re interested in our Way of doing things, come join us. If you’re supremely skeptical and you’ve got questions about why someone would live this way, come join us. You’re invited to join us while we figure out what it means to walk in Jesus’ dust. You’re invited. Come and see.