Any body there? we may wonder as we watch people engage with their smart phones while being oblivious to what is going on around them. Anybody there? is the question facing the church as it wrestles with declining religious affiliation. Craig Mueller considers this contemporary context, and offers a response based in an incarnational spirituality accentuating the body and finding expression in corporate, multisensory liturgy. Mueller creatively weaves together topics from our digital lives with personal and congregational stories and theological, liturgical, and spiritual reflections. Concepts such as virtuality, the analog, 24/7 connectivity, access, design, and GPS are juxtaposed with themes of embodiment, mortality, sabbath, mystery, beauty, and vocation. Drawing on his experience as a pastor to millennials, his studies in liturgical theology, and his work on the effects of technology on daily life, Mueller proposes that corporate worship is an antidote to the distraction, fragmentation, and spiritual hunger in society today. As humans continue to merge with machines, participation in the Sunday liturgy reminds us of what it means to be human: a deeper connection to our bodies and the earth and a clear sense of purpose and mission for our everyday lives. ""Pastor Mueller draws us anew into the mystery and materiality of Christian faith as it is embodied and enacted in Word and Sacrament worship.
Any Body There? was published by Wipf and Stock in July 2017. The ISBN for Any Body There? is 9781498245319.