Our independent study for continuing education was exactly what was needed for my heart and soul. For at least five years now, Jeff and I have focused on Celtic Christian spirituality. Celtic Christian spirituality is all about connection: the connection between God and creation, the connection between God and humanity, the connection between humanity and creation. Growing up on a farm taught me from an early age that God is revealed in the glory of creation. Celtic Christian spirituality plumbs the depths of those connections.
I didn’t plan that my study would be on connection, but that was the theme that ran through all the books that I read. Two of the authors (Brown and Rohr) explicitly pointed out that the biggest problem in the world today is our sense of disconnection. The rest of the authors implied that assessment in their words and their work.
You will be hearing more about these books in the upcoming weeks as we engage together the sermon series The Tie that Binds – a focus on connection and relationship! Meanwhile, if you are looking for thought-provoking books, here are the ones that fed my soul at the cabin:
Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown. With her characteristic wisdom and occasionally salty language, Brown invites us to courage and connection in the work of overcoming the political, religious and societal divides of our times.
The Body of God by Sallie McFague. McFague uses the metaphor of all of creation as God’s body. It is a way of picturing our connectedness, not only with all of humanity but with all of creation. If we are indeed connected, what are the ethical implications for Christians? McFague would say that we have a responsibility to care for creation and to suffer with all who are impacted by our deteriorating environment.
small great things by Jodi Picoult. This well-written book of fiction explores the issues of racism and white privilege in the story of a black neonatal nurse who is accused of killing a baby. It is a book that at times is hard to read, yet highlights our shared humanity.
The Divine Dance by Richard Rohr. Rohr uses the dance of the Trinity to explore the relationship and connection between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To be made in the image of God is to be connected and relational. This Trinitarian dance flows through all of creation and, when we are open and willing, flows through us as well.
The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. Wohlleben reveals the surprising connections and relationships within creation, especially between trees.
Thank you for the time you gave Jeff and me to immerse ourselves in thought and conversational partners. May this gift bear fruit as we explore together The Tie That Binds!
On the journey with you,