I rather enjoyed this weeks read. Rowan William’s Being Christian was a tiny book dedicated to exploring four areas of being a Christian dealing with prayer and the Eucharist, the Bible and baptism. I enjoyed it overall but can I confess something to you? It was hard for me to finish. Not because of the writing, that was accessible and engaging. It wasn’t hard because of the content either. What was hard for me this week was life. Life made it challenging to read 90 pages. It’s a good thing I’m not in school right now!
This past week many great things happened. My son got funding for IBI. My other son began sitting for longer stretches on his own so we can play which is great fun. We celebrated a baptism. New programs were added in therapy. We had visits with family. There was halloween and candy and costumes. It was a full week, a filled week. I simply had no room for reading especially while functioning in the sleep deprived haze of a mother whose child refuses to sleep between the hours of 12 and 5 am unless being held by said mother. I needed a break, a moment to myself to read and there simply wasn’t enough time it seemed. Nevertheless I persevered and here we are, week 9 done and the book is indeed finished. Thankfully it was a short read!
As familiar as much of the material was to me there were things that definitely resonated with me. I rather enjoyed his ideas on prayer and praying through Jesus, not to him. I liked his thoughts on priest vs prophet and how we all need a little more of the other in our lives. I suspect that we all find ways to connect with God that resonate with our spirit. The suggestion here seems to be that we need to form a more full shape of connection, we need to look at these ideas of Prophet, Priest and King and find ways to connect with God in all ways and forms. If God is three in one, we need to connect with the who not just the part we are comfortable with. I realized while reading that I need to push myself beyond comfort in my relationship with God more often. It’s easy (especially in this busy season) to see God as a source of comfort and support but it goes beyond that. I have to be willing to grow and change, to move and be moved, to shape and be shaped. I cannot sit back and allow God passively in. That is not a relationship. A relationship requires work from all sides and I thing we all need reminders of that from time to time. It was a good reminder and a nice read even if it felt rather rushed at times.
In the end I find myself wondering if I’d rather have listened to his talks upon which this book was based then read them. I think it would’ve been interesting to hear him tell these ideas and stories directly but that doesn’t diminish from the impact or importance of his message and I did like the book. I think this would be a great beginning book for people wanting to dig a little deeper into the meaning of Christianity as they progress in faith. It’s the perfect starting point for an eager congregant or an interested explorer. It’s not meant to replace further study but perhaps nudge one into it. I will definitely keep this on the list for future use should I ever return to full time ministry.
When you think about it, being Christian really is rather hard work so I suppose it was a good week in which to read this book. Pick it up and give it a look if you’ve got an afternoon free and need a little something to read.
As we enter week 10 I look forward to sinking into a few thoughts on creativity and suffering as I get reacquainted with Rob Bell while reading his book Drops Like Stars.