Christ of the Celts – Spirituality for Today

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FOR LONGING by John O’Donohue

Blessed be the longing that brought you here
And quickens your soul with wonder.

May you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire
That disturbs you when you have settled for something safe.

May you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease
To discover the new direction your longing wants you to take.

May the forms of your belonging — in love, creativity and friendship —
Be equal to the grandeur and the call of your soul.

Celtic spirituality originated in Britain, most notably from the teachings of Pelagius in the 4thcentury. Most people who have heard of Celtic spirituality know best of their belief that God is found in all of life. Within all of creation is found something of the presence of the Uncreated – whether the most beautiful flower or the smallest stone, something of God is there.

The universe did not form out of nothing, it formed out of God.  And if we are attentive, then creation becomes a transparency through which the light of God can be seen. 

Yet at its heart, Celtic wisdom has an even deeper truth to impart. It teaches that the goodness of God is found within each of us from the moment of our birth.

While the Western church formed around the doctrine of “original sin” – that the Genesis story tells us all persons are born depraved with no good in them and it is only through baptism within the church that the image of God is placed within us – the Celtic church taught that we are each born essentially good.

Celtic spirituality teaches that the image of God is in us always, and that Christ came to return us to the goodness of our created nature.  The spiritual and the material are not separate but intertwined through our very existence and throughout all of life.

Celtic wisdom teaches us that we do not need to strive to “find” God.  We already have God in us, each of us, in the most fundamental, essential way.  The more loving, just, grace-filled our actions are, the more they demonstrate who we are, our authentic selves.

The desire, and the challenge, is to live in such a way that I see you through this lens, first, for the Celts believe that the divine image within is more profound than any outward distinction and division between human persons.  …  Isn’t this what we strive for at First Christian Church – to welcome all as the image of God?

From April 22 through May 20 our Sunday worship will guide us into deeper reflection on what the Christ of this ancient tradition speaks to us today. Join us Sundays at 10:30 am or check out the sermon on our website each week.


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