Over the last few weeks, our Fellowship group has been looking at themes of Celtic Spirituality. We’ve been using Michael Mitton’s book Restoring the Woven Cord – studying one chapter each week – and it’s certainly given us a lot to think about.
Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of Celtic Christianity and on a particular key figure, but there’s a fair amount of overlap and the strands are often interwoven. At times, to be honest, we felt that the narrative jumped about a bit – and that could be quite frustrating! But it’s stimulated some really interesting discussions and challenged us in many ways.
Various things have struck us – the humility of the key figures; the sense of community; the passion for the gospel; the care for God’s creation. We discovered a simplicity and an authenticity that’s sometimes lacking in today’s church. These were people who lived the gospel in an unassuming way and who had what Mitten describes at one point as ‘an infectious holiness’.
The ‘Application’ section at the end of each chapter has sometimes been particularly challenging. We’ve been challenged to look at our own, personal lives and also at the life of our church. In each of these we’ve found a lot we can feel positive about, but we’ve also begun to appreciate that there’s plenty of room for improvement.
In the last chapter of the book, Mitton says:
“The more I read about the Celtic church, the more I am moved and humbled by it, and the more I am convinced that it is speaking to us today.”
It is certainly speaking to those of us who have been exploring it together.