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Sabbath Sermon: Celtic Christian Theology – The Goodness of Creation

The Rev. Dr. George Cairns works closely with the foremost Celtic group in the world, the Iona Community in Scotland that is a dispersed Christian ecumenical community working for peace and social justice, rebuilding of community and the renewal of worship.

Cairns is a research professor of Practical Theology and Spirituality at Chicago Theological Seminary, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and lives in Chesterton, Indiana.

Dr. Cairns notes:

Celtic Christianity is a strand of the Christian tradition which developed during the middle of the first millennium. Its full flowering in Ireland and Scotland continued for several hundred years before it was incorporated into the dominant church as many of its traditions were lost or suppressed.

There are two major reasons for this recovery and reconstruction of Celtic Christian practical theology for the church today: Church Renewal & Engaging and transforming the genocide and ecocide taking place today.

We are concerned that our current individual and systemic western consciousness is disembodied and ill. We believe that this process started several thousand years ago in the late Paleolithic. We are not trying to turn back the clock to the Stone Age. But we do know that a change in consciousness must begin if our planet and we are to survive.

What we have lost is participative consciousness, which understands that our lives are profoundly related to the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of all of creation. Another way of putting this is that we are completely relational beings. Reconnection with all of creation as sacred and responsive

and alive is our great task in the early 21st century.

We have living guides to help us such as Celtic Spirituality, Native American Spirituality and post-modern science. I believe we need to integrate the profound gifts of these resources and open ourselves to deepen our relationships with all of creation.

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