Determined to Grow in 2019

With the coming of a new year comes the determination to set resolutions and establish new habits and patterns in life. There are many types of resolutions we all will consider, whether they are establishing new habits, breaking old habits, learning new skills, or retraining ourselves from poorly learned skills in our past.

In the midst of these resolutions, I would challenge you to consider how you can mature and develop in your walk with Christ throughout this coming year. There are many ways one can go about doing this, with increased time in prayer and the reading of Holy Scripture being foundational to such endeavors. However, there are many who have walked the same roads we have walked and have reflected upon their journies through the pitfalls of life whose introspections have been written down so that others can grow from the lessons they have learned. To that end, allow me to present to you a reading list for your consideration in the upcoming year.

These books span a variety of topics and Christian traditions, but have one thing in common: they help us to consider our walk with Christ in light of the life-changing Gospel of God's desire to reconcile us to himself and the world-changing reality of the resurrection as the ultimate conquest of death. Consider, therefore, how you may be able to intersperse this coming year with the wisdom and insights from these books:

Book Recommendations For 2019 

Foundations of the Faith, William C. Wantland
A summary of Anglican Spirituality and our view on Holy Scripture, the Creeds, the Sacraments, and the work of the Ministry

Becoming Human, John Behr
Considerations on the Word being made flesh and dwelling among us

Credo, Hans Urs Von Balthasar
Meditations on the Apostle’s Creed

Three Prayers, Olivier Clement
Meditations on three prayers: The Lord’s Prayer, O Heavenly King, and Prayer of St. Ephrem

Our Father, Alexander Schmemann
A brief consideration of the Lord’s Prayer

Gregory of Nyssa: Sermons on the Beatitudes, Michael Glerup
A collection of St. Gregory of Nyssa’s Beatitude sermons, translated and paraphrased for modern consumption.

The Lost World of Genesis 1, John Walton
A helpful consideration of the intersection between Science and Holy Scripture as it relates to the first chapter of the Bible.

The Illumined Heart, Frederica Mathewes-Green
A meditation on the ancient faith of the church and the saints and how we can live illumined lives in the midst of dark times

Being Christian, Rowan Williams
A thought-provoking and profound summary of the foundations of Baptism, the Bible, the Eucharist and Prayer in the Christian life.

The Doors of the Sea, David Bentley Hart
A consideration of the Christian response to experiences of suffering and tragedy.

Christ the Conqueror of Hell, Archbishop HilarianAlfeyev
A slightly more challenging read, but an impactful consideration of the ramifications of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection 

May you see this new year as an opportunity to grow in Christ, and may His blessing be upon you as you seek to grow closer to Him!

(as published in St. Luke’s weekly email newsletter, 12/27/18)