We are turning the page on another year! It is always an opportunity to begin again, letting go of what we need to put down and taking hold of what we need to carry forward. New Year’s resolutions are rooted in fresh beginnings. In these first weeks of 2019, we will be surrounded by conversations about resolutions.
As we turn the page on another year, we might reclaim some bedside reading, turning the pages of books. The practice of reading and study for enjoyment, growth, and reflection has always been a practice of the church. In a world, which calls us to move at lightening speed, reading can slow us down.
If you are interested in this practice, the choices are endless, but here are several titles which might be of interest. The novel, Hannah Coulter, by Wendell Berry tells the story of a small town drawing on the riches of community and faith.
The classic by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, is also of interest. Bonhoeffer is known for his courage and execution during World War II, returning to Germany and serving the Church at a perilous time. He is well-known for the book, The Cost of Discipleship, but Life Together discusses the collective spirit of the church.
The book, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation, by Parker Palmer is another good option. He tells stories from his own life about finding a deeper sense of purpose. It speaks of the spirituality of work and how our faith intersects our daily lives.
Another classic is by Howard Thurman, Disciplines of the Spirit. Thurman was an African-American poet and theologian, and he was one of the major influences on Martin Luther King, Jr. He writes with brevity and insight about several disciplines of our faith.
Finally, the book, Sabbath, by Dan B. Allender is an interesting reflection on the practice of Sabbath. It discusses the enjoyment of Sabbath, where we have time for the presence of God.
Of course, there are many other books we might choose. Turning the pages of a book as we turn the page on another year is always a welcomed invitation to prayerful reflection and hopeful renewal.