In looking at the Celtic Christians, we have looked at concepts and foundations, been to Thin Places and studied history. Seven themes have emerged which interlink and provide mutual support.

Prayer. Celtic Christians loved God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and sought to be in relationship with God, not just to know about God. Prayer was their foundation, and led to everything else. They prayed for strength and protection; they prayed blessings on themselves and others. As children, we innocently ask our parents when we need or want something. We remain children of God, and whilst He has the advantage of knowing us and our needs better than we know ourselves, still:

‘So I say to you: ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. ‘Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’ (Luke 11: 9-13)

This inspiration was drawn straight from …

Scripture. For Celtic Christians, the Bible was their encyclopaedia, history book, guide to healthy living and source of future planning. It was their route map to a closer relationship to God. They were especially drawn to the Psalms, taking them as personal prayers. They carved Scripture scenes on Tall Crosses. Those who could read would read to others, for they lived in …

Community. They lived by supporting each other, both in mission and basic hospitality. Even hermits would not be in total seclusion, for they would meet in fellowship and share, enjoying having …

Soul Friendship. They discussed their lives with their Anam Cara, not necessarily looking for advice and counsel, but holding themselves accountable. Together they would consider their thoughts and actions and, in transparency, would be in …

Contemplation. They spent time thinking, not just aimlessly drifting from one task or snatching at the next. A modern contemplation would be ‘WWJD’ or What Would Jesus Do, and they could consider this anywhere and at any time; for any activity could be an act of worship, being their …

Pilgrimage. They did not have to travel (although they travelled extensively) on pilgrimage. They did not have to find a Thin Place (although that helped give them focus and enabled them easily to meet with God). A prayer walk was pilgrimage; providing hospitality was pilgrimage. They did not have to go anywhere on pilgrimage (although many did) because Jesus is their, and our, Emmanuel: God with us. They just needed to set regular time consciously to be with God; to find their …

Rhythm. The Celtic Christians sought regularity and rhythm, progress and balance. Through the rhythm of the seasons they could witness God who creates; through the rhythm of rest they could benefit from God who blesses.

Seven themes. The Celtic Christians did not have the perfection of Jesus. But they sought it; they sought God and were with God.

[from Timothy Pitt]

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