In my quest to make more space for God in my life, I’ve read books on spiritual disciplines.
Lots of them.
Lots and lots, actually.
Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, Ruth Haley Barton, Thomas Merton, Jonathan Wilson Hartgrove, and Charles Ringma have all shaped my theology and practice.
So when my new friend Michael asked me to review and advanced copy of his new book, The Sacred Year, I was honoured to have been asked, eager to see what he would add to what is already a rich conversation.
Working as I do with emergent leaders in our city, most of whom are in their 20’s and early 30’s, I am always on the lookout for resources that can fuel their heart for the Person and the mission of Jesus. This is one such resource, and I plan to use it for our New Monastic Internships and as a key equipping tool for local churches.
Michael is a lyrical writer. With his wit and candour, he draws you into his journey to explore the deeper life. He is a thoughtful practitioner, not a mere theorist, and many of his practices (some of them a little zany, truth be told) took him and will take his readers out of their comfort zones and into new spiritual territory. He is honest. He is courageous. He is contagious.
This book is the spiritual journey of everyman. It is easy for us to elevate the “professional pray-ers” or the “vocational mystics”, our modern day Desert Fathers and Mothers, and disqualify ourselves from a deeper life of devotion and obedience to Christ. But Michael is just a regular guy, like the rest of us. If Michael can do it, I can do it. You can do it.
In our context here in Hamilton we are seeing lifestyles of prayer, mission and justice becoming more prevalent – normal Christian living, if you will. Michael lives that lifestyle and calls others to join him in a way that is compelling and infectious.