Celtic Christian Doctrines That Guide Our Triune Faith
In 563 AD St. Columba arrived on the island of Iona located just off the Isle of Mull on the West Coast of Scotland. There he built his first Celtic church and established a monastic community. Once the Iona Abbey was erected, the Irish monk set about converting most of pagan Scotland and northern England to the Christian faith. Please keep this in mind, people have different interpretations of Celtic spirituality and ours is but one of many. Bridging Austin supports the Iona Community and that is why we follow the Columban expression, the essence of which may be found in the following prayer:
According to one article St. Columba and his associates and successors spread the gospel more than any other contemporary group of religious pioneers in Britain. It is in the spirit of this type of Celtic Christianity that Bridging Austin seeks to incorporate the following ideals into our beliefs and practices.
—The Trinity can be understood as one God engaged in an eternal dance between three persons. Because this dance is endless, it is often represented in the form of a circle. In this circle, God is dancing with the Son, who is dancing with the Spirit, who in turn dances with us
This dance reveals the nature and workings of God in every aspect of our lives. After the scripture reading in many of our worship services we give thanks:
It is from our understanding of a God “who dances” that people at Bridging Austin seek to dance our way from what was to what is to be.
—The Holy Spirit is depicted as a Wild Goose. This spirit brings with it an untamable wildness that transforms our lives and guides us as we seek justice and peace for all of creation. We frequently recite this affirmation of the Spirit’s work taken from the Iona Community prayer book.
One ancient Celtic spiritual practice involves hearing the Holy Spirit speaking through other people, in addition to receiving the Spirit’s message in dreams and the seemingly mundane occurrences in daily life.
—God is more than a concept or collection of divine attributes. The Holy One is a God of encounter who is both immanent and transcendent. The prophet Isaiah says it this way:
The God of Celtic Christianity is The Hope of all things within whose will all things happen.
—Jesus is the light of the world. Jesus’s light pervades every aspect of God’s creation and never dims. Celtic Christian theology alters how we live and worship. First and foremost, in Celtic Christianity, we seek the heartbeat of Jesus in all of life. To that end, we often recite this rendition of the Lord’s prayer:
“Source of all life, our Companion in Heaven, Hallowed be your name.
Your community come, your vision be realized on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today all that sustains us, free us from the harm we do
and heal us from the harm done to us.
Shield and guide us in the times of trouble and deliver us from evil. For the community, the vision and the joy are yours now and forever.”