Editor’s Note: ReadTheSpirit magazine earlier collaborated with Christian educator and writer Debbie Houghton on a five-part study guide to Diana Butler Bass’s landmark book Grounded. Here are .. Here’s a link back to Part 1, also to Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5. We also published an interview with Diana Butler Bass on why she calls this “the first book of the second half of my life.”
As Spring, 2017, approaches, a new less-expensive paperback edition of Grounded has been released. (Visit the paperback’s Amazon page here.)
We asked Debbie Houghton to return and tell us why this book remains very important for the spiritual challenges of this new year.
By DEBBIE HOUGHTON
Where is God?
How often are you asking yourself that question in the opening months of 2017?
Diana Butler Bass’s premise in Grounded is that that we find the Holy One in the natural world—dirt, water, sky—and the relational world —family, home, neighborhood and commons.
To say that we can find God in all of our encounters means that we need to treat those encounters as holy and sacred.
It means that children in Flint and all over the world deserve clean water to drink and use; it means our national parks need to remain as places of beauty and refuge; it means that we need to cherish and raise our families to respect and love this world; it means that our neighbor is not only next door, but in all whom we meet; it means that hospitality means opening the door and inviting in those who need a welcoming hand.
It is so important in this newly emerging era of fear and unkindness that we can live and love in the world and meet God there. My favorite image from Grounded is that of God’s dining room table, where, as Diana writes:
No one owns the table. No one gets to take it over. We receive this table; it is the gift of heaven to earth. Our job is pull up more chairs. And make sure all are fed.
She reminds us that God is here, now. We only need to recognize the Spirit in all. I hope that you will have a chance to read Grounded and start finding God in your world.
In Ann Arbor, we care so much about this message that we are hosting Diana Butler Bass for a series of talks on March 24-26, 2017. Here is our congregation’s webpage for the event, if you care to learn more.