Embracing the Light: Reflections on God's Word

Author: Mary Nelson Keithahn

Published by Lilja Press in 2016

Price: $14.99 paperback

Mary Nelson Keithahn has drawn on a lifetime of experiences as a pastor-educator, pastor’s wife, mother and grandmother in writing this collection of meditations and prayers. Her commonsense and thoughtful reflections on age-old questions of faith approach familiar scripture with a new twist, making each short essay a delight and surprise. 

Keithahn offers faith with intelligence, and her use of hymns is refreshing. Her ability to weave sacred stories from scripture with stories from her own life make this book rich indeed. 

A detailed table of contents makes it easy for readers to locate meditations for specific scripture readings and days and seasons in the church year, as well as for special life events. Imagery and nuggets of wisdom in this book will attract the readers’ attention, engage their imaginations and stick in their minds long after they have read the last page.

Reviews

This is a little book of wisdom offered in an unassuming and humble spirit. Mary’s rich and varied spiritual journey includes several strands of experience that come together beautifully in this well-structured and readable volume. She is a pastor nurtured in the Congregational tradition, but ecumenical in spirit. She is living a long and varied life full of international travel, yet rooted in the values and straight talk of the Midwestern heartland. In sharing her personal story, she draws upon national and international events over the last 70 years that have shaped our time. Finally, Mary is a poet – more specifically, a hymn writer – with the ability to say in a few well-chosen words what would take most of us many pages to articulate. Through Mary's story, we gain insight into our own faith journey.

— C. Michael Hawn, D.M.A., Professor of Church Music, and Director of the Sacred Music Program, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

Mary’s ability to weave sacred stories from scripture with stories from her life makes this book rich indeed.

— Sr. Carol Rennie, OSB, Spiritual Director, Benedictine Center of St. Paul’s Monastery

These commonsense and thoughtful reflections on age-old questions of faith approach familiar scripture with a new twist, making each short essay a delight and surprise. Mary offers faith with intelligence. She isn’t afraid to engage our minds as well as our emotions, and doesn’t ask the reader to lay aside complex and critical thinking.

This is a book that will find a prominent place on my desk where I will be able to reach it often, not just to read, but also to loan to others.

— Rev. Ted Huffman, Pastor and Teacher, First Congregational United Church of Christ, Rapid City, South Dakota

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