Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth
Walter Brueggemann, Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: Prayers of Water Brueggemann, (Minneapolis: Fortress Press), 2003.
Throughout his active teaching career, Walter Brueggemann has been known for his inspirational instruction and comprehensive knowledge of the Old Testament and Old Testament theology, but he was also known by his students as a man of faith. Each class session began with a prayer - and not just some seat-of-the-pants, off-the-cuff prayer, but a carefully crafted connection between the events of the day, the lessons of the text, and the lives of the students. I'm sure that there were days and occasions when Brueggemann drew on his own experience and prayed from his heart rather than from a manuscript. I am sure that there were prayers that seemed a bit repetitious to those who listened carefully, but his published collections of prayers are deep treasures.
I purchased this volume, which I had not previously owned, as a companion to a book study group who were looking through "Sabbath as Resistance." I felt that our devotions should reflect some of the intentional devotional life of our author. I am not disappointed. Edwin Search has done a wonderful job of collecting and editing this volume so that the prayers are easily accessible. The scriptural index makes it easy to access the prayers and some are arranged by the season of the year as well.
Anyone who prays in public should find this book inspirational and useful. I know I'll be returning to it again and again in the years to come.