Summer Reading Recommendations (Part 2)

Jonathan Ingraham  •  June 22, 2021

Summer Reading Recommendations (Part 2)

Over the summer the team at Chattanooga Faith + Work + Culture would love to provide some helpful resources to your summer reading list. These books are essential reading on how to let the Gospel of Jesus inform how you live right now in your everyday life. Have a wonderful summer and happy reading!

(1) Every Moment Holy; Douglas McKelvey

Prayer books are mainly used in personal devotions or in gathered church services. Douglas McKelvey invites the reader to reimagine what constitutes a prayer life. Every Moment Holy is a beautiful collection of prayers that meet the reader where they spend most of their life… the mundane moments. With topics ranging from domestic life (laundering, changing diapers), to hobbies and leisure (stargazing, consuming media), to celebrations and lament (setting up a Christmas tree, homesickness), this collection forms you to meditate on the Lord throughout all of life. 

There is a delightful section of prayers for specific vocations that points to the holiness of our daily work. Every Moment Holy is designed to not just be used individually but also in a community since many of the prayers are written as a call and response. We serve a God who cares about his created world and his people. This book of meditations will challenge you to have eyes to see the small and daily ways the Lord is with us and is working through us to point to His kingdom. 

(2) He Saw That it Was Good: Reimagining Your Creative Life to Repair a Broken World; Sho Baraka

Sho Baraka is a recording artist, author, and speaker based in Atlanta. In his new book, He Saw That it Was Good, he argues that the stories we believe about the world and ourselves shape our work and what we create. He contends that the gospel narrative is not only a personal story about individual salvation but also a cosmic reality regarding all of creation. The fact that God created all things and “saw that it was good” has huge implications for who we are as humans and the roles we are called to on the earth. 

Through personal stories and insightful historical commentary, Baraka shows the need for Christians to be people who do excellent work in the sectors they are called and be agents of truth to a world that is starving for a better story. He says, “Work can be for purpose – redemptive purpose. Good work helps repair the damage done when humans decided to swerve God as the preeminent architect of all creation. It reinforces a true story.”

(3) Work and Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy; Matthew Kaemingk & Cory Wilson

A theology of faith and work has normally revolved around what it means for Christians to bring their faith with them into their daily places of work. In Kaemingk and Wilson’s book, Work and Worship, they flip that conversation on its head. The focus of this important offering is on what it looks like to bring your work with you into our Sunday worship communities.  

Work and Worship is neatly divided into three distinct sections. The first chapters look at the ways pastors and congregants have malformed views of modern work. The middle chapters look intently at the people of God in the Old Testament and also the early church and examines how their labor and toils showed up in their prayers and worship. The last chapters give examples of how corporate worship in our modern context “can ordain and commission worshipers towards their work in the world.” This book should be mandatory reading for church leaders and is also beneficial for all Christians to better understand the priestly role of the daily work they have been called to.