Idolizing, emulating or ???

In his blog of December 27 HERE, Matthew Fox highlights one of the 12 Days of Christmas by sharing commentary of present day mystic Dorothee Soelle. She quotes Soren Kierkegaard plus presents very compelling commentary including:

Have you ever felt “safer” idolizing someone, seeing their greatness as beyond you?  Can you replace that notion with the Christ of mysticism and being “in Christ”?

As we continue Christmastide, may we feel and heed the urges of being “in Christ” with enthusiasm, love and joy….

POSSIBLE ACTIVITY: are there people in your weekly interactions who are showing evidence of being “in Christ?” If so, find time to ask them about a cause they are supporting. If not, maybe you will find time to expand your sphere, looking for such folks in your area?

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 3, 2021:


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Nativity images from all around…

Creches (nativity scenes) from all over the world are displayed on the internet – available as links HERE – thanks to the University of Dayton. Along with the visuals is some commentary on each. This one HERE from Togo, West Africa is a special reminder of the opportunity that all creatures can celebrate, and do it with presence, presents and music!

Additionally, Guideposts has an 8 slide presentation about nativity scenes (LINK HERE.) It’s worth the few minutes to experience this – some really beautiful artwork and wonderful historical/background explanations! On the first slide they mention:

“Tradition has it that Saint Francis of Assisi created the first crèche in 1223 when he mounted a living nativity scene…”

For those who display nativity scenes, the visual is a nice reminder of welcoming love into our world. May we do that again today and in the days that follow…

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!

P.S. the CP Christmas playlist on Youtube continues to get new material and is HERE should you want to listen to more…


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, December 27, 2020:


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Birthday Of A King…

A cherished family friend had the regular honor of singing Birthday Of A King during worship over the Christmas season. At that time it was a new song to me – I’ve still never heard it done in church. It’s a nice tune with a great message so certainly worthy of sharing HERE.

Merry Christmas!!! May the peace and joy of this season be with you this day and throughout the year ahead…

[The CP Christmas playlist is HERE should you want to listen to more Christmas music]


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, December 27, 2020:


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A very different Christmas Eve…

The Covid-19 pandemic is making this Christmas Eve very different for most of us. Yet, some traditions will continue.

As you can see HERE, reading the poem What I’d Really Like to Give You is a Star by Ann Weems is a family tradition in at least one household. It’s a quick read – maybe seeing these lines will entice you to read it all?

“But I can wish you life
            as radiant as the Star
            that announces the Christ Child’s coming,
            and as filled with awe as the shepherds who stood beneath its light.”

The poem shares beautiful messages. Perhaps reading it or doing other sacred activities will be new traditions for you and those you love?

Enjoy this day, filled with the Spirit (and the star, almost burning a hole in the pocket of your jeans it’s shining so brightly!)

P.S. Want to join friends (old and new) on Zoom for casual discussions about Christmas topics? On December 25th at 12:30 PM (EST) there will be a Light-Hearted Learning (& Sharing) opportunities to discuss Christmas Stories, Poems and more. Details HERE


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, December 27, 2020:


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Exciting Astronomical Event…

This article (HERE) shares exciting upcoming event commentary by Dean Regas, Astronomer at the Cincinnati Observatory. Dean shares that to the naked eye Jupiter and Saturn will nearly be joining together – – “Jupiter with a bump (Saturn) on it” is how Dean described in a recent talk. Fact is, they’ll still be about 450,000,000 miles apart!

This got me thinking about “the conjunction” we have with God. There are times that individuals appear to be almost one with God; Sister Teresa comes to mind. Yet, we know from a previous CP post that Sister Teresa had feelings that God was quite a ways away.

To stick with astronomy metaphors, as we continue through Advent, are we in tight daily orbit with God, do we feel the height of annual winter or ???  May our days be filled with efforts to “close the orbital gap” with our Creator!

POTENTIAL ACTION: Make time to venture outside tonight, even if the skies are cloudy and/or there’s a lot of ambient light. Look up to the skies with glory to God in the highest!!!

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!

P.S. Want to join friends (old and new) on Zoom for casual discussions about Christmas topics? At 12:30 PM (EST) there will be Light-Hearted Learning (& Sharing) opportunities to discuss Christmas Around the World (on 12/21) and Christmas Stories and More (on 12/25). Details HERE


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, December 27, 2020:


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History of some Christmas Carols…

Ron Clancy shares the history of 3 Christmas Carols (I Wonder as I Wander, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Silent Night) HERE. It’s fascinating to be introduced to new tunes and/or learn more details.

POTENTIAL ACTION: Think of a favorite Christmas song and spend a few minutes listening to a version of it and/or doing an internet search on its history

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit and music of the Christmas season!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, December 20, 2020:


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Mary Did You Know?

Mary Did You Know has become a Christmas favorite. The lyrics share life activities of Jesus on this earth, a message that fits all year long (a little history of the song is HERE.)

A number of artists have versions of this song in their catalog. The version HERE by Voctave, featuring the songwriter Mark Lowry, is the newest addition to the Christian Playbook Youtube Christmas Playlist HERE. Definitely worth a listen today! 🙂

POTENTIAL ACTION: Think of a favorite Christmas song and spend a few minutes listening to a version of it

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit and music of the Christmas season!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, December 20, 2020:


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On the Same Team …

After reading Advent devotional commentary by Richard Rohr on mending, what should come across the email but this Our Daily Bread (ODB) commentary. While so many on-the-field competitions lead to fragmentation, this article describes how football quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Nick Foles displayed a very different approach.

POTENTIAL ACTION: As the ODB article asks, “How can you encourage someone who serves alongside you?”

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit and encouraging words/actions!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, December 20, 2020:


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Mending …

In 2012 it would have been nearly impossible for Richard Rohr to know how accurate his Preparing for Christmas commentary for the Third Sunday in Advent would be in 2020. For that matter, we can make that same comment about the Lectionary Team and others. “With God all things are possible… “

These words likely resonate for most of us in the U.S., regardless of our political leanings:

“The more that we can put together, the more that we can ‘forgive’ and allow, the more we can include and enjoy, the more we tend to be living in the Spirit. The more we need to reject, oppose, deny, exclude and eliminate, the more open we are to negative and destructive voices and to our own worst instincts. As always, Jesus is our model of healing, outreach and reconciliation, the ultimate man of the Spirit.”

~ Preparing for Christmas, devotional by Richard Rohr, p. 47

Richard closes this by encouraging readers to reflect on opportunities to mend divisions, leading us toward today’s Possible Action: perhaps this week we can each find one relationship that might use a little mending and begin reconciliation outreach?

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!

PRAYER: Consider choosing a prayer prompt from Bob Hostetler’s blog list HERE? Maybe #2, given today’s mending message, even though it’s a repeat from earlier this season?


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, December 13, 2020:


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Breath of Heaven  …

The song Breath of Heaven is co-written by Chris Eaton and Amy Grant. It has a beautiful melody and wonderful lyrics including “Breath of Heaven be forever near me…”

As this songfacts webpage describes:

“This Christmas song tells the nativity story from Mary’s perspective. It portrays the mother of Jesus as a frightened young girl, attempting to deal with the circumstances of giving birth to the Holy Father’s Son. Despite her human doubts, Mary’s faith in the goodness and mercy of God remain and help her deal with the unique situation she finds herself in.”

Embedded in this songfacts webpage is a chance to hear Amy Grant performing this song (near the right margin as a YouTube offering.) You can also hear it on our Christian Playbook YouTube channel with various Christmas songs HERE

As we enjoy this Advent season, may we continue to hear songs old and new with the wonder and joy of the Christian faith!

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!

PRAYER: Choose a prayer prompt from Bob Hostetler’s blog list HERE? Maybe #13 – give thanks for your favorite Christmas movie (one of these?)


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, December 13, 2020:


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