Today is Epiphany, Twelfth Night, which celebrates my favorite aspect of the Christmas story: wisdom and power bow down before mystery and vulnerability and offer gifts of wealth, worship, and sacrifice. Our tree remains since it's still drinking water and its needles are still soft and its fragrance fresh but eventually I will have to take it down. It's not surprising that I'm still reading Christmas notes, newsletters, gift books, post-holiday sale catalogs, and catching up on periodicals.
I have been reminded of why I bother subscribing to and reading The Economist as I have greatly enjoyed the holiday double issue, dated December 19th 2009-January 1st 2010. Of particular note were articles on violin-making, the virtues of pessimism, too many chains (religious freedom), the Harry Potter economy, hedonism & claret, dark matter rumors, language, joys of dirt, network effects (techonology and newpapers), an interesting book review (Wade, Nicholoas: The Faith Instinct: How Religion Evolved and Why It Endures. Penguin Press.), and comments on an exhibition on human identity and on the vampire lit phenom.
I also read all the fine print at http://www.medicare.gov/ as I gathered information and helped people enroll in Medicare Part D Prescripiton Drug Plans.
My daily Bible reading this year will be from http://www.pcusa.org/lectionary/
Mabie, Hamilton Wright: Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know. Doubleday, 1905. Project Gutenberg. Kindle. Beatrix Potter got me started so I'll be nibbling children's lit for a bit.
Numeroff, Laura & Bond, Felicia: If You Take a Mouse to the Movies. Harper-Collins, 2009. The latest addition to the charming series that both DMP and I enjoy. We love to share the "if you give" books with children who come to visit. This edition is a gift from Sonya and includes a CD and sheet music and cookie recipes and family activities. What fun! http://www.mousecookiebooks.com/
Willems, Mo: Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! New York: Hyperion, 2003. Caldecott Honor Book. Another gift from Sonya. A clever little book that teaches a young child how to say "no." I'll be adding this book to the children's collection in the church library.
Paulson, Beth: Wild Raspberries. 2008 Another gift from David because "she seems to speak what you feel" and this Ouray, CO poet is one of my favorites. Previous books are The Company of Trees and The Truth about Thunder.
Merrill, Nan C.: Psalms for Praying: an invitation to wholeness. New York/London: Continuum, 2006. This reworking of the Psalms emphasizes "God is love..." It is by no means an accurate translation but it is a response to the timeless text and gives a fresh voice to psalmic prayer. Highly recommended!
Peterson, Eugene H.: Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A conversation in spiritual theology. Kindle. I've lingered in the section on Eucharist and hospitality, fascinated with the discussion of Dom Gregory Dix: The Shape of the Liturgy (1941) which notes four verbs: take, bless, break, and give. In fact, I'm probably going to read that section again.
Whitaker, Evelyn: Laddie. We continue our discussion of the 19th Century woman novelist as theologian.