Imagining Christmas: 12-25-13
When God speaks craziness: 12-27-13

A Puritan post-Christmas: 12-26-13

Yes, yes, Christmas Day is by us, though Christmas itself on the church calendar lasts for more than another week -- up to Epiphany on Jan. 6, in fact.

Mayflower-2And, yes, today is Boxing Day, celebrated mostly in England and Canada.

But what else is worth celebrating -- or at least commemorating -- on Dec. 26?

It was the date on which Mayflower colonists settled Plymouth Colony in 1620, several days after they weighed anchor in Plymouth Harbor.

I have a friend who serves as senior pastor of the Church of the Pilgrimage, a United Church of Christ congregation in Plymouth. When my wife and I visited the church and Plymouth itself a year or two ago I found it an odd mixture of contemporary living and yet deep history.

That should be the way all of us live -- aware of our surroundings and their history. But that seems to happen mostly in places like Plymouth.

So as you spend time with family and friends this Christmas season, remember our founding roots and the joy the Puritans must have felt knowing that the toys they gave their children would never experience run-down batteries.

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I frequently review or at least mention faith-based books here on the blog, but I tend to focus on books that don't get lots of publicity. So today I bring you this Religion News Service piece that lists what the writer thinks are the 10 most important religious books of 2013 -- none of which I've reviewed here. I see several I'd like to read.

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P.S.: My latest National Catholic Reporter column now is online. To read it, click here.


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