Fr. Christopher Leighton - December 26th 2010

Psalm 108

1.         What kind of music do you like?

2.         Think back to your earliest days:  what role did music play in your life?

3.         Read Psalm 108.  How does this Scripture call you to worship?  What does it mean to “make music with all [your] soul”?

4.         In I Samuel 16:14-23, we read the account of David being called into service, ministering to Saul in music.  Read verse 23, and reflect on ways in which God has used music to “make you feel better”.  Praise and thank God for music.

5.         Psalm 108:2 says, “I will awaken the dawn.”  When was the last time you got up early and awakened the dawn?  Let’s try this as a Church family:  set the alarm for 30 minutes early and get up to pray, awakening the dawn.

6.         Music in praise and worship is so vital at St. Paul’s.  Please pray for Fr. Christopher and Janet who lead this ministry, and for the many musicians and singers who are called to serve.  Pray that they would lead our church into the presence of the Lord.

On the Mark - December 26th

Merry Christmas, Day 2!

That’s right!  There are twelve days to Christmas and this is day number 2.  It is worthwhile to think today about Jesus becoming a baby for our sake.  God’s love is astounding:  he bent low to pick us up.

While this day we are emphasizing music and singing, why not think about some of your favorite music that makes you turn to God.

Merry Christmas, Day 2!


The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton

On the Mark - December 26th


Fr. Christopher Leighton - December 25th 2010

Today we were joined by the men of PIvot and guest from the local and neighboring community for our Christmas day service.

Jordan Easley – Psalm 16:5-11- December 19th

By , December 19, 2010

Psalm 16:5-11 and 1 Sam 16:1-13

1) The Scriptures declare that Christians are a “royal priesthood” (1 Pet 2:9). When we think of our positions in Jesus Christ, do we think of ourselves as royalty? Do we think of ourselves as priestly? What does that look like?

2) The prophet Samuel anointed David as king, as royal ruler over Israel, but throughout David’s life he often acted in a priestly role as well. In what situations of David’s life did he act in this priestly role?

3) Read Ps.16:5-6. The Levites, the priests of the Old Testament, were not given any official allotment of land on which to live, instead they lived near places of worship. Thus, the LORD was literally their only inheritance. In your life and in your family’s life, how is the LORD our “goodly inheritance?”

4) Read Ps. 16:9-10.  What events in David’s life would have caused him to be so confident that God “would not allow [him] to see corruption”? What experience in your life gives you confidence that you have victory over death?

5) Does the real, historic resurrection of Jesus Christ give you personal confidence that you have victory over death, sin, and the Evil One?

6) Does the incarnation of Jesus give you this same confidence? How about Jesus’ ascension?

7) Read Ps. 16:11. The Incarnate, Resurrected, and Ascended Jesus, who at this very moment stands at the right had of God, can find no greater pleasure than his Father’s presence. Is there anything in your life that gives you more pleasure than God’s presence?

On the Mark December 19th 2010

Give Thanks for Music

J. S. Bach said that God created music for His glory and for the recreation of human beings.  When we ponder that God has provided such a mighty vehicle to praise Him and to build up the Body of Christ, we become overwhelmed with awe and gratitude!  Thank Him!

Music is a gift from God for us to receive, and to give back to Him.  So much of the Advent and Christmas season is filled with glorious music;  we revel in it.  Next week our study of King David will be on the importance of music in his life.  Our services will have a special emphasis on carols and songs.

Today as we welcome our new assistant minister Jordan Easley and his wife Leah, please come to lunch after the second service.  Right after, we will go and bring the gift of music to this community by singing carols to the merchants and residents of Darien.

The Lord has filled us with music and joy!

Your brother in Christ,


The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton


On the Mark December 19

Fr. Christopher Leighton - Psalm 23 - December 12th

Psalm 23

1.         How has Psalm 23 been helpful in your life?

2.         What self-help formulas did your family of origin use to cope with stress:  “forget it”, “sleep on it”, “hash and re-hash”, “pray over it”?

3.         In what ways do our souls need to be restored by God?

4.         Read the psalm again in the negative (“The Lord is NOT my shepherd…”)  What verse is most disturbing?

5.         What dark valley do you walk now?

6.         Who or what are your “enemies” today?

7.         How can your cup overflow?

8.         Jesus is the Good Shepherd (John 10:1-18), the Great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20-21) and the Chief Shepherd (I Peter 5:1-4).  Read these passages and thank God the Shepherd!

On the Mark–December 12th 2010

Preparing the Way

I had a healing about Christmas not very long ago.  My closest friends were alarmed about my negativity.  It came from the stress of preparations, of past disappointments, and of anger at the waywardness of our culture.

My friends helped me to see afresh that it is Jesus’ birth which is all important.  I needed to concentrate – even hyperfocus – on the nativity of our Lord.  There was an activity my friends engaged me in, whereby through prayer, we approached the original scene in Bethlehem.  They led me closer and closer to the manger scene.  I saw the tired parents and the peaceful animals.  I came up to the makeshift cradle which was flooded with light and I looked inside to behold the Son of God born for all – including me!

I’ve come to realize that the celebration of Jesus’ birth is going on – with or without me.  The choice is mine how I join in, if I do so at all.  The heart needs to be opened and examined.  All that takes away from Jesus being born in my heart must be excised.

Let us together prepare during this Advent season to keep our eyes on Jesus!

Your brother in Christ,


The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton


On the Mark - Psalm 19:1-6 - December 5th

By , December 7, 2010

“Knowing and Loving the Creator and His Creation”

Psalms 8, 19, 29

1.         Read Psalms 8, 19, 29.  What do you hear from God’s Word about Him?  About yourself?

2.         What do these psalms tell you about the Creation?  What do they say especially about the sky and storms?

3.         According to Psalm 8, verse 3, how is perspective gained by considering the heavens?

4.         As Americans of the 21st century we spend nearly all of our time indoors or in vehicles.  David was outside for nearly all of the time in his life before the throne, and even after enthronement.  (You could make a case that his sedentary life got him into deep trouble!)  What do you think God may be saying to you a bout getting outside and looking up to the sky more often?

5.         We are told in Scripture:  “remember your Creator in the days of your youth”.  (Ecclesiastes 12:1).  To remember our Creator and to muse on His Creation will bring blessing.  How have you forgotten Him?  David says in Psalm 19:12-13, “Who can discern his errors?  Forgive my hidden faults.  Keep your servant also from willful sins;  may they not rule over me.  Then I will be blameless;  innocent of great transgression.”

On the Mark - December 5th

The Lord is My…?

What is a shepherd?  Even as it is tough for Americans to relate to the kingship theme for God and Christ in the Bible, we are also handicapped in grasping the role of the shepherd.  If we lived in Ireland or Great Britain or in Israel, it would be different – sheep and shepherds are part of daily living.  It is hard to think of a suitable idea for us in our culture.

A less than perfect role is that of the master of a dog or cat.  These animals must be cared for, they must be given food and water.  They must be kept safe.  At least one human being is responsible for the pet, or the pet will suffer and die.

So…The Lord is my pet-keeper?  Well, I look to Him to care for me the way my dog looks to me.  When I put my trust in God I shall not want!  That is, I lack nothing!

Psalm 23 may be the part of the Bible that is most familiar to the greatest number of people in the world.  I’m convinced that it is so popular because it conveys the thought of a loving God who cares for His people.  God is your shepherd!

Your brother in Christ,


The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton


On the Mark December 5th

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