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Saturday, December 09, 2006

11th Hour Preacher Party: Preaching Peace?

For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophet-bards foretold,
When with the ever circling years
Comes round the age of gold;
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.

It's the second Sunday of Advent tomorrow, for those of us observing the season, and the way seems to point to peace.

I'm not really sure we understood what the angels meant by peace.

I am sure, however, that my day points to chaos and commitments, some for church, others for family. My sermon is essentially where it was on Thursday, thanks to my commitment to Friday as a Sabbath day. So in between grocery shopping, a call on a new member, a concert featuring my daughter and niece and a sleepover of said niece, I will be fleshing out what is an outline at the moment.

Thought for the day: I'm not really sure we understood what the angels meant by peace.

What does your day hold, preachers? And where are you headed with your message?

I have tea and cocoa on offer (see above about grocery shopping is you're wondering where my ever-present coffee might be). I don't suppose anyone wants to pick up donuts?


  1. Another lost week. Another sermon undone. Another full to-do list with the 'big, undone thing' added.


    At least I have you all... please pass the cocoa.

  2. I have a confession to make. I am resurrecting my Advent 2 sermon from six years ago. With a few alterations, it will be 'like new.' Do you think anyone out there is likely to have a six year sermon memory??

    Today is a big day in my family. My niece, the oldest grandchild in the family, is getting married. They have spared no detail in making this a grand event. I normally have to fight my inner cynic when it comes to weddings like this one, but I feel so good about this couple that it will be the celebration it is intended to be. My role, other than supportive aunt and mother of a bridesmaid, is to read scripture in the ceremony. The wedding isn't until 6:00, but I have to be there by 3:30 for pictures. Something tells me this day will fly by! (That same something tells me that I'm likely to be dragging myself to church in the morning!)

    I'm not a coffee drinker, but I have a variety of teas and hot cocoas to add to the buffet!

  3. Preacher Mom, I think you are completely and totally safe.

    I hope the wedding is beautiful!

  4. will smama, that is why we are here. And for the jokes about Clifford and Antonio Banderas.

  5. WS says: "Another lost week. Another sermon undone. Another full to-do list with the 'big, undone thing' added.


    At least I have you all... please pass the cocoa."

    Damn, Damn! and Ditto. I am right there with you WS and Songbird.
    Will muffins do?

    I have a District committee of Ordained Ministry meeting this morning in which we interview people for ministry and all the licensed Pastors. I convinced them to let me be on it, they had not female clergy and they are interviewing some women. Actually it wasn't a hard sell, they just hadn't thought about it. I know, I know, more work, but beneficial work.

    This afternoon, one of my members is having an 80th birthday party. Well the adult kids are having it, she didn't want to have one.

    I have one page, one page, that makes no sense. Pass me the full leaded coffee, please.

  6. Preacher mom, its okay to resurrect sermons. I have used mine from Wadley for Sunday nights. I just clean them up, refresh them in terms of illustrations and thoughts.

    Hope all goes well with the wedding.

  7. Preacher Mom, I say got for it!

    We preach umpty ump sermons; if it spoke before, it will speak again. How often do you get to really celebrate a wedding?

    As for me, I have until 2 pm to get mine together. I have a community event then; it lasts until 4, and then I just about have time to get home, have dinner and head out to a party--one of those I want to attend because I like the couple (and they always have great parties), but which is a also a time to make connections with people I don't always see otherwise.

    And what have I got for the sermon? Lots of thoughts, notes, an idea for a metaphor, and that's about it.

    I'm using the Luke 1 passage, and thinking about light, peace, serving God and freedom from fear. I like the image of a lighthouse as what guides us out of a storm--but the lighthouse is not the harbour, the lighthouse is often/usually built on the very place you don't want to go.

    I have some carrot pie (very yummy and light) and some spice cake to add to the teas and cocoa.

  8. Let me add my bit of chaos to the day...I too am recycling an old message--one not heard by these folks before, since I'm still going through the cycle the first time here. I am in the "what was I thinking?! stage" of preparations for our open house which begins immediately after the rise of worship. Hopefully a few stray cobwebs will be overlooked ;) I do have a few cookie bars to contribute--the one that didn't make it through the cutting and plating stage. Raspberry, pecan and lemon--take your pick. If you have any time and elbow grease to spare come on over. If you show up tommorow after the festivities, I can offer an evening of open house leftovers--did I mention I'm cooking turkey breast for sandwiches?-- and keg of brew. HA

  9. PM - preach it. And have a blast today.

    I am finding it hard to gather coherent thoughts on the joy of giving when today I am actually living the phrase 'no good deed goes unpunished.'

    I need to walk this grumpiness off. I'm going to get donuts, what else should I pick up?

  10. I'd give almost anything for an eggnog latte from Starbucks.
    I decided to look at my sermon from three years ago, just out of curiosity, you understand, and I can't find a complete manuscript. Weird.

  11. Why oh why was it so easy to write sermons instantly in India, where I didn't know the congregation at home, and it is now sooooo hard to even start to write one for my own beloved people at St M's. It's almost 3.00 Saturday, for heaven's sake, and I've yet to even start the sermon. I enjoyed preaching in India, really I did? What's wrong with me now I'm home??
    Oooh...and I lost almost a stone over there, so I'm struggling to keep it off now I'm home. I guess that means celery distressing :-(

  12. I am offering hi-test "Jamaican-Me-Crazy" coffee (I just bought an old-fashioned stove-top percolator, and I am in heaven!) and my special ricotta cheese-oatmeal-apple melange (with sugar-free creme caramel syrup). Trust me, it's yummy.

    I had decided to use the canticle from Luke, got stuck, and ended up adding verses 3-25, to tell Zechariah and Elizabeth's story (it's never in the lectionary otherwise). I'm going first person (my "when all else fails" strategy). I notice I tend to do this at the big seasons-- Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter...

    Happy scribbling! Reuse those old sermons, I say! Preach 'em!

  13. Well, I've got a great beginning!

    I've decided to try something different this week--I'm writing the whole sermon out like a manuscript, than cutting it back to an outline (or maybe a heavily annotated outline). The bare-bones outlines I've been using haven't been working. I was looking through some papers and came across some sermon preparation guidelines from a preaching class, and that was a suggestion the profession made. So I'll try that for a while, see if that works better.

    I think Maria works that way.

    On to the next section!

    Oh, and Magdelene's Melange sounds heavenly. Shall I make another pot of coffee?

  14. Er, the *professor* made the suggestion.

  15. Hi I am preaching Luke 3:1-6 so am able to comment!

    I am starting with the song from Godspel "Prepare ye the way of the Lord" and then talking about what it means to follow Jesus ministry of radical restoration, and how we prepare the way for disciples of Christ.

    Then finishing with the song again and a challenge about what they need to do to "prepare the way of the Lord".

    have a great time celebrating all the family and friends parties which are happening over the next 24 hours!!

    Good night, it's now well past the 11th hour for me.

  16. Okay, so I am too new to have an old sermon to pull from. Really don't have much more than not-so-coherent thoughts.
    I've got some very smooth Holly Hazelnut coffee to go along with the Jamican (also, good). No half/half, only 2% milk. Payday is coming!
    And, I still have some fantastic Cranbery nut Bread, lovingly baked by one of my favorite saints here!
    I am off to practice children's pageant. Lord have mercy, the little ones are cute, but they cry a lot!
    And, so I leave y'all with more on not knowing what peace really means. I think this kind of peace shakes us up, distrubs the norm, and causes chaos. It means change, in a big way and leaves us gasping for breath like a ,...well,...We ahve to prepare for it, some how.
    Oh, and one of my youth is to stand up in congrgation and read JTB's lines, " prepare the way..."
    Taht part will be cool, anyhow!

  17. Oh geez...between preparing for a phone interview Wed. night for a potential new call, and preparing paper work for two other job searches...having Dr appts on Mon and Tues to follow up on surgery and rehab, two chiropractic visits (for accupressure to increas my bodies healing potential) on Wed and Fri, the every 6 hour home IV antibiotic, a home nurse visit to change the dressing on the IV, and the exercises to "stretch" my jaw muscle and get my mouth working properly again...whose had time to prepare a sermon...

    Ok, well I have an illustration for Luke 3:1-6, from the movie "Life or Something Like It" starring Angelina Jolie, where she encounters the street prophet who tells her three things that will happen in sequence: the Seahawks will defeat the Broncos, the next day it will hail in Seattle, and the next day she will die. This leads the character on a journey that transforms her from a driven but superficial woman to someone who discovers her real depth and potential as a human.

    From there I may look at who are the prophets in our lives and how are we being called to participate in God's transformation of the world, how are we preparing the way for God to come anew in our lives and our world???

    Then again, maybe I need to see what I preached three years ago...

  18. Well, I have the middle section done, and am having difficulty focusing on ow to carry on into the last past.

    I'm using my labyrinth walk at sunset this fall (on my oh-so-marvelous retreat), with the light from the chapel on the hill giving me light to walk by and arrive at the peaceful centre as a metaphor for our journeys of faith, and suggesting that while God is present with us always, it can be hard for us to sense that presence when we are harried by the everyday, and we need to withdraw sometimes, led by the light of faith, to find that place of peace. At Christmas, of course, God is present in a very special way--that is, in fact, what we remember/experience at Christmas.

    I'm just trying to get that last part into some kind of coherent form.

    Time for a break--shower, cake and coffee, then back at it!

  19. Good morning all.

    Yes, RP, "full manuscript cut down to outline" is how Maria works,and it works pretty well for me. Let me now how it works for you. :-)

    Right now all I really have is an illustration of how Peace is a choice, Briefly - A college classmate, Palestinian Moslem, born in Bethlehem in the home his family had lived in for uncountable generations, lost his home to Israel. He could have used his pain and anger to become a suicide bomber or other perpetrator of violence but chose to come to America for Peace Studies. Now works for Center for American Islamic Relations toward peace and understanding.

    I have a fairly light day - my secrtary has the flu so I have to go copy the worship bulletins and a member is having an open house I have to drop in to, but otherwise I get to spend most of the day trying to figure out what else to say tomorrow.

    I do have to pick up a few things -would anyone like some Pan Dulce from the bakery across the street?

  20. Just wanted to say I love the Angel graphic, Songbird!

    Carry on.

  21. I'm late here today, because I've been trying to actually write, in between ordering Wondergirl some Christmas gifts, and cleaning up around here.

    A really hectic day around chez Cheese. I have to take Wondergirl shopping for a birthday gift for a friend, then take her to the party (and I have no idea where it is yet) pick her back up, then go to my husband's chorus extravaganza. How is a sermon supposed to fit in this day?????

  22. I have a funeral in two hours for a faithful woman in our congregation who died on Wednesday. She and her partner have been together over 60 years.

    Today is also our Christmas tea at the church. I will be missing it, but they don't need me there, really. The funeral family needs me more.

    Sermon? Oh, you mean I have to write another one?? But I just finished preparing the funeral homily.


    I'm working on the song of Zechariah. That's all I know. It's going to be a long night.

    PM - have fun at the wedding!!

  23. I'm using Malachi and Luke, using the cleansing theme, especially our daily purification rituals and the cleasning of our hearts, souls and spirits to receive Christ. I brought in 5 cases of bottled water to give to everyone, as a reminder of our baptism and the purification we received in faith.
    Something like that.
    Just finished the communion liturgy for the Old Folks Home service coming up on Wed. evening.
    Still have my prayers to write.
    No great bakery here. Just a couple of hershey kisses!
    I"ve recycled sermons and have changed and revised them. Course, as an interim, I moved around a lot. This installed position will be more challenging in keeping things fresh and new!
    The Spirit be with you all!

  24. Oh, I forgot to say that there are some rather interesting Indian sweets (no idea what they're called, but they are not unlike halva) in a bowl on the side...Please help yourselves,- you'll be doing me a kindness in stopping me from munching!

  25. Songbird, that eggnog latte sounds fabulous.

    I'm not preaching tomorrow, but I am leading Adult Formation. Really struggling with this, as the parish where I'm interning likes to be fed information, rather than mulling things over as a group. This is not my natural way of doing things. (Did I also mention I picked a topic that seemed interesting-- but that I know very little about?

  26. Thanks, Kathryn!
    mompriest, do you think you have enough going on? I hope you're healing well.
    We're off to the concert. I'll be back in the late afternoon and catch up with you all then!

  27. Mrs. M, I feel your pain. I really dislike presenting material to a class lecture-style and much prefer facilitating a conversation.
    I'll try to bring back lattes later!

  28. Back from running errands and getting some fresh air. Completed the punished good deed and feel a little better about it. Chewed on sermon in my head while out.

    You all sound like you are doing well. Busy days for a lot of you, that's for sure. I working on this until nap time... for the both the toddler and me.

  29. I'm working on the song of Zechariah too. Magdalene--I didn't realize the "backstory" never appears in the lectionary. I'm using a bit of it, but hadn't planned to read it. I'll think on that.

    Mostly focusing on hope--Zechariah's hope both as a member of the community and as an individual, and the continuing hope that is expressed in the song, that we are still a part of.

    I would love some Pan Dulce, Maria. Thanks. Alas, I have nothing to contribute because the fridge is full of lasagnas for my husband's church's youth group tomorrow night. I'll bring something good next week.

  30. Whoohoo--I have the full manuscript version done in time for me to get to the community event!!

    I MAY have time between the end of that and dinner to pare it back to an outline, but if I end up preaching from a manuscript, I (and the congregation) will survive.

    Actually, having preached from an outline for a while now, I probably could use the manuscript as an outline, so to speak...

    Off to change from sweats to elegance...

    Be back soon--anyone need anything while I'm out?

  31. I forgot to give credit to more cows for her wave metaphor from last Sunday. I've adapted it and used it for this Sunday. Thanks, more cows!

  32. I have half a yummy buffalo chicken salad left if anyone's interested- if not it will probably be dinner- or lunch tomorrow!

    I wrote a sermon on Thursday that I thought would need a major rewrite today. It was one of those weeks when I had a thousand random ideas that I wanted to somehow weave together into a sermon, but only maybe five found their way in. When I pulled out the sermon before a three hour (!) chorus rehearsal this morning, it seemed actually preachable, not great, but preachable, needing only minor tweaking. Ran it by a colleague and then dear hubby and both agree. So... I'm fretting no more. Its definitely on our need for peace (Malachi and Luke 3- though more on Malachi). I'll probably post it on the blog.

    Sounds like most of you have had full weeks and are facing demanding days. I'm thinking of you... and I'll hang on to the salad awhile in case you're interested. Oh, and we have a brand new jar of peanut butter, nothing like a scoop of that for comfort!

  33. We were posting at the same time, Esperanza! You're most welcome! Thinking of you lots today!

  34. Back from nap... no sermon elf this week either.


  35. Washed with Lye soap and burned in a refining furnace. Where is the Good News in that?????????

    And yet, we talk so little about repentance in many churches. I just am not sure how to make it "appropriately happy and Christmassy". Oh right, it's Advent, I don't need to be Christmassy.

  36. For those of you working with Malachi, I received this on a listserve I was on last time we were in year C. Use as you desire... this is word for word as I received it.

    There was a group of women in a Bible study on the book of Malachi. As they were studying chapter three, they came across verse three which says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." (Malachi 3:3) This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

    One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study. That week this woman called up a silver smith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silver smith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot--then she thought again about the verse, that he sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.

    She asked the silver smith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silver smith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"

    He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy--when I see my image in it."

    If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you.

    Author unknown

  37. Ok, my sermon is in a preachable state, minus a conclusion. I don't usually read from my text this is not exactly what I'll say, but close eonough. I've posted it on my blog if anyone wants to wander over and offer suggestions. I always struggle with how to wrap it up and end on a meaningful I have to take my dogs to have their nails trimmed (only about 2 months over due...poor babies) and then the grocery store, then back home for my meeting with IV

  38. I am working through notions of peace and the need for proclaimations as John grants us. Just as the Kingdom is not fully present (seeing dimply, you know), the need for standing in the wilderness and asking all to prepare the way through repentance and forgiveness is peacemaking practice.

  39. I'm pondering the Zechariah passage as well...just went to see "The Nativity" last night, and I was caught by the scene of the priest in the holy place, hearing the voice of God and being struck dumb...and the rest. I'm struggling as I have been for a couple of months now. Sermons used to be not so hard. Where is that sermon elf? Where?

    Carrot pie? Hmmm, sounds interesting. I'm about to take a break to bake a pumpkin which will be then turned into a pie and bars. Maybe the aroma will inspire sermon prep? I'll share, if anyone has room left after all these lovely munchies. Don't we eat well on Saturdays? Wow! Rev Gals are the best.

  40. I'm pondering the Zechariah passage as well...just went to see "The Nativity" last night, and I was caught by the scene of the priest in the holy place, hearing the voice of God and being struck dumb...and the rest. I'm struggling as I have been for a couple of months now. Sermons used to be not so hard. Where is that sermon elf? Where?

    Carrot pie? Hmmm, sounds interesting. I'm about to take a break to bake a pumpkin which will be then turned into a pie and bars. Maybe the aroma will inspire sermon prep? I'll share, if anyone has room left after all these lovely munchies. Don't we eat well on Saturdays? Wow! Rev Gals are the best.

  41. I'm pondering the Zechariah passage as well...just went to see "The Nativity" last night, and I was caught by the scene of the priest in the holy place, hearing the voice of God and being struck dumb...and the rest. I'm struggling as I have been for a couple of months now. Sermons used to be not so hard. Where is that sermon elf? Where?

    Carrot pie? Hmmm, sounds interesting. I'm about to take a break to bake a pumpkin which will be then turned into a pie and bars. Maybe the aroma will inspire sermon prep? I'll share, if anyone has room left after all these lovely munchies. Don't we eat well on Saturdays? Wow! Rev Gals are the best.

  42. Does God really put us through the fires in our lives on purpose to make us shine so that we better reflect our Creator's image?

    I realize some folks cling to that kind of theology in order to get through some pretty rough times, but I am not one of them.

    Sure, God can use our trials for good and we may never know what that good may be until our souls are one in eternity, but I do not believe God purposefully puts us in the fire.

  43. I was up til 2 am writing the sermon b/c I've been in meeting all day. So I am very very tired, and I have a service at 5pm and an adult forum to prepare for tomorrow. So I shouldn't even be here...

  44. After sleeping in late, doing some overdue but procrastinatory puttering around the house, and talking to AbsentMindedJ for over an hour, I'm finally settling in to put together tomorrow's sermon.

    Anybody remember the calendar idea I mentioned in the comments for Tuesday? Yeah, that's about where I still am now. This week has seemed totally blah and unproductive. All I want to do is hibernate and knit. So it will take some mental self-convincing that I can actually do this and have something worthwhile to say.

    I'd LOVE some of Maria's pan dulce! Saturdays always make me hungry.

  45. Well, I just finished my sermon. I don't think it a total dog, but it has its moments.

    I read somewhere this week (sorry that I can't remember where) that you know a sermon was a good one if you can hear them starting to build the gallows out in the paking lot!

    I will post snippets on my blog.

  46. Well, I would say I am a decent conclusion away from the promised land so now that The Boy is awake from nap I am going to spend time with him and come back to this later.

    revdrmom - hang in there. You are doing great things!

  47. Cheesehead--once a church member told me she had a "Wednesday test" by which she measured sermons. If she could remember something about the sermon by Wednesday, then it was a good sermon. I suppose that also might indicate a very bad sermon.

  48. Back from errands, dogs nails now trimmed and the poor babies can walk with ease.

    So, about that sermon....I'll have to get back to it and make up some kind of a conclusion, in the meant time, I have Earl Grey tea, skim milk, and dark chocolate truffles I can share, help yourself....

  49. Okay, I'm back! And I'm going out for Pizza! What's your pleasure?

  50. You go away and come back and jeez all kinds of sermons get written on all kinds of scripture.

    I tried to write something in between meeting and party for 80 yr old. Did anything come out, no. I am home, and the kids have wrecked the house. So have to get them cleaning up, feed the animals and I can ponder again what I was trying to say about the Phil. passage.

    Mom priest, I have seen that movie with Angelia Jolie a few times. Interesting film.

  51. I have chicken and rice baking in the oven. I don't get to have any because it is for a sick friend. And the tree is up, but lacks decoration. And my Angle Tree gift is purchased but not wrapped. And I have an outline but no inspiration.

    Looks like some of you are coming right along.

  52. PS

    Apologies for the triple post up above. I dunno what happened.

  53. SO - we're supposed to DECORATE those durn things too?! Uh-oh.

  54. Phew! At least my tree is decorated!
    Think that'll preach?

  55. Hey, I still have one more week since the entire congregation doesn't descend upon our house until the 17th. They shall be kept to the bottom floor as all post-interior paint project clutter has been moved to upstairs.

  56. Lordy, will smama, would they expect to go upstairs?

  57. My tree got decorated yesteday. Last year I got it up but never did put anything on it.

    Glad you all enjoyed the pan dulce. I ate a little at the member's Christmas buffet party, but felt like I was on the set of "Shark" - most of the guests were from the LA County DA's office!

    I had really hoped the sermon elf would have visited while I was copying the worship bulletins, but no such luck. Tuesday it seemed like a no-brainer - philippians said we've (hopefully) learned to make good choices, peace is a choice, my classmate chose for peace and justice, so can we . . . seque to Comfort Comfort You My People.

    Did somebody say Pizza?

  58. Well, I am wrapping things up here sermon-wise and I either have a brilliant sermon on the joys of giving or the biggest guilt-fest since my in-laws called to find out if we still lived in the area since they hadn't seen us lately.

    I hope all of you are progressing along as well. I'm going to pick up some fun liquids and things to 'nosh' on.

  59. BIG slice of peperonni pizza and some good beer,...OPPS!
    can't drink until after sermon and the kids pageant. I would like a piece of carrot pie.
    Magda. I love,the illust. w/ silver smith. Too bad I have Luke text. We use prophecy passage to open during Advent.
    Funny moment from practice today. I asked D what he was suppossed to be (in play). He looked for a moment then answered, "I 'possed to be da queen!" Big brother, W is one of our kings. Actually, he is a really cute cow with spots!
    Just got hazelnut tarts from oven. They are funny looking, but good.Here's a quote from my wonderful NT prof. "As rulers in world and church continue in their ways, John emerges as vehicle of God's word. God's word emerges in unlikely places. The advent of infant Jesus, tells us real poweer lies elesewhere." with this, I sign off...Blessings to all who write, who preach, who pray, who heal, who follow...

  60. 1-4 Grace, did you get the bourbon ale? If so, let me know how it is, and what brand you ended up with!

    I just got home from a visit to NJ, and I am exhausted. I have one page of sermon. I KNEW there was a reason the sermon was on my to-do list for Thursday! My brain is complete rot right now. Oy. I'm seriously considering preaching from an outline just because I am likely to be more coherent after getting some sleep.

  61. Congrats will smama and all who are finished!

    I'm nowhere near finished...but at least I have a strong outline and feel like I have something to say (quite a change from earlier). Plus I am now relatively well-fueled with lasagne and chai. So...I'm off to crafting a decent manuscript, I hope!

    Take courage, Stacey/Rev Maria/Songbird/Rev Abi/everyone else not yet finished. (Easy for me to say, I suppose...or not.) I'll keep some chai warm on the stove for any who wish it.

  62. Thanks Rev Gals..I read your Sat comments for two reasons l/ all the great good helps 2/ sometimes the suggestions for preaching are just what I need (either for my own soul's sake or the sermon) This sermon has come hard--don't know why (don't much like John the B--) But the comment about "God's word coming in unlikely places" helped...thanks for the truffles the carrot pie (I'm allergic to vegetables) and the cocoa...blessings all Gail

  63. How's it going y'all?

    The choir has 2nd service tomorrow but I still am preaching 1st service. It is recycle/ reuse time so I'm done but not cause I actually put real work into it.

    Preach on sisters!

  64. I finished up a while ago and am grateful for the encouragement along the way.
    Last one out, please unplug the Christmas tree lights?
    Thanks. :-)

  65. I am done. I decided not to do the outline thing, but rather wrote out a manuscript as usual, on preparing the way of the Lord within ourselves. Repent! Repent! I'm going to finish the sermon with an activity that is sort of a remembrance of baptism thing. Crossing my fingers and praying madly that it doesn't bomb.

    Who else is still out there working? How are things coming along?

  66. Ok, I am very sleepy, can't go to bed until after IV, which is soon. Still no ending for my sermon, I will take it into my dreams and see what comes up. Otherwise I'm up at 5am for another IV, which will give me some time to ponder...hope all of you are ready to preach and can rest well!

  67. I'm taking my tired self to bed now. Blessings to all who are still preparing, and all who will be preaching in a few hours.

  68. Stacey.
    You'll have to tell us how the baptism remberance goes. Always looking for a fresh idea there, in our tradition we tend to baptize and forget about it, so there is need for us to do soemthing.
    Have not gotten out for bourbon ale yet, plan to this week.
    No beer for me tonight. I try not to "drink sermons and write beer" at the same time!
    Well, i did take a teeny-tiny sip of a light beer I was making beer biscuits (YUMMY!) for dinner tomorrow night. You have to have 12 oz. beer, but I minused a sip!
    Peace out,

  69. 1-4grace, what a creative way to get a sip of beer.
    Congrats to all who are done.
    Finally making headway to the promised land WS was talking about earlier. Does it really exist. I guess I'll be one of those turning out the Christmas tree lights.

  70. There is going to be wome wonderful preaching in churches tomorrow- it is very wonderful seeing everything that is going on around here...

    Peace be with all of you-

  71. Glad to see some homiletical progress/closure happening out there. I've just finished (WOO!) and am off for a quick shower and a final readthrough before heading to bed. I don't think it's too bad...but that second readthrough always gives me pause.

    Stacey, in my experience, remembrance of baptism stuff RARELY goes wrong. Good move for a Sunday on J the B!

    Those still working (mompriest, revabi, et al.)--you can do it! Or if you can't, the Spirit will take what you got and run with it. :)

  72. Thanks semfem, stacey, a listing straight and all. I am almost there. I am using scrooge tomorrow as opposed to what Paul said about the phillipians. God bless us everyone.

  73. In spite of spending four hours with mom in the ER and then getting her admitted to the hospital...I am DONE. It is Sunday here, 12:02 a.m.

    Zzzzzzzz. Preach well, all.

  74. I marvel at the way the revgals Down Under are at the 11th hour long before most of the rest of us, particularly those of us in California who look like we're posting Sunday morning, when it's really just the 11th hour PST.

    I'm a seminary student and don't preach regularly. But I'm preaching tomorrow. I'm in as far as the words on paper, now I'm waiting not on the sermon elf but on the Spirit to help me know which words to abandon in the morning and which ones to emphasize.

    Here's my conclusion, and I know it's basic stuff, but this is the first time I've preached Advent 2:

    Who are the prophets today like John the Baptist? Who today has heard a radical message and delivers it with urgency?

    I think WE are the proclaimers. I think we are the ones to tell of the miracle of God incarnate in our world and in our lives. At Christmas, we celebrate the story of Emmanuel – God Among Us. But in truth Emmanuel is an every day reality.

    During Advent we celebrate that presence as light, light in the darkness, but remember that God is present in our darkness, too. And often, that presence is just as beautiful, just as brilliant as God’s presence in times of joy.

    This expectation of God breaking into our lives is not just an Advent expectation, it’s an every day possibility, an everyday expectation.

    John was telling people to prepare for the Lord. He preached about baptism and the forgiveness of sins. He preached about the grace to come through Christ. That’s the gift we anticipate anew during Advent. That is what we celebrate at Christmas. And every day, not just at Christmas, we can expect to encounter God in our midst. Each day we can not only experience the light of Christ, we can bear witness to it through our response to that gift of grace.

  75. It is 5:30 in Chicago.
    I have three pages of notes and seventeen sermon ideas.

    *heavy sigh*

  76. Tripp, you crazy kid.

    Karen, please pardon my consistent east coast bias.

    I hope as the sun rises and the hour draws near each and every one of you is able to put your shoulders down, take a deep breath and 'let it ride'.

    There was so much going on yesterday and yet as we touched base and ideas became structure it was easy to see that the Holy Spirit does indeed have our backs, so relax.

    And just as - according to ppb - a former professor of mine is STILL suggesting in her homiletic lectures: If you've got a god; walk it proud.

    (hmmm, interesting typo)
    What I meant of course is: If you've got a dog; walk it proud.

    Peace, friends.

  77. Oh, Tripp. I feel your pain. Just remember the eternally encouraging words of will smama, which I imagine she will be posting momentarily.
    I woke up to discover that my black slip was in with the dirty clothes, and that a cat had peed on it. Quick wardrobe planning change! Lord forgive the cat, for she knows not what she does!!! (Or so the vet insists.)
    Ironing a skirt,

  78. 5 am Sunday (PST) and as I read over what I have it's not too awful. I'm still going with Making Good Choices, especially the choice for peace and justice that God calls us to through the prophets and Jesus - especially appropriate perhaps during this season when we are anything but peaceful as we frantically shop, attend parties, write cards, try to find readers for all the parts in Lessons and Carols. . .

    Using a Moslem peacefighter for my major illustration should get folks' attention. :-)

    Just need to finish up. Why are the endings so much harder than the body of the sermon?

    Blessings on those who preach soon.

  79. I don't have to preach or write the prayer this week...instead I helped my significant other decorate her house, and I made five kinds of cookie dough. And took my weekly turn at the competitive wing cookoff (my choices this week -- lemon wings, adapting Rachel Ray's lemon chicken recipe that uses lemon curd; korma wings using Patak's korma sauce; and "picnic wings" using my family's tried and true weekly Kellogg's Corn Flake Crumb baked chicken recipe.

    Today I have to beseech my congregation to help me out with our Thrivent matching funds paperwork, which for some reason I've been entrusted with filling out, with very little attention or support. I am the very LAST person to be given this job -- paperwork and bookkeeping. Sigh.

  80. interesting reading about being refined. Thanks Will smama :) and others ...

  81. Well, I indulged a social whirl yesterday!

    Community event in the afternoon, over to a friend's afterwards for an impromptu in-between party before heading off to another party in the evening! I feel quite the social butterfly today...and feeling it, too...too much rich food and up too late.

    However, the sermon is done, I'm sticking with a manuscript today because much of it is narrative. I'm letting the story preach the sermon, with a few comments at the end.

    We'll see how it flies!

    Prayers for anyone still working on the West Coast!

  82. Done with sermon, prayer and my report for the Board Meeting after worship - and still "plenty" of time left to get to the church an hour early to help the Alternative Christmas folks set up.

    Thanks for the prayers RP - I know they helped. And may the Spirit flow through all our words

  83. It occurs to me that I am almost always horribly negative about my sermons on Saturdays, but they somehow turn out quite well most weeks. God is funny that way.

    The baptism remembrance went really well. Some people seemed sort of confused, but the ones who got it really got it.

  84. Sermon went well. Thansk to a delightful interuption from my neighbor! I will post a cleaned up version of sermon later on. I borrowed some stuff from various places, includign a line i really liked for mteh prayer and something I pulled up after typing in the text. Sermon turned out a little different than expected.
    Glad the baptism rememberance went well.Love to know more.
    Now, off to finish the bean soup, make soem more biscuits (Will try and post recipe, way simple!)
    And back to church for kids' program.


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