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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: The Halfway There Edition

Hello friends. Well, two Sundays of Advent left, strictly speaking. This week is St Stoic's Christmas Pageant, so the congregation will get very little Advent, since basically I just show up and say some prayers.

What lectionarily homiletical gems are the rest of you working on this week?

And here's another question for you: When does your church do the Christmas pageant, (if they do one)?

Another question: Is anyone else planning to go to the Festival of Homies this year in Nashville?


  1. The church I am currently serving does their Christmas pageant on Sunday night, after the all-church Christmas potluck supper...

    I am scared to say I've actually written two-pages on my sermon this morning!

    I have a wedding to do on Saturday the 23rd, so I can't get too far behind...

  2. I am going to tackle Zephaniah and some of Luke--a joy and justice tagteam. I am also intrigued by the mention of home in Zephaniah. I think my title might be"Home for the Holidays"
    Our Christmas program will be Sunday evening. It begins at 4:00 p.m. with the chhildren/youth presentation, then we have a huge potluck supper, and then Santa comes for the kids...
    I generally like this way of doing things....and it clears the decks for a meaningful worship on the 24th.

  3. I like you, just need to show up and have some prayers. Our children do their Christmas program typically on the third Sunday of Advent during morning worship. (Easier because all the kids are there, and the older folks don't drive at night, and the teachers don't have to be in church twice that Sunday (am and pm). It works well for us.
    Then we are back on to the 4th Sunday of Advent which sets up for Christmas Eve.

  4. The church at which I am interning does a service of lessons and carols on Christmas Eve. They also incorporate the children's pageant into it. I will preach a short meditation. I'm not sure how all of this comes together, but it's what they do every year.

    Dancing with God

  5. Our kids are doing a one-rehearsal Christmas play for, I think, next Sunday. I wasn't paying attention during the morning announcements. [shamefaced grin]

  6. All the lections insist our salvation is right here, in our very midst--I esp love Luke's Presence in Spirit and in Fire! More later; I'm barely getting started but hope to integrate a couple of the perciopes. Since I don't have a regular call, I get so excited whenever I get to preach!

  7. No Christmas pagent, but we did do a living nativity on Sunday and Monday. I wrote about it here

    Yes I am going to the Festival. Cannot live without the festival now that I have discovered it. And so many of the revgalblogpals go as well.

    This Sunday I am preaching on the Phil 4:4-7. I am sort of leaning to bringing in the movie Its a Wonderful Life with Paul's thoughts. Has it come together yet? No?

    What is everyone else doing or is Christmas pagents for everyone else?

  8. No pageant here. Thank you, Jesus. I know I am likely in the minority, but I dislike the very idea of them. Sigh.

    Otherwise, I am looking at the whole Gaudete thing. I love the hymn. I love the pink. I love it all. Fun.

    This service, however is odd because the congregation I pastor has an Oratorio during the service. So, we get a brief message and only a little scripture read. Saint-Saens does the rest this year!

  9. Not sure where I'm going yet.

    I have changed my work schedule, so today would have been my usual sermon workday, except a bonfire sprang up (as per usual in this line of work). However, I have been able to do a lot of reading and surfing.

    I'm using the Luke reading. I'm intrigued by the images of fire and Spirit. This may be a difficult Sunday, because of several events going on in our congregation.

    So--Christmas, John the Baptist, and the good news...

    No pageant.

  10. Revabi, Yippee! I am off to Festival of Homies too!
    Haven't done any ConEd this year (long story) so my funds move over to a designated account and will be able to use in May. And, I am so excited about going!!!
    We had kids pageant Sudnay night and the Choir Cantata is this Sunday,no preaching. Just spoke to sr pastor and he is doing the prayer, so I can sit and be "normal" person in pew, well, kinda anyhow.
    But, how fun to get to say, " You brood of vipers" from the pulpit!!!

  11. No pageant. No clue on the sermon direction. No FoH for at least the next 3 years. :(

  12. My meditation, to be posted Sat morning, is on Baruch. While you wait, you may want to read the poem I wrote for the Virgin of Guadalupe's feast day (12/12).

  13. Hey, WS, doesn't look like I'll be able to go this year either. Let's do a virtual know, links to streaming video of great preachers, links to articles, some midis of great worship music...

    Nope. Won't work. Just wouldn't be the same.


  14. 1-4 grace, maybe we'll get to meet.

    Boo hiss for WS and Rainbow Pastor.

    We can have a virtual meeting with you all too.

  15. I have to wrap up eschatology, Hannukah and the Magnificat all in one fell swoop ...

    We focussed on the first coming of Jesus in the gospel of John this year for the first Sunday in Advent, then looked at partially realized or inaugural eschatology and Revelation on the Second Sunday in Advent. We're celebrating the Jewish holidays this year to get a better feel for our roots in Judaism. So, I'll be weaving all of those strands together using the Magnificat as my treadle.

    I've already tagged one of our teens to read the Magnificat dressed in Goth. I might re-write it a bit so it's more modern sounding, or perhaps just use The Message version. I've already told her she can be rebellious and it should sound like a protest against Herod and the government. She's pretty excited about it.

    I'm just hoping the menorah I ordered arrives on time ... ack!

  16. Goth Magnificat and a menorah. Wowee...wish I could be there!

    Our Christmas program is the Sunday a.m. so I will not be preaching. I'll light Advent candles and do a short reading and that will be it for me.

    Usually we do "Candlelight, Carols and Communion" on Christmas Eve. This year, since it falls on Sunday, we are just having a morning service. I will not be there. I'll be in Minnesota. I'm taking my first Christmas off in 15 years! My daughter, being "great with child" cannot travel, so we are heading that way. Leaving on the 21st. If we are lucky, baby will come while we are there and we'll just extend the visit.

  17. Tripp, I'm with you - I REALLY dislike Christmas programs. At least, I dislike the way we do them. Last week I wound up refereeing a fight between two of our most dedicated members because they had conflicting ideas of how the program should be run. Both nearly wound up in tears. Is this how we should celebrate the birth of Christ? Not at all - but try to tell each other that we can do without the Christmas program this year - I think I'd have a riot on my hands.

    So, this Sunday I'll let the kiddos sing and speak their one line and hopefully everyone gets their annual Christmas program warm fuzzy. Meanwhile I get to explain how "you brood of vipers" fits, in five minutes or less, since the program is added to our worship service.

    fa la la la la...

  18. Just realized how bitter that sounds - sorry! Compassion fatigue brought on by impending fatherhood, lack of sleep and perhaps a bit of a professional rut. Pray for me, would you? I really do love kids and the two aforementioned people; it's just been a trying December.

  19. Correction: my meditation (to be published this Sat) is a modern version of John the Baptiser.

  20. Not preaching this week as we are doing a Christmas musical written by our organist which includes a Nativity Scene. Not preaching next week because the choir is doing their Cantata then. Somehow I thought it was to be either Musical or Cantata - guess that'll teach me to think! Of course, these are both all about Christmas with not word one about the waiting part of Advent.

    I like Christmas programs but I think they should be sometime other than during the worship service. . .

    Ah well - not preaching just gives me more time to work on the Preschool Christmas Program Thursday evening, the 50th Wedding anniversary renewal of vows Friday evening and learning my solo for the musical. :-)

  21. I'm not on in the morning, but have Isaiah 35 for the evening, and not a thought in my head.
    I am kind of playing with the idea of going to the FoH...depending, I guess, on how many of my wonderful revgal friends are likely to be there..though the "official" lineup looks pretty splendid too.
    I've told the email form I'm "just curious"...but please, all of you, keep me posted if you are definitely does sound remarkably attractive.

  22. I'm going with the Luke passage, although that's about all I can tell you at this point.

    We don't a Christmas pageant at our church due to the dire lack of children. We normally have an adult Christmas cantata early in December and Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve. This year, since Christmas Eve is on a Sunday, we are combining our Lessons & Carols with a cantata of sorts.

    I am SOOOO planning on going to the FoH this year. I've never been before, but between the line-up of preachers and the number of RGBPs that I hope will be there, I wouldn't want to miss it. Still have to make sure I have all the bases covered with the kids, but I am hopeful.

    WM, why 3 years??

  23. We're having sort of a grown-up Christmas Pageant, a drama during the worship service, written by yours truly. Since we have just covenanted to support a new homeless ministry, the play is a modern-day nativity in which Joe and Mary come to our small city on Christmas Eve and can't find a place to stay, then are invited to the Tent City (yes, we really have one) to stay. Three readers, six non-speaking actors, one musical trio, a dog and a live baby--it's my hope there will not be a dry eye in the house. And as the director, I will get to sit and watch.

  24. P.S. We usually have a Christmas pageant on Advent 3, but this year we are doing a Family Lessons and Carols, with children as readers and worship leaders, at 10 a.m. on Christmas Eve. I am really looking forward to it! Many of our families never attend the evening service on Christmas Eve. I hope this will give them a taste for it.

  25. Geezow! I'd give my left arm (almost) to go the the Festival (first I've heard of it) but I'm guessing the "real" job wouldn't like it too much if I just took off for four days! I'm working on some ideas from the Zephaniah and Isaiah texts, but mostly the spirit fire from Luke. Wish me luck. I do NOT want to be writing a sermon on Saturday night!!

  26. P.S. I'm with Tripp. A pox on the pageants. But like preacher mom, we have a "dire lack of children" so it's kind of a moot point.

  27. We had a Christmas pageant that involved some of the elementary children and they brought an advent calendar to life. It was OK. That was on Saturday, Dec. 2.
    Then on Dec. 9th we had a Christmas Concert with our Rock/Praise Band with the Senior High Youth Group presenting skits in between songs. They portrayed distraught elves tired of making toys for children that didn't appreciate their hard-work. By the end of the program the elves became the Magi and we had a live creche scene as the band sang "Silent Night" then closed with "A Christmas Canon" made famous by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. It was awesome.

  28. I'm a bit concerned about this Sunday...I have time-keeping items picked out for each of the Sundays of Advent, to focus my preaching (and it really helps!) but this week I don't have one in mind. Let's hope I can think of one before late on Saturday. (Someone suggested I procure a brood of vipers! Maybe that will be my backup idea.)

    Oh, so I'm probably preaching on Luke. But maybe I should look at Zephaniah too. What the heck, might get a good idea for an item there.

    We are having our Sunday School presentation thingy on Sunday, but we have a small Sunday School (four or five kids) so it will just be a couple of songs that have been re-written to be about Christmas. Should be pretty low-key.

  29. Oh, and I'd LOVE to go to the Festival of Homies, but I think it will have to wait for a few years until I have some continuing ed money free. Le sigh.

  30. We too are doing pageant this week. THis year it is a congregational pageant I got from Sue (Inner Dorothy). We have a regular SUnday School of 5 non readers (all young) so something different was called for.

    We shall see how it goes...

  31. We had an Advent Pageant this year - a bunch of characters from the Bible came through and explained what all the verses of "O Come O Come Emmanuel" are all about - it was a one-rehearsal deal too, the kids who had lines just had their scripts in front of them. They got their scripts about a month in advance, so a few of them did memorize their lines, but no one needed to. It was great - and, since it was for ADvent 1, it was early enough before Christams that people had a little more time and patience for the rehearsal.

  32. No Homies for me. It's a bad time of year for folks who work in colleges, but c'est la vie....I'll always have college of preachers (speaking of which, I'm going 3 times this year--long story--anyone going to Esther de Waal, David Bartlett, or Don and Emily Saliers, give me a shout!)

    I'm preaching this Sunday. I rarely preach at the congregation where I minister (there are lots of ministers and even more guest preachers) so it ends up being a big deal and I'm stalling at picking which scripture. The gospel is intriguing, but I kind of feel like Imight end up in Phillppians or Zephaniah and do the joy thing. Mostly because it's not what I want to do. (Generally, when I uncover scripture that I don't want to preach it's exactly the scripture I should preach.) But I'm still spinning in circles right now. Sigh. This was all so much easier when I preached every week and it wasn't such a big flipping deal.

  33. we have a guest speaker (from Italy) this week.

    Found out too today that we'll have NO service on 24th 25th or 26th December. And I'm bumbed out because of it. Grrr

  34. See a re-post here of a true story about
    "the Nativity that got away"



  35. Our pagaent was last week and my angel said his line and in the middle of "Away in a Manger" left the "stage" and walked all the way down the center aisle to me and then we went out the door, as he asked about the promised cookie. That was plenty for both of us.

    I'm told the rest went well, although Mary and Joseph decided to bolt for Egypt without baby Jesus.


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