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Saturday, December 26, 2009

11th Hour Preacher Party: Wow, that was fast! Edition

Wow. That was fast. It seems like just yesterday he was a babe in the manger!


Lectionary preachers have Luke's story of sassy-pants Jesus schooling both the elders and his parents to unpack tomorrow. Are you going there? Considering something else? Scheduling a carol sing? Taking the day off?

Chime in via the comments and let us know what's up with you. I'll keep the little breads/cakes coming, because I really, really want to share them with you. Really!


  1. 9 lessons and carols scheduled - hurrah! :)
    blessings on all writing sermons and getting services together.

  2. Enjoy, Nik!
    I slept late (7 am is VERY late around here, as it is dog breakfast time!!) and I'm puttering around drinking coffee and eating one more piece of that delicious coffee cake we got from Panera. May I cut someone a piece?

  3. Oh, thank you, but no...I just finished some of our annual Christmas Day egg casserole and 1/2 a grapefruit. Day 2 of Christmas takes us to my parents home east of us about 2 hours and south an hour.
    I am preaching on Jesus' time in the temple as part of the process of his making the faith his parents shared with him his own.

  4. That sounds like a great approach, revhoney. I had the pleasure of preaching this text three years ago at St. Casserole's church, but it won't be a repeat since this year I'm going a week later. I guess I'm glad to have a different text to preach!

  5. Lessons and carols for us. I hadn't even read the gospel for tomorrow although it will be the last lesson we do.
    Today is the last day of my daughter and son-in-law's visit. Dinner tonight with friends and a day of baking cookies for them to take home. There are leftovers still to be eaten, too.

    I have fancy breads from a friend to offer. And tea. Good luck to all you preaching this week.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. OMG, the word verification is:


    How appropriate for this blog!

  8. I am so tired. Read all about it here.

    Suffuse it to say my kitteh has a very different sleep schedule than me.

    BTW he is on my desk as I write this. He says, "sdvgtfmjuh,"

  9. lessons and carols here too, with a very shorty meditation by me. I'm telling the "very short" (and non-religious) story "The Mitten" (whatever possessed me? two days before Christmas?) and hoping that it works out.

    glad I don't have to get a whole sermon together.

  10. GG - you and the new kitteh crack me up.

    Not preaching tomorrow. We have our annual "Wassail Sunday" tomorrow, so it's Christmas carols by request and scripture readings.

    We're sharing the service with Other Church and my colleague has agreed to do the children's story. I will be doing a baptism (I made sure the family new what kind of service it would be and they were entirely cool with it).

    Our Wassail service is a blast. We have hot chocolate, hot apple cider, coffee, tea, and every cookie and treat you can think of. Folks just get up and help themselves throughout the service. It's very relaxed and always fun.

    Preach away friends - enjoy!

    As for breakfast - I had a bowl of cereal while two very intense cats stared at me every step of the way. Their eyes literally followed the spoon from the bowl to my mouth over and over until there was nothing left but some milk to share with them. Not the most relaxing breakfast, but funny.

  11. Well,it seems like the minute I got finished at the Christmas Day service, I started sneezing - and I've felt miserable since. Not too miserable though to enjoy all the lovely Christmas food - especially the Yule log our organist made - he's wasted doing law! Thankfully we have lessons and carols tomorrow. Could do with a children's time if anyone has one. Off to dose up on hot ginger wine and Advil so I can put all the carols onto power point. Good to have company here.

  12. Sue, Ok, tell me more about your Wassail. I so want to do that next year! (maybe every Sunday?)
    Meanwhile, we have a modified service from what was canceled last Sunday due to snow. This way we get to hear all the wonderful music we missed. I have a hopefully short but deep? theological message on the "Scandal of Particularity" The idea surfaced in working preacher and maybe Feasting. Now to find all my thoughts and get them together.

    Hubby brought me last of the coffee but its not enough so I'm off to make more. Glad to have company today. Also have to call the family whose relative died on christmas eve to see what they worked out for next week. Maybe a visit today. Definitely need more coffee.

  13. I'm with Nik and others. I learned from you all last year. 9 lessons and carols scheduled, and I'm saving Jesus in the temple for next week because I love the story so much. All I need to do is match some art to the rest of the lessons (I already did 1-4 I think) for the Power Point slides. Not bad. I'll hit that during naptime. We're heading out this afternoon for dinner with my old friend from the hometown (a few thousand miles away from where we both live now, coincidentally) and her family. Looking forward to Monday and Tuesday off, especially since I even finished the bulletin for Jan. 3rd in Christmas Eve. This is so unlike me!

  14. I'm dreaming of a white Sunday after Christmas.

    Just like the snow days we've had before.

    Where the businesses and churches are closed.

    (then I don't have to write a sermon this week and spend all day napping)

    Perhaps a snow dance?

  15. Good morning preaching friends! (Blogger formerly known as CH here.)

    Tomorrow bright and early we head to the homeland for a command performance with the FIL. Pray for me for strength to be able to spend a couple of days around family members who tend to put the 'fun' in dysfunctional.

    But this evening, my wonderful beautiful daughter arrives at last from the Coast That Someday Might Fall Off Into The Ocean. Prayers for good weather and open airports for her would be appreciated.

  16. Unless I'm reading my lectionary wrong we in TEC have the Prologue to John. And, if I am wrong, that's what they're getting anyway!

  17. Rev Nancy - we set up the coffee and assorted goodies (treats as well as cheese trays, coffee bread - you name it, we bring it) on tables along the side aisle of the sanctuary. We have no carpet, so spills aren't an issue.

    This year the choir is hosting as we have this week "off" (no anthem), but in other years various families have taken on the hosting.

    The hot apple cider and hot chocolate are usually kept warm in crock pots, with coffee and tea in their usual carafes.

    The service follows (very loosely) a liturgy of hymns and carols. The difference is that when people come in the door, they write on a piece of paper which Christmas hymn they would like to sing before they get packed away until next year. Then the music director picks a paper out of the basket and that's the first hymn.

    So, we basically do food, fun (children are welcome to bring and play with toys throughout the service time) and hymns by lottery! It's very relaxed and fun. Sometimes the hymn-sing part of it reminds of the days of caroling door to door....

  18. Diane, The Mitten is non-scriptural, but it has the wonderful message of there always being more room in the inn/mitten!

    God Guurrill, we need to get our kittens together for some midnight playdates, because our two new ones are having the same problem. Good thing they are so cute, huh?

    Sue, your party/service sounds fabulous.

    She Rev, I have a whole document of links to artwork related to the Christmas story, roughly divided by themes; I would be delighted to send it to you ASAP if you like.

    We have lessons and carols at the 3rd service. At the middle service, a family one, I have a Powerpoint presentation that uses artwork (thus the document with all the links, plus way more I didn't use) and verses from carols to tell the Christmas story. I think there is a sermon at the early service, but all I know is I'm not the one preaching.

  19. Sue, thanks, I love it and am filing it away for next year. I hope it is awesome for you.

  20. I just couldn't do 12 yo Jesus followed by Epiphany next Sunday so I switched. Not that I think anyone will actually be there anyway. So the listed scripture in the bulletin is John 1:1-14. So, I'm looking for carol stories or preaching on the Light of the World.

    But I need to get some stuff for the Christmas dinner with my kids before they come back this afternoon. That probably means I'll check in later tonight

  21. Betsy, that and, (with a little twinkle in the eye), there's the suggestion that the finite can hold the infinite.

    Let's see if I can make it work with the story and just a few sentences at the end.

    like the white mitten against the winter snow...
    it's not always easy to see.
    1. that in the tiny baby born in Bethlehem, is the fullness, the vastness, of the love of God,
    2. and that inside that love, there is room -- for the mouse and the mole, the owl and the hedgehog, the bear and the rabbit, the friend and the stranger -- for you and me.

    what do you think?

  22. Betsy, I'll take it! That would be WONDERFUL! I got through the tedious ones (Adam and Eve getting kicked out of the garden, Abraham's blessing, etc, etc), but some options for the rest would be AWESOME!



    (My word verification is appropriate for those facing or hoping to face blizzard conditions - shiveron)

  23. not preaching. perhaps not worshipping either... a little digging out has happened. but major roadways, highways, interstates are still closed. so christmas worship gets moved once again perhaps...

    we have plenty of snow to share for those of you wishing for some...

  24. She Rev, it should be in your e-mail now!

    Diane, I love your take on the story; I am going to tuck that away. Adding to your thoughts, Love is also found in the dark, crowded, smelly places in life.

    Back to cleaning up for the big (but easy) party at our house tonight...

  25. It strikes me (although I could be way off) that the Luke story may be a precocious Bar Mitzvah at 12 instead of 13....

    I may use that. Or I may go with the whol time flying when we aren't [aying attention motif...

  26. Hello everyone, checking in for the afternoon (and hopefully not for the late shift as well). We are doing 12-year-old Jesus tomorrow and Lessons and Carols (including the Epiphany) on January 3...I will be here tomorrow, but out of town on the 3rd, and it's all about not having to find (or pay) a preacher at this time of year.

    Although now I kind of wish I was preaching on John 1, due to some interesting stuff in the Sermon Brainwave podcast.

    Plus, I am also getting ready to LEAVE on Sunday night for a wedding and some time with family, FINALLY! So that's really where my brain is right now.

    Interested to see what all of you are doing...this is my first time preaching for the first Sunday of territory! I really like Rev Honey's take on it and that might be enough to get me started.

  27. On a similar note, I am assuming we should take down the Advent wreath for the season of Christmas...but I've never been here for worship after Christmas Eve before. Can anybody confirm this for me? (Obviously we would leave all other decorations up...but it seems to me the Advent wreath should go away. ???)

  28. semfem, I'm interested in other's answer to your question. I think I left it last year and had all the candles lit. this year i've said take it down b/c the candles were burning down to dangerous nubs anyway. Still I'd like to know what is "proper".

    Now I must really write.

  29. I've always kept ours up since it has the 5th white candle in it for the Christmas season. I think if I didn't have that one I might take it down. I don't know, though. I've never seen a church use one without one. Does yours just have the 4 Advent candles?

  30. I'll be leaving the wreath up until next week, that is what we usually do here anyway.

  31. We have the 5th white candle that we lit on C. Eve. I think i'd leave it up if it didn't pose such a flaming hazard. next year we go back to larger candles!

  32. I am filling in for an area pastor tomorrow so she can be with her family. I have been working on the Luke passage for a few weeks, and I have an outline.

    My in-laws have been in my house for 2 1/2 weeks, and today--out of the blue--they left for home. And I had been counting on them being here to play with my sons (ages 7, 4, 1 1/2). Now I get to figure out how to do it all. My husband works until nine tonight. It may be a long night. :(

  33. I am skipping lectionary text this week(don't call the preaching police!) and doing the Escape out of Egypt text instead.
    I am making a big deal out of the wise men visit next week and so it did not make sense to get Jesus at 12 and then go back to toddler stage.
    So, I am in Matthew and I have no idea where I am going with it just yet.
    It will be short though as we have lots of guest playing music. Sunday after Christmas is when the relatives come to visit and so we get them to take part in worship.
    Anyone have any ideas for the Matthew text and how to escape from Egypt with the Christ Child???

  34. I usually leave all that stuff right up through Epiphany Sunday, but I have no idea what they do at my current church. The Flower Committee keeps track of some decorations, the Deacons the rest.
    We went out to the movies and saw Sherlock Holmes, then came out to see snow! There isn't much here, hotcup, but I had better check the forecast for tonight. My colleague is in another state with his family and was planning to return in the morning.

  35. Just read Vicar's post, yup, I am with you!
    I am thinking Lesosns and Carols sounds so much better for next year(wherever I may be)

  36. Lots of art in place, but I need to take a shower and get some mac and cheese with leftover ham made. Will pop back in tonight to finish the last bit of art and see what other folks are up to. Prayers for those preparing sermons!

  37. May I interest anyone in a molasses ginger snap cookie?

  38. She Rev, the Advent wreaths at both of my churches actually fit over the paschal candle the paschal candle becomes the fifth white candle in the center for Christ. It's pretty ingenious actually. So it's easy to just take the wreath part off and leave the paschal candle in a prominent place and light it.

    Not a word of a sermon written here yet, but I did do some late tulip bulb planting (and rigged up a wire cage thingy to hopefully keep the squirrels out) and some tidying up outside. It's snowing now, not sticking, but probably will start to stick soon.

  39. It's my understanding that the Advent wreath stayed, with the Christ candle only lighted until Epiphany. When I have used tapers, I always got extras to replace the ones burned too low.

    At my current church I use the glass devotional candles with inserts (we also use them in the windows - but red there)and they glow beautifully and the inserts are easy to replace!

  40. Well, due to the Senior Pastor breaking his arm badly and having surgery to fix it, I will probably be doing a sermon for tomorrow as well. I thought I would do an old one on this passage, but can't find it, so here I go writing away.

    How is everyone else that is sermonating doing?

    Hope it is going well.

  41. my addition to the advent wreath weigh-ins: at my current church we take down the advent wreath on Christmas eve. There is not a Christ candle. (I know some have one, but ours doesn't.)

    Christmas tree usually goes where the wreath was.

  42. A. Lin...ugh on that timing :-o Hope you can keep your sanity and get everything done!

    We leave our Advent wreath up, with all 4 candles plus the center Christ candle lit, until Epiphany.

    Which makes me think: we did a Blue Christmas service for the first time this year, and we used the Advent wreath lighting prayers that seem to be a common feature in this service. However, as we were actually doing them, I suddenly realized that this was a Christmas service and yet we had no plan/prayers for lighting the Christ candle, which seemed wrong to me. So, on the spot, I added that along with an appropriate verse of scripture.

  43. Merry Christmas, everyone! We had a lovely time with the inlaws (except for the sexist and fundamentalist group service at 5 pm Christmas Eve, which my sweetie and I counteracted by slipping off to a lovely and inclusive TEC midnight mass after family festivities. God bless that community, and my MIL for tucking the kids in to make it possible!) Drove home last night, and opened our own presents this morning. Now I am back to racing toward my two new preps for this term, which starts Jan. 5. Presently devouring Islam books both for the first year Intro to Religion and the senior level Women in Religion. Great to learn but I wish I had a month instead of a week so I could digest it more calmly.

    Blessings on those preparing to preach and preside tomorrow.

  44. I will never understnd some people.

    On Thursday Morning I learned that the mother-in-law of a neighbour (and congregant) had died (expectedly) and tht the funeral home where she was would phone me that day. Yes they would phone me at home. THe plan was to have a service here next Wed which involves transporting the casket by plane to the airport (6 hrs away) where the closest funeral home (1.75 hrs away)would collect it. No call on Thursday and no message at the church.

    No call yesterday -- but I didn't think there would be.

    This afternoon, about 1 hour ago, I went over to the church to do some clean up from Thursday night and happened to check the answering machine. Funeral home had called the church and left a message this morning, (by that point the local family and I and the local funeral home had already worked out times and scheduling, I'll call the local FH on Monday) despite being told to phone me at home, despite the phone message which says that if you want me call me at home...

    SOmetimes I wonder what the point of giving contact information is????

  45. Hey everyone! I'm preaching Jesus as a 12 year old tomorrow, and have all but the last paragraph (sentence?). I also have a horrible cold and wish I could stay in bed. Oh well.

    I think this is my first sunday to preach after christmas - -we did Lessons and carols christmas eve and the head of staff is on vacation, so I get to preach. But since it is a low sunday, we only do one service instead of 3 and there is brunch first. I can sleep in an extra hour before heading out the door!

    When you are ready for dinner, I have some white tuscan bean soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.

  46. We always change the candles to all white after Christmas and light it that way right through to Epiphany.

    Hope the weather cooperates for everyone.

  47. Have been giggling at 'the Mitten'... my cat was called Mitten and I suspect I wouldn't be able to keep a straight face doing this, which is a pity - it sounds a fab. idea!

    As for wreaths - I'd be keeping it all up and running until the services are done on Epiphany.

    I have 20 tonnes of stollen and about a hundred-weight of pfeffenusse still left, even tho I have heroically been munching away. I'll leave 'em on the counter for you all - help yourselves!!

  48. oh my Gord - i went through similar transport/contact stuff last week. Not. Fun. Add that to everyone's heightened stress at losing a loved one during the holidays and it becomes all the more chaotic. My sympathies.

  49. Got a call from the head of staff - -the music director who was doing the special music has a stomach bug and won't be there tomorrow - -so we will skip it.

    My sermon is posted here.

    Now for a time for children. Maybe just a poll - -what did you get for christmas?... what was the best gift any of us got? Jesus. amen.

  50. I found a cute children's sermon idea at

    I'm going to bring a purseful of things I lose: keys, sunglasses, cell phone. The last thing I'll pull out is a Jesus action hero doll and tell the kids how I sometimes lose Jesus. However today's gospel tells us that Jesus can be found in his fathers house, church. That's why it's important for us to go to church as often as we can, so we never lose Jesus.

  51. Well the new sermon idea is not coming together go figure. And the old sermon I found was not a complete sermon, just the ideas.
    Oh my it may be a mess tomorrow.

    Anybody got a 12 year old they can lend me?

    Anybody need something warm to drink? I am warming up the tea kettle and will be glad to pour you something.

  52. For those with Lessons and Carols, I would love to see a order of worship!
    This will be helpful for future use. Please, if you don't mind, e-mail me one:

  53. I have the kids sermon from sermons4kids on my desk at work buried under christmas eve bulletins. Thanks for the reminder!

    I just brewed some ginger lemon tea to sip and am calling it a night. Blessings on all of you tomorrow.

  54. Anyone doing the Episcopal Lectionary readings (John 1, etc.)? I have lots of notes, but it's still very unfocused.

  55. 914 words written, and I am chugging along towards some kind of theological "aha!" about 12-year-old Jesus. I think.

    Abi (and anybody else having difficulty), if you are preaching on Luke, I found Barbara Lundblad's sermon at very helpful.

    I would love some of that ginger lemon tea to settle my stomach...too many sweets and my insides are not pleased with me.

  56. Sarah SSM, I'm on John 1, too, even though I'm Methodist. I'm now diligently searching for light in the darkness

  57. 1308 words, and I think we have a sermon! Whew.

    Going to go attend to laundry, dishes, and food, and then come back and do the final edits.

    Keep at it, everyone still working!

  58. Just had a church member visit me, yes, rather late, but clearly understandable.
    Her husband had a terrible reaction to Rx medicine he had taken for sinus infection(along with other stuff he was on).
    Anyhow, long story short, he began having hallucintaions and is now in the hospital on the pysch ward.
    Really sad to hear, as he is not that old(newly retired).
    So, prayers appreciated for H.
    Now to settle down and finish sermon.

  59. Hey there, I'm sorry I've been absent. All three kids are home and we've been indulging in a Glee marathon!
    I've put off a phone call, a children's message and a word to say when we light the Peace/Christ candle. I think I had an idea for the last of those three...

  60. I am thrilled that I found a sermon from 1997 that has great "bones" so I am almost done. I had completely forgotten this sermon and was actually looking for something else with my "search" of the computer files. Whoo Hoo!

  61. Yay, Vicar!!! Wow, a sermon from 1997. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!

  62. Yep, 1997, back when a file name could only have 8 total letters or numbers. Its file name is 122897sm.

    And, it doesn't look like I've "touched" it since then. I don't always preach the Sunday after Christmas.

  63. I'm back from dinner (and AMAZING chocolate peanut butter cake) with an old friend. We live too close together to get together this infrequently. (sigh)

    So, now I need to put in the last few pictures and call it a night. I want to fall asleep watching SNL in my be, so I have about 13 minutes. I think I can do it!!!

  64. I'm done! and it's still double digit hours! Everything is printed so I am off to get warm and fall asleep. Blessings on your Sunday

  65. And I am done before midnight.

  66. Vicar and 1-4 - Yipee! I'm done, too. The art took a little longer than I hoped, but I'm heading to bed with nothing more to do in the morning. Peace!

  67. We all totally rock! WOOHOO! I just finished my edits and am ready to print and head to bed after starting another load of laundry.

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation this morning!

  68. If there's anyone still up and working, or willing to have sweets first thing in the morning, there's a huge platter of homemade fudge, cookies, and candy on the counter; the fridge has lots of potatoes, salads, and drinks. Help yourself, while the Spirit helps you :-)

  69. I usually go to bed about 1 AM, and it is now. I just finished. I have 2,500 words and a message that surprised me. So I think it works.

    Luke 1 and 2 are the introductory paragraph. The temple story is the thesis statement. We are to do God's work in this world--all the rest of Luke is the examples Jesus gave of how we should live. Then Jesus goes to Jerusalem again to conclude.

    The holy spirit has certainly been at work tonight. And now I print.

  70. Good morning everybody,

    Been up since 3:00 am due to my kitteh's nocturnal adventures. We are going to have to start sleeping with the bedroom door closed. Kitteh is just not getting that I am not the type to get up in the middle of the night to entertain felines.

    I have freshly brewed coffee!

    ps. the word verification is unfaid. I hope to unfaid today.

  71. Oh, dear, I wasn't much of a hostess for this quiet day after Christmas party! I fear I left you on your own too much. Thanks to all who offered hospitality and many blessings as you tell the stories of our faith this morning.

  72. Well, I have a sermon of sorts. And I know that the Holy Spirit has my back as he has all of yours.

    May we grow in wisdom and grace as well.

    May it go well for all of us.


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