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Saturday, March 06, 2010

11th Hour Preacher Party: The One With The Fig Tree

It's one of those hard weeks in the lectionary.

It takes a lot of explaining to get through this very short passage. Jesus' storytelling made a lot of sense in his context -- well, we assume it did -- but for our hearers, it's a bigger leap.

Where are you headed for tomorrow?

Could you use some coffee and a Fig Newton for the journey?

Check in via the comments and let us know. If you have thoughts or a draft, feel free to link to them.


  1. My apologies, apparently I saved as a draft rather than publishing.

  2. Morning all,

    Would anyone like some omlettes to get those homiletical juices flowing!

  3. I started the day with bacon and eggs, a rare treat. Then I sat down to read The Help. Now I am forcing myself to put it down and concentrate on the sermon.
    I am torn. I want to do some real teaching about this setting but I also want to not make this too didactic. And I would very much like to make the wrath of God go away.
    I'll be back for a late lunch. I've got salad with chicken and craisins, balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

  4. Good morning, all. I'm preaching Luke (title: Do or Die). I have ideas but no words yet. And I find I'm in a somewhat rotten mood this morning. Hope I can move beyond that and can serious soon.

  5. Still battling bronchitis. UGH. Gonna eat breakfast and then start the sermon. I'm going with Isaiah and as a secondary text the movie Chocolat which was shown in my absence last night.

  6. Actually, Songbird came to my my moving and travel rattled brain forgot what day it is....sigh...thanks SB for jumping in!

    Joan, I love the movie Chocolat and its themes of sin (what is it, really?), love, redemption, new life

    God_Guurrlll, yum!

    Margaret, I posted about The Help on my blog. I listened to it on my iPod during our long drive from Arizona to is fabulous. I can understand why you don't want to put it down...

    Earthchick...sorry about the rotten mood...hope it dissipates. Can you do some yoga or take a walk? Sometimes that helps me when I have those icky moods...or will writing the sermon help? sigh

  7. Thanks, mompriest. Yoga and a walk both sound lovely - esp. b/c it's such a beautiful day today. Part of my rotten mood is just feeling oppressed by everything that needs to be done, both work-wise and home-wise. I'm worrying about money (in addition to the usual worries, things around here keep breaking - dryer, garbage disposal - and February there was so much snow that our snow removal bill that just came was HUGE), need to work on taxes, have projects I need to help both boys with, and now have a funeral on the docket this week (for next Saturday - the day I had set aside for working on the boys' projects with them). Something's gotta give, but I don't know what.

    Okay, enough vomiting my mess everywhere. I know you guys understand the stress of trying to balance home and work, esp. when unexpected things like deaths and funerals add to the mix.

    Okay, no words over here still. Maybe if I get a few pages under my belt I'll feel better.

  8. not preaching tomorrow (ahhh, retirement) but I think I would deal with the fig tree by talking about our own frustration...e.g. with houseplants that leaf out forever but won't gloom...and the wisdom of the gardener who knows that the tree can't manure itself. I get very alert whenever sh** shows up in Scripture ("NOW you're talking").... and the good news is that despite our limitations, we're not trees, but have some power of choice and some power to act on choice, including seeking out the "Good Stuff" offered to us, which will kick us out of our dormant, unblooming unfruitful torpor.
    Does this help?

  9. I'm not preaching this week because the bishop will be here to preach and presided, but I'd love a Fig Newton--they have been favorites since I was a kid.

    I probably ought to start thinking about the seven--yes, 7--sermons I need to write for Holy Week. WHAT was I thinking?!? I'm not usually one to write ahead of time, but I think I'd better this time!

    Happy preaching everyone.

  10. Earthchick...I sooo understand the piling up of crap in our pile is overflowing, too!sigh...Know that you are being prayed for. And hopefully you'll get some good writing done to ease the rotty figgy feeling....

    CR - love your idea on the fig tree, if I were preaching I'd find this helpful.

    RevDrMom - nice to have the Bishop visit! But seven sermons? can some of them be just short homilies? Little reflections for the already potent texts of Holy Week? Not that writing shore reflections is any easier than long ones...sigh I suspect you will find yourself on a roll, eventually, and they pour out of you. That, or you can always lean into the texts of St. Chrysostom - his most famous sermon is wonderful for the Great Vigil...and the Iona community has a number of meditations for Good Friday....and, I often have a deacon preach on Maundy Thursday...ok...enough of my ideas...hope it goes well for you...

  11. I'm working with the Isaiah 55 text. Interesting week that led to not getting enough prep work in for it. I've gotten the intro started but heading out to the farmer's market and then back to it. Blessings on writing everyone!

  12. I know we always pair this text with fruits of the spirit and wonder whether we're bearing fruit or not....

    but what if we're the gardener?

  13. I have a short sermon on the fig tree written and ready to go. I've had the Flu (capital F) for eight days now and it's not letting up. Yesterday between doses of cold meds and napping, I threw together the sermon.

    I delegated much of the service to other people (children's time, prayers of the people etc) and plan to keep my distance from everyone.

    I would ask for a replacement and stay home except that tomorrow is the Big Vote about our amalgamation plans. We've been working at this for over two years and the congregational meeting won't have quorum without me. Technically, I could get another Presbytery rep to fill in and make quorum, but I feel like I need to be there, even if I'm only a sickly looking figure sitting alone at the back of the room.

    I haven't left the house since last Friday night when it all started (I'll spare y'all the details) so I'm a little nervous - not about the sermon, but just about being upright for that long!

    Prayers would be much appreciated.

  14. Sue, sorry you're still so sick!

    My colleague and I are preaching together tomorrow, explaining why we believe the church should become Open and Affirming. It's a big one.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. [previous deletion mine...gotta remember to check who is logged in on my computer]

    A friend just loaned me her copy of The Help yesterday, and I am thinking from the comments here that I should not pick it up until today's tasks are done!

    Prayers for you and your colleague, SB, as you prepare and preach tomorrow.

    Joan Calvin and Sue, hope you both feel better enough by tomorrow to function.

    A very stressful week at work--the emotions of an upsetting death finding many inappropriate outlets--and now the sermon I have been jazzed about for 2 weeks is not sounding so exciting. I'm sticking with it, but I need to re-discover some of that enthusiasm...especially since I will be preaching it 3 times!

    Off to the grocery store now; anyone want me to pick up something? Perhaps more fig newtons are in order...

  17. As always, good to share in your hopes and frustrations here. I think I'm doing OK this week. Especially since I had decided to try a Lectio Divina on Isaiah 55 with our smaller evening congregation but then chickened out. However thanks to Kate Huey and Brugemann on Textweek, I managed to put together some thoughts and think it'll do. I'm off to have a shop bought pie for supper and then come back to edit and do powerpoint for service. As always, comments welcome. Be back soon.

  18. Flu, overloaded days, stress and trying to convince a congregation to be open and affirming certainly makes the fig tree look easy by comparison! Prayers for all.

    I am still struggling with exactly what to say tomorrow but I did finish The Help. :-) A lot goes on in this book but there are revelations and moments of awakening and incredible redemption that might tie into the sermon. I'm still tempted to semi-lecture because there are interesting things about the parable as well as Jesus rapid shift in the conversation. Well, I guess I'll wait and see.
    As for preaching every day in Holy Week, I've been doing that almost all of my 8 years as a priest (yeah, late vocation). It doesn't get any easier. I think I posted those on my blog last year. I'll cite it for anyone who is interested.

  19. Mompriest, yes some of the seven will be short reflections--Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for sure. And I suspect that I will be drawing on previous years for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil--I've preached the Easter Vigil the last four years--but I've never preached on Easter day so that will have to be a new one.

    My goal is to get it all planned out so that I'm not stressing now or later...we'll see how that goes!

    SB, I'll be interested in hearing how your sermon and subsequent conversations go tomorrow. That's a discussion we need to have in my parish for sure.

  20. I think what I have thus far is (Bupkiss + zilch)x Nada. ANd that equation equals????

    I am going with the tree and encouraging growth. I want to talk about being fruitful but I strongly believe we also need to give people permission to not always be "productive".

    What is needed for growth? Manure--crap piled on? Loose soil around the roots ro encourage oxygen to the roots. Selective pruning. Care and attention in the way you want the plant to go...

  21. I'll be completely honest here. This weeks' lectionary was one of the reasons I decided to go off lectionary this Lent. It was combined with feeling a need to address some other things in worship when I had a chance and while they were timely, but this gospel made it easy for me to pick Lent as the time to do that. So, sorry, but I'm not help here and praying for those of you who are going for it!

    That said, I haven't done a whole lot of thought about what I am doing this week. I'm close enough to vacation (2 sermons away now!) that I am finding writing a sermon more and more difficult. I lose steam the closer I get.

    Right now knitting things are much more on my mind than sermon-writting. My husband and I spent over 4 hours last night trying help me get 1000 yards of yarn from a huge skein into a ball. We realized over half way through that there were actually two diffferent strings of yarn. I sort of wondered, but didn't know. I'm at the bitter end of that project with a decent sized knot to fix now. That's going to get my attention first, then maybe my socks that I started for a class.

    The sermon, a short one due to baptism and communion tomorrow, will come tonight. Hopefully writing time with be proportional to delivery time, but I'm not counting on that. Tough, though. Yarn and maybe a nap are calling my name.

  22. Oh, She Rev, the image of you two wrestling with that yarn makes me break into a sweat! Glad you've almost got it under control. Do you have a yarn swift and skein winder? Those two things have saved my sanity more than once (though I've still had some tangles and messes to deal with every now and then).

    I have to make myself swear off all the yarn on sermon Saturdays until my sermon is done, or I'm doomed. So knit a round or two for me! ;)

  23. Ohhhh, great point Teri.
    You have a whole new direction to go!
    Sorry for those who are aling today. Get better. My tummy has been yucky today, but I don't think it is catching. Things have been a wee bit stressful over getting a new choir director.
    But, this too shall pass.
    I am working on Figgy Sermon and hoping for some brillance there.
    Also, have a birthday party to attend and need to decide if I am indeed going or not pretty soon. Have to be cautious as to what I eat and all. I doubt they will have ginger ale and crackers!

  24. Oh, did anyone have a World Day of Prayer service yesterday? Wonderful liturgy this year from Cameroon and we had a delightful time at one of our sister churches as we worshipped with them and prayed together for the world. Great time

  25. I've just returned from a sloppy (ie melting snow, mud, dormant grasses) walk at the dog park. Doggies were delighted. Now we're about to head off to a family birthday party. Nice to be back in home territory, for awhile.

    Prayers for those feeling under the weather....and struggling with the text. Some great ideas floating around, though. I too look forward to hearing how SB and her colleague's co-sermon goes...and Sue's church on affirming...

    I'll be back later, with birthday cake, if anyone wants some...

  26. 1-4 Grace. This too shall pass brought to minds this wonderful video
    Hope it makes you smile:)

  27. Parables being what they are (and not allegories, although that may make interpreting them a bit simpler) it is possible to ask what if we are the tree, or the gardener, or the landowner. In fact,I may do some of that exploration tomorrow...

  28. Finally have something up at here

    I hope this link works.

  29. Great video, Liz! Hope the rest of you take the less than 4 minutes to watch it. :)

  30. Wishing health and wellness for all. And good moods. I am having an enormous salad and would be happy to build more.

    I'm just back from a special diocesan convention as delegate. Let me just say that we decided NOT to be Open and Affirming :( but that wasn't a big surprise. And some truly excellent and courageous points were made.

  31. Mmm, Mary Beth, I'd love some salad!

    Sorry about the Open and Affirming vote. So glad people had the courage to speak their convictions.

    I am making some headway over here, so that feels good. I've just finished dealing with the first part of the Luke lection and am making the turn into the parable now. I like what I've got so far.

    Have any of you had Larabars? I have some onhand and would be happy to share. They are sooooo good.

  32. Here's a question for those who would rather think about something else than one's own sermon: Was the ground Moses was on any that day holier than any other day? Had it been holy all along, and he just didn't know it? Or is it possible for something to be holy and then holier?

    I'm puzzling over this for my sermon and keep getting tangled up in my own thoughts. I believe that all of creation is holy, made in the image of or from the imagination of the holy Creator, with the Spirit present throughout creation. I also, at least in practical ways, believe that some things are holier than usual, at least at certain times/ circumstances; the bread of the Eucharist, for example (Episcopalian speaking here!). The simple explanation for that would be that God is present in that item/location in a particular and unique way in that moment. But it doesn't exactly make sense to me that God can be more present (more obvious, maybe, but more present?) some times than other times; either God is there or not, so then something is holy or it isn't and degrees don't make sense. Sort of like there not being such a thing as a little bit pregnant.

    I have a feeling I am missing or forgetting some obvious distinction here, but it is not coming to me. Any ideas to drag me out of the pit I've dug for myself?

  33. Betsy, are you familiar with the book of midrash If God Had a Big Toe? The retelling of the story has to do more with Moses slowing down enough to notice the burning bush and holy moment, than it was or wasn't holy before.

    Got a good chunk of sermon written on Luke - it'll be more didactic tomorrow, explaining our confession of sin and declaration of forgiveness that's in every worship service.

  34. earthchick, my daughter LOVES Larabars!
    I need to change and go to the Graduate Voice Recital of our choir director. I'll see y'all again later.

  35. Preaching on the Luke passage. Using an idea someone offered on Tuesday – thanks RevGals – about moving from judging others to looking at how fruitful our lives are. I get Gord’s point about being dormant is sometimes OK, and I know I hear a lot about the need for us to be people who are ‘being ‘ rather than ‘doing’ – but this is what came out this week. And I’m using the dramatic reading from Reverend Irreverent. Also a friend sent me an idea for after the sermon of giving people a paper leaf [mine is a piece of paper with a leaf outline drawn on – too much fiddly cutting] and asking people what they need to be more fruitful. It is the gardener rather than the person who supplies the extra fertilize and care. So a week when all I seem to be doing is using other people’s ideas :)
    Hope those who are struggling gets some clarity.

    Time to shower and get to church.

  36. Betsy,

    maybe it is more holy to us becasue we are more aware of God at those moments, and we are connecting with God at those times or should that be God is connecting to us, or we are open to God connecting with us - sorry don't have time to think that through any further.

    8.00am- should be in the shower, so must stop checkign out how you are all doing.

  37. Earthchick, that book--which is one of my very favorites to use in school chapel--is what turned this whole story into one of my absolute favorites! If any of you are not familiar with Does God Have a Big Toe?, I highly recommend it!

    I have been tossing around the idea that part of holiness is our noticing the presence of the Holy One. Would that then mean that, in a sense, holiness is dependent upon our discernment? I have problems with that, because I am inclined to think that creation has an inherent holiness, whether I notice or not.

    What are Larabars??

  38. Betsy, I wasn't the one who recommended the book, but I do need to read it. My husband has referenced it in sermon in the past and it sounds great.

    Larabars are bars made only from whole foods - nuts, fruits, and seeds - and they are fantastic. I have quit eating sugar and sugar substitutes, and these are a nice natural treat if I'm really craving something sweet. My favorite is Chocolate Cocoa, which is just dates, almonds, walnuts, unsweetened coconut, and unsweetened cocoa powder. I also like Pecan Pie (dates, pecans, almonds), and I just bought Chocolate Coffee for the first time but haven't tried it yet (dates, walnuts, hazelnuts, cocoa, cashews, and coffee).

    They aren't lowfat or anything, but I'm not trying to eat lowfat, just trying to eat only natural fats (nuts, avocados).

  39. Betsy, even if God is always present can some places be "holier" than others? Set apart? As you mentioned, the consecrated elements at Eucharist are set apart, and God is present in them in a special way. And certainly for Jews later on, the Temple was "holy ground" and the inner sanctum, the "holy of holies" was the most holy of all.

    Another way to think about it--was the burning bush a "thin spot" -- a place where God's presence was especially evident and accessible, the way Iona for example is a thin spot?

    I know of one priest who celebrates the Eucharist bare-footed because he believes that in that act at the altar he is on "holy ground."

  40. Oh, just went to the Larabar website and found this list of "quality standards" for Larabars:
    Gluten Free
    Dairy Free
    Soy Free
    All Natural
    No added sugars or sweeteners
    No added sulfites
    No preservatives, fillers, or colorings

  41. DWG and Earthchick, sorry for having confused you; that's what I get for putting ideas in my head as I read and not going back to check who offered them!

    Rev Dr Mom, I like that idea of celebrating barefoot. Maybe at least at our next annual Community Camp on Catalina... Thanks for the set-apartness idea; that might be a good way to think about this. The "thin places" approach, which is one that is very present in my own understanding of our connection to God, is for me one of intensity; it's not exactly that one moment is holier than another, but that the experience of the holy is more intense.

    PRL, your thoughts brought to mind the difference between broadband and dial-up; both make a connection, but one the former is a more immediate connection.

    I really appreciate these ideas; I was circling the drain of my own mind ;-)

    Larabars sound marvelous!

  42. okay, here's a blog question I can't seem to find an answer to. I swear I've written my sermon in Office and then copied and pasted it to my blog but that doesn't seem to be an option today. I really don't want to type it over again.
    Can one of you nice people who already has the sermon done or isn't preaching tomorrow help me out? All the rest of you keep those noses to the grindstone. :-)

  43. Hello everyone, I'm checking in from a Starbucks about an hour from home. Was driving back from somewhere else and decided to stop and try to get some writing done, or at least get to a place where I can ponder things for the last hour of driving.

    I think three years ago, I did actually give out Fig Newtons as part of the sermon, which of course makes any sermon better. But this year I don't have that option--I'm still working with the blanket as an ongoing illustration from week to week.

    What I really need is a nap, but at least for a while I'm going to try to get some thoughts put into words. Glad to see you all here with the conversation flowing.

  44. Pizza anyone? There's some left and its still hot.
    Margaret and Mompriest, I want to hear more about the Help. I'm off to your blog.
    Gord, if growth comes from crap piled on, why aren't most of our churches growing?
    Betsy I wonder if the difference is that Moses showed up. I think Dancing God has something for us to ponder.

    Margaret, can you try a different browser? I had that trouble a week ago with Google chrome and I went back to Firefox and it pasted just fine.

    Prayers for sick folks and for getting through tough days ahead.

    My two little meditations on Thirsting for God and Anointed for healing are done and my daughter is about to arrive from her long drive from TOO FAR AWAY.

    Enjoy the rest of the party. I'm off to read some of your blogs.

  45. Whoa. Could I actually be done? I have 952 words, which is just the length I was aiming for (preaching super-short all through Lent). It has a beginning, a middle, and an end, and works the blanket them in there.

    I think it's good for now. I'm going to drive home and look at it with semi-fresh eyes later tonight. Whew!

    I hope everyone else is wrapping up, or coming along, or getting going, or...something!

  46. Just checking in. I'm only preaching/teaching in the evening service and I finished my outline yesterday. I've had a good day of rest -- with a brief stop to see a wonderfully godly yet grieving family in our church. Prayers for all you preachers still cranking it out yet tonight!

  47. Is the gardener wrong sometimes?

    SOmetimes should the tree be cut down even though the gardener is not willing to let go? If there are no figs next year will he say again "give me one more year"?

    Not that there would be any parallel to the church there of course ;)

  48. Back from morning service. One person commented that in all the years they had attended church [60 plus] they couldn’t remember ever hearing this passage preached on, and they appreciated that I had. Sometimes the hard passages are the ones congregations need to hear us wrestling with. Reverend Irreverent, the dramatic reading was well received, thank you so much for sharing.

  49. back from a family birthday party...had to leave early to care for dogs...sigh.

    anyway...missed the cake, but home now with tea and delicious peanut butter chocolate chip cookies....I have plenty to share!

  50. I've got my draft up here . Now on to Sunday School planning!

  51. We went to the recital and then out to dinner with my colleague and his wife. I still need to write the concluding sentences tying our combined sermon to Communion, but I think that will have to wait until morning.
    I'm sorry about the spam earlier; it's the price we pay for allowing anonymous comments here. I try to catch them quickly!

  52. RevNancyFitz, I did manage to move the sermon from My Documents to one email address and then to gmail. Inputting from gmail worked nicely. Thanks for your suggestion.
    And here is the basis for my sermon. It most likely won't come out exactly this way since I don't use a text but it will be close with, God willing, the same message whatever that is.

  53. "Where are you headed for tomorrow?"

    What a great question! Today, I first went 30 mins east before traveling 1 1/2 hrs west. I was so tired coming home that I stopped at every Target in my path -- more to wake up than to shop.

    Tomorrow, after 2 worship services, I will travel 2 hrs west to retrieve the girls and then we will travel to see Phantom. They, of course, have promised to get up without fussing for school on Monday morning. We'll see how that actually goes but I don't want to miss an opportunity.

    Meanwhile, there's a sermon to be written ... it's not done but there's at least something with which to work. So here we go

  54. Earthchick, I had never heard about the talking palm tree folk tales and found that part of your sermon fascinating. Do you have a source for those?

  55. I've arrived at the sermonizing computer, but that's about it. The yarn did eventually all get untangled, but now I have no time to use it tonight. That's frustrating. I'm hoping to pound out a very short (for me) sermon tonight and head to bed, but, well, we've all heard that from me before.

    I'm on Luke's version of the Great Banquet parable (Luke 14:16-24, I think), and although Gord already pointed out my parable pet peeve (treating them all as allegory), i think I might be headed down that road. With relatively little time at my disposal in preaching tomorrow I don't know exactly how else to tackle it. Also, I'm using it in a sermon about worship so the allegory approach is helpful even if it's not my favorite approach generally. Glad that's my pet peeve and not the congregation's. They won't get upset if I do it!

  56. I just realized that with the Admin Asst sick this week, the bulletin probably does not have communion listed. And I know the prayers are not right because she didn't ask me for the addition. shoot. I'm wondering if I should run to the church and make sure there actually *is* a bulletin.

  57. Hi Anonymous! Sorry I hadn't gotten my footnote typed into my draft yet.

    One version of the story is published in a lot of places (the version where the palm tree drops its fruit into the river and asks to be given more time). I first found that in the New Interpreter's Bible Commentary (the Luke volume, by Alan Culpepper). And it's the main version I've found in most other sources. It comes from the story of Ahikar (if you Google that you will find it, but the whole story is much longer than the snippet on the palm tree).

    Another version - the one that has the palm tree bearing no fruit (rather than dropping its fruit; when the tree asks to be transplanted, the owner says, "When you stood by the water you bore no fruit, how then will you bear fruit if you stand in another place?" - is found in Joachim Jeremias' "The Parables of Jesus."

    Hope this helps!

  58. well Vicar, if no bulletin is there you could always go old school and do it all orally. Unfortunately that also means with few real congregational responses unless you have a standard "book of prayer" approach to worship

  59. Gord, the problem is we switched worship for Lent to a service with *more* responses ... so we have to have a bulletin!

  60. I can't stand it. I'm going to church to check on the bulletins

  61. Vicar: I would too. Ever since the Christmas Eve when the secretary forgot to finish the bulletins, I like to err on the side of caution. It's worth it for peace of mind.

    Hanging out, watching PBS, contemplating polishing the sermon.

  62. So the bulletins are done. I must've given her the prayers because they are right but communion is missing. However, that is actually the easier one to handle "on the fly" so that's okay. She was really sick this week so that they are done by her and not me is terrific. On Tues, I would not have been surprised if I was the one copying them on Friday. she must have come in just to run them since Thurs she only made it 1 1/2 hr before needing to go home.

    But now I'm not distracted wondering what the morning will hold as far as the bulletins go, I know and can figure it out tonight. whew

  63. semfem, and the church is really close so running up there is easy. and better now than at 1 am when I can't sleep :)

  64. Vicar, that is a lot of travel!
    I expect an 11-12 hour day at church tomorrow, so I am going to bid you all good night. I'm sorry I couldn't be around more today. Sleep tight!

  65. OK - I've been here a while, but I finally started typing something useful that I think will turn into my very short sermon. I don't like these ones because I feel like I don't have time to develop my voice and my flow and the elements of my sermon. They feel very different to me.

    Oh well. I've got something started, and will keep plugging away for a while, but hope to hit the hay no later than midnight, done or not. With a little over a quarter of it done (if what I've written stays in the sermon that comes) I think this is very doable, maybe even with a complete sermon written. Praise God!

  66. It was indeed some traveling. Thank goodness there was already the beginnings of a sermon before today.

    But now it seems like the finishing of the sermon is taking forever.

  67. I dropped by hoping someone had a brilliant idea for a children's sermon - with these readings, I admit I'm rather stuck. :S

  68. Anonymous, Sorry, I'm no help. If you think you could get by with it (no allergies etc) you could hand out fig newtons and talk about those cookies being made from figs. Not much God or Jesus in it though.

  69. I am taking two plants in, one that is lovely and flurishing and the other that is not doing so well(I forgot to water it in the back bedroom).
    Anyhow, I am just going to talk to them about how we need the proper care as Christians. And we need to help others to grow as well, encourage them to come to church, Sunday school, etc. And that when we get the proper care, we need to show how we flurish and grow as God's children...
    Uh, not going talk to them about getting cut off, punished, etc. Keeping it positive

  70. I am taking two plants in, one that is lovely and flurishing and the other that is not doing so well(I forgot to water it in the back bedroom).
    Anyhow, I am just going to talk to them about how we need the proper care as Christians. And we need to help others to grow as well, encourage them to come to church, Sunday school, etc. And that when we get the proper care, we need to show how we flurish and grow as God's children...
    Uh, not going talk to them about getting cut off, punished, etc. Keeping it positive

  71. Anybody got a good Invitation to the Table for tomorrow that is kind of growth and nurishing focoused?
    Who am I kidding???
    Does anyone HAVE AN invitaiton to the table of any kind?????

  72. 1-4 Grace, I'm guessing you want something better than "Y'all come"

  73. 1-4 Grace - I like the plants idea. Thanks!

    Could you use the 1Cor passage as part of your invitation? It's got that lovely line at the end...

  74. Back to holiness; you all helped me think through what I wanted to say. As a central part of the sermon, I'm talking about everything being holy, but God drawing closer to us in some moments/places/things, like lavender turning to deep intensity of experience. That works for me; I hope it works for them! There's more to it, but I really wanted to lay out some ideas to think about with regard to holiness.

    Just watched The Hurt Locker with older son; what a movie. Need to settle my mind and heart a bit before going back to Moses.

    Vicar, glad you found the bulletins finished :-)

    The door from the sacristy into the church is jammed; fortunately, it also has a door to the outside. But I'm hoping we don't find anything critical missing in the middle of a service, because it will require running outside and around the building and then back to get it!

  75. Lovely idea, Anonyn!
    Thanks. I am on it like whhite on rice!
    And Vicar, down here, we always say, y'all come!

  76. OK - who am I kidding? I hate what I have and won't preach it. Luckily this is a short one because I'm going to go back to the start and try to get an outline of something a lot more in line with where I was going originally and try again in the morning. I'm not really frustrated, just realizing I somehow got sent in a very different direction than where I needed to go. Time to do a u-turn and try again. What I've got here is crap.

  77. All my stuff is done and printed so I'm headed to bed.

    Blessings on your Sunday!

  78. So soryr sherev!!!
    Hugs to you. I can't seem to bring this baby home. Less than 200 words and it just ain't happneing.

  79. No worries for me 1-4. I'm alreaday a quarter of the way through my return to Plan A, so I'm going to bed. I think this will write in the morning just fine.

  80. Ugh. I fell asleep in my chair and just now woke up. Let's hope this one doesn't need much polishing.

    1-4, did you ever finish?!?
    She Rev, sorry you had to start over. That sucks.

  81. Okay, I'm calling this one done. It needed a bit of polishing, but fortunately no big overhaul. I'm headed to bed for real now.

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation this morning. And may those who have further still to go reach their destination!

  82. I'm back! In great faith I let myself sleep a little longer than usual for the state of my sermon and outline, but I needed that sleep. Time to get this one down on paper!


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