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Saturday, December 18, 2010

11th Hour Preachers Party: Advent, still

Many of us are looking at a short busy week ahead of us...only a week from now it will be Christs-mass. Much to do...but today we are focusing primarily on the sermon for tomorrow, which is technically still Advent 4.

True, some of you may have your Christmas in church celebration. For many years the small church I served shared its space with a Korean Methodist Church. It was important for us to do a quick change after services on Advent 4, decorating the church for the Koreans to have their Christmas service that afternoon. (They only met on Sunday and would not have a Christmas Eve or day service).

Whether you are preparing for Advent 4 or Christmas or both, you are welcome to the party. We are in the deep-freeze where I live so lots of goodies to fortify us and keep us toasty: coffee and a variety of teas, homemade apple crisp, oatmeal, yogurt, for starters. Pull up a chair and join the party. We'll help with ideas, comments on you sermon, support if you get stuck, and some fun too.


  1. Good morning!

    Once upon a time I thought it was a good idea to name my sermon 'Who's Your Daddy' with Matthew 1:18-25 as the base text. Eventually it will come together (or will be walked proud) but I am disappointed in the major stall and lack of words on paper.

    Pageant rehearsal and cookie making is the order of the day so until that pace picks up I am hoping to work a bit.

    A cup of coffee would be great as ours grinds the coffee and is not exactly conducive to keeping the rest of the household quiet so I can get a few thoughts down on paper.

    Love this season. Truly.
    Will love it even more when this sermon is written.

  2. Today I dropped in for an hour or so at the first birthday of a child whose parents I married a couple of years ago, and Grandma is in the congregation. great to catch up with people. then tonight a Christmas get together at the church. in between I wrote a sermon, which is toooo long, so now to edit. I rarely have a problem of a too long sermon. Tomorrow already has a dialogue from Candles and Conifers, between Joseph and the angel, so I really need a shorter rather than longer sermon.

    we are having a Nativity play at the Carols Service on Thursday evening, but no dialogue for the children, all done by the narrator - that way we can include whoever turns up.

    Tomorrow going with Joseph and the Coming Kingdom [from Isaiah and Matthew]. In some ways I feel like I have preached some of the same themes for the past 4 weeks.
    Now this is probably quite long as well. time to edit.

    some fudge left from tonight, white choc with cherries or dark choc and ginger.

  3. The family is starting to arouse and I am thankful some words are down on paper. It still feels a little aimless and as I type I realize I never wrote down the focus/function. This will help!

    Focus/function and then some coffee to help me focus and function. Running The Boy to pageant practice and hope to get the technology set up for a Power Point in Sunday School tomorrow. We also have a baptism. Any wonder why I consider this weekend to be the one to get through and next weekend to be do-able?

    Blessings upon those to come. I'll check in again later and hope to have many comments to catch up on!

  4. Good morning kathrynjz and Pearl down under.

    "who's your daddy" is a funny title - I do hope the words come to flush it out and that the work of this day goes well.

    Pearl, rest well for the day ahead. I'll stop by to read your sermon as soon as I've had a cuppa coffee...

  5. OK, I'm offering hot chocolate with lots of whipped cream.

    I'm preaching for the second week in a row for a church just beginning to think about what's next after their pastor's retirement last month. I'm going with the annunciations to Joseph and Mary: ordinary people invited into extraordinary lives, to take great risks and become vulnerable in response to a God becoming vulnerable to us.

    It seems to have been inspired by Iona's Cloth for the Cradle prayer, which is the most visited search on my Advent blog and some of which I'm quoting at the end.

  6. I'm up earlier than I want to be for no good reason. I decided to go ahead and get up when I couldn't fall right back to sleep.

    There are two Christmas parties later today and a kid went to bed not feeling well last night so working on the sermon this morning seemed the thing to do.

    I also need to do some Christmas shopping later ... ugh.

    I'm trying to think of a character that can serve as an example of the strong, silent type, someone whose actions speak louder than words. Maybe Zorro (1st Antonio reference of the day)? Anyone else?

  7. hi, I'm behind because Thursday I came down with an infection and had to go to urgent care. feeling better today.

    My sermon title is "baby watch." It's not as far along as I would have liked.

    we have our pageant tomorrow at 10:00, but I preach at 8:45.

  8. oh, and I don't know what I have. how about some oat meal? I know it sounds boring...

  9. Hi Robin, I love Cloth to Cradle, good resources for sermons! and, thank you for the hot chocolate...!

  10. In the time it took me to do a quick welcome to Robin both Diane and Vicar showed up! Welcome!!

  11. A tad wintry here in Scotland. I bring some warming Lentil soup and fresh baked bread rolls.
    No preaching tomorrow - enjoying my 4th Children's Nativity in as many days. I've been reflecting on our Nativity portrayals here

  12. sorry, just realised - altough it's lunch time here, you may not fancy soup for breakfast!! Forgot time difference. LOL

  13. Hi Liz!!! We'll keep the soup warm for a few hours - I love lentil soup.

  14. Good morning! I had a nice lie-in this morning after going to hear a wonderful version of Messiah last night by our baroque orchestra and chorus. Usually I have everything done by now for my Saturday evening service but this has been a busy week...surprise. Tonight for our usual Saturday night service we will have our Longest Night Service, and I am preaching on the Matthew passage and what it means to "fear not" when the worst thing you have feared has happened to you. Hoping to wrap it up with the concept of Emmanu-el - the with us God who never leaves us, even through our fears.

    I have some oatmeal, too, and frozen fruit and hubby is headed out for more fruit, OJ and who knows what else. I would LOVE some lentil soup for lunch, Liz!

    Blessings to all in your preparations.

  15. welcome mumpastor! I suspect we cannot have enough oatmeal on this brutally cold morning.

  16. We didnt get totally snowed at last week, but with only 28 in worship, counting my baby and my preschooler, I threw the more formal service plans out the window and we followed an order of morning prayer with hymn requests and sharing based on the Isaiah lectionary text. I was going to be off lectionary with Mary as the theme. So, that leaves me with Mary this week and nothing to really need to prepare today. Yipee! I never really liked my ending last week, but I don't know if I'll bother changing it.

    I'll get it posted shortly and will be happy to take comments! I'll also get my Joseph link posted for anyone who wants that one.

    Off to the movies with the kids shortly. Never really intended to see Yogi Bear, but listening to my son's HUGE laugh at the previews makes it irresistible. I don't care at all about the movie, but I can't wait to hear that sound again.

  17. MumPastor, The Lovely Daughter was at that concert with you!

    Blessings on your service tonight. I have to go over to the church in a bit to see how the preparation is going for ours. Very grateful for the wonderful artists in our congregation who will make the candle-lighting beautiful.

    Can y'all believe that my word verification is "boring"? Really? On Advent 4?

  18. OK Here's my Joseph if anyone wants it.


  19. SheRev - taking your son to a movie just to hear him laugh is well worth it!

    Robin, word-verification! (chuckles to self)...

  20. 6777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777555555555

    That is from my Kitteh climbing all over my laptop.

    Technology is not my friend this morning, my desktop computer is being persnickity so I'm on the laptop this morning.

    Going to preach on the magnificat tomorrow, yep I'm a week behind but the choir is working on a lovely piece that is the sung version on the Magnificat and they thought that the 4th week of advent was the magnificat.

    My kitteh is sitting on my bible commentary. So I'll probably do my internet work first so as to let him be.

    I've got a hardy farmers breakfast to share, eggs, toast, juice. Enjoy.

  21. Wow, 20 comments already and it's only 9:33a EST! You gals have been BUSY!

    Over here, we were up long in the middle of the night with a child who was throwing up. I am of course concerned that others of us will be next. Am going to try to write like the wind in case it hits me later today.

    I'm preaching Matthew, title "Consent to Mystery," and have lots of thoughts about my opening (unwritten yet) but am not sure about the rest of it. Grateful for the company here!

  22. I can't believe I have another sad thing to report in my life, and another sermon to right despite how sad I'm feeling. The slightly older of our two old lady cats had what seemed like a cold, and when I took her to the vet two weeks ago, the doctor found a suspected mass. Because she was an old girl, 15-and-a-half, we decided to just watch her rather than doing anything invasive. By the middle of this week, I was concerned she wasn't eating much, if anything, and by Thursday she seemed to be having trouble breathing. But when I took her in yesterday, it wasn't with the expectation I wouldn't be bringing her home.
    So, more sadness at our house. This cat slept by my daughter's head. They were exactly the same age. We are feeling about as un-Christmas-y as possible at the moment.
    But this morning, I came downstairs and plugged in the lights, because I need them more than ever.
    I have some thoughts written down about Joseph, and I hope they flower into a sermon. It seems unlikely at the moment, but nothing is impossible for God.
    Or Antonio Banderas.
    (Because I'm not getting through 2010 without a sense of humor.)

  23. ((Songbird)) I so so so understand. Much love being sent your way from here. kitteh's do that too! funny/annoying/funny - hope the techno issues resolve

    Earthchick - I so hope that bug does not spread itself. I remember when my kids were little, and the crazy handwashing I use to do (and the wish that I could wear a face maske while caring for my sick little ones with the hope of not getting what they had - except I thought is would be really un-loving-momlike LOL)....

  24. Oh, Songbird, I'm so sorry. :(

    And thanks, Terri, for the well wishes!

  25. ((Songbird))) so sorry.

    SheRev -- I read your Joseph sermon, and really liked it. I'm putting it in MY file for the ideas.

    and I have a sermon. may post. not as good as she rev's, but...

  26. Following Advent Candle cycle and preaching on peace tomorrow. Up since 6 a.m. getting it down on paper and then into the computer.

    Asked Gifted and Talented to play and sing Make Me a Channel of Your Peace and he said yes! He was going to do something for special music anyway, we just weren't sure what. So while I've been typing away, I've been listening to him on his guitar - a blessed experience. Now he's moved on to other Christmas music - joy in my ears.

    I'm leaving the computer now because my 18 year old son has asked me to help him clean out his closet! This major organizational surge seems to have been stemmed by college acceptance letters. He's also asked for the Toy Story movies on DVD for Christmas. I think we are about to live Toy Story 3 a little too closely. Ah life.

    A blessed day to all of you. I'm leaving orange cranberry muffins for you today.

  27. (((Songbird))) Praying for you and yours.

  28. SB so sorry for another sadness in your life. Praying for some Christmas joy to decend.
    Pearl may be asleep now but I hope she left the dark choc w/ginger out. I want some!
    None for you Earthchick, hoping you don't "get it".

    I stayed up (1:30am) to finish sermon draft and am about to re-read and edit. May read she-rev's first. I have the cloth-for-cradle piece on Jos and Theo diaries read before sermon. (With what child?) thrown inbetween. I have a story to tell about a "trust-journey" i took once and hope to tie it back to sermon and Jos's trust-journey with the idea I had as I finally fell asleep. Here's "Trusting".

  29. Welcome Mid-life and RevNancy....yum, orange-cranberry!

  30. SB, it's been so much this year. Here's to 2011!

    The Boy needs a new pair of shoes so OUT we go again! I think this is my payback for hating that Christmas shoes song so much.

    Sermon is at 3/4's and I think it has the beginning of a rhythm to it. I'm willing to trade a movie this afternoon for some more time with it while the sun is out.

    Here's some chex mix and doo-dads and Christmas cookies for your post-lunch snackin'.

  31. ((((Songbird)))) Praying for a better year in 2011.

    Big "Cloth for the Cradle" fan here too.

    Cantata day tomorrow. Rehearsal on Thursday was very good. Let's hope we can pull it off tomorrow morning too!

    This is the first time I'll be singing in the Cantata instead of reading the narration. I've worked really hard (all on my own time - choir is never included in my work hours of course) over the past two years to learn how to read and sing the alto line. I'm getting better at it and enjoying it so much.

    Hubby's Dad is reading part of the narration, along with another one of our retired clergy from the congregation. (I counted once - we have six!)

    Hubby will be watching at home via Skype (our building still isn't accessible for his wheelchair - that's a whole other story). In any case, he will be there!

  32. Here's my Mary sermon for tomorrow. I'll mess with it a little tonight maybe. I'm with Earthchick worrying if I may have caught what kids had. I had 2 of the 3 out of their respective schools 3 or 4 days each. Thought I avoided it, but today I'm worried that maybe I didn't.

    Morning movie plans were thwarted by Girl Scouts. They bought the theater out, but the theater didn't bother to remove that listing. So annoying.

  33. She Rev, if you stop back by, can i quote you in my sermon?

  34. And thanks for the affirmations on my artier sermon.

    Prayers for Songbird!

  35. I'm not much of anywhere yet, but that's not surprising considering I strayed to planning for the 26th.
    Heading out to do a couple of errands and hoping fresh air and sunshine will be inspiring. Even fresh, cold air...

  36. (((((((SB))))) Enough already! May 2011 be filled with new joys!

    I am beyond tired today: I stayed up WAY too late (3am) doing this and that, and even though I slept in til past 9 I am still feeling it.

    Ever since I came back from Florida a month ago I have been running from one crisis to another, and this week has been no different. On Monday we found a leaky steam pipe in the space used by the preschool, and as the week went on, the damage estimate got higher and higher. Then yesterday we found out that one of our boilers (we have three) must be replaces. All told, we're looking at the neighborhood of $25,000 for repairs. If you're counting you might remember that we had to replace three air conditioning units in August and deferred one more til spring. The joys of an old building :(

    And on Thursday we had the funeral for the woman I mentioned last week who died early Monday morning. Over 200 people--the fullest I've ever seen our church. It was a lovely and moving funeral--good church if you know what I mean. But still draining.

    I am in denial that Christmas is a week from today. MOST of my shopping is done thanks to, but I still need to wrap everything and put up the tree. And my family will start arriving Thursday night. Which I'm thrilled about but that means I must also do MAJOR grocery shopping!!

    So sermons--yes, I must do one for tomorrow, one for Christmas Eve and one for Christmas day. The day after Christmas will be lessons and carols and I'm not preaching. For tomorrow I'm preaching on Joseph and the Christmas story as told from his perspective (no shepherds! no angels! no manger!) and using this poem which I believe I got right here three years ago:

    The hardest task
    The most difficult role of all
    That of just being there
    And Joseph, dearest Joseph, stands for that.
    Don’t you see?
    It is important,
    crucially important,
    that he stand there by that manger,
    as he does,
    In all his silent misery
    Of doubt concern and fear.
    If Joseph were not there
    There might be no place for us,

    Let us be there,
    Simply be there just as Joseph was,
    With nothing we can do now,
    Nothing we can bring-
    It’s far too late for that-
    Nothing even to be said
    Except, ‘Behold- be blessed,
    Be silent, be at peace.’

    The hardest task
    The most difficult role of all
    That of just being there
    And Joseph, dearest Joseph, stands for that.
    Don’t you see? (1)

    (1) Shepherd, J. Barrie. Faces at the Manger. Nashville: Upper Room Books, 1992.

    Have I said lately how grateful I am for all y'all's companionship on Saturdays? Well I am...and may we all be strengthened for the journey this week!

  37. Welcome RevDrMom - and whoa!!! you have a plateful too.

    I am not preaching tomorrow. And I am not preaching next week. ANd I am not doing any Christmas shopping or wrapping or gifting (long story, some of you know it)

    BUT what I will do is hold all of you in prayer...a vigil for the working clergy this time of year. Daily prayers for all of you.

  38. Hello preachers...good to see you all here. I have some leftovers to bring to the table...I know, not very classy, but we got what we got. They're pretty good leftovers if that helps! Gumbo, seafood chowder, meat loaf, lasagna. Good for a quick lunch.

    Today is a day with many fun things (starting off with a massage and manicure), but that means I am attempting to squeeze in sermon-writing NOW before I get a fun outing tonight. Plus there are some phone calls to make to prepare for a funeral on Monday. Yesterday was supposed to be sermonation day, but instead I cleaned the house and had friends over for an impromptu game night. Again, fun but now I need to be productive.

    At least I feel pretty ready to write this one...focusing on the word WITH. We'll see how far I get...

  39. Semfem - I think focusing on the word "with" is heading in a good direction for this text. Hope the sermon pours out of you.

  40. Hey there - thinking of all you grieving and getting hard news and holding you in the light this morning.

    Im just stupidly busy today and have nothing at ALL written yet, for my sermon on Joseph the Invisible Man (which I actually am going to start by quoting KZJ if you dont mind, asking about the nativity "which one is joseph, anyway? also a conversation with my dh this week in which i asked him what he woudl want to hear about Joseph and he said "I've never given him a moment's thought.")

    LOVE Sherevs sermon, though, and that poem is GREAT, so thanks for the jump start.

    As usual, I have nothing at all for the kids time.

    So, lunch now (really very good split pea soup I made this week. want some?) and then Nutcracker with some cute kids in their dress up clothes and then a white elephant thing that the chruch does that goes for HOURS, so I'll be back much much later.

    Have a great day ya'll

  41. Good stuff flowing around here!

    RevDrMom, love the poem, thanks for sharing it!

    SheRev, loved the Cherry Tree Carol - had never heard of it. Thanks for sharing it!

    I'm moving along at a moderate pace and so far no signs of a stomach bug for me (*knock wood*). I am dreading tonight, when I fear it may strike one of us. Why is it that stomach viruses always seem to go into full effect with children in the middle of the night?

    I am using Suz's marvelous story about her sister playing the Virgin Mary in the Christmas pageant and what she said to the boy who played Joseph when he picked up the Jesus baby doll. Check it out on Monday's RevGal posting.

    I'm about to grab a bowl of chili - so glad I made some earlier this week! - and some Fritos. I'm happy to share! And since it's virtual, you can trust that it is germ-free!

  42. BTW thank you Diane--something in your sermon sparked an idea in me for the candle-lighting reflection, which is now DONE! Why do I do those reflections...I don't know.

  43. My pleasure, Juniper. Here's the exact quote from the sermon I did a few years ago:

    “When setting up our nativity scenes sometimes we put Joseph by the sheep until the process of elimination has us realize that the fourth shepherd over there by the pine cone is actually the father of the baby. Such a thing would NEVER happen to Mary. She is always carefully and immediately placed kneeling by the side of the manger. There are practically entire religions designed around Mary, the mother of the Christ Child, but there are not too many confessional standards based on the character of Joseph.”

  44. If you're looking for a story, don't forget LutheranChik's great entry for our Advent Retreat on the Matthew text.

  45. I'm back from buying The Boy sneakers. I did NOT see that coming this month. Add an extra visit to the vet for the new dog and... well... you know what, forget it. I can hear The Boy making cookies downstairs with Gram. All is well with the world.

    Now sweet Joseph... what am I to do with you? It appears my ego would like a WOW sermon for Advent 4, but Joseph is not a WOW guy. He's the details-behind-the-scenes guy. His slow and steady helped to win the race as because of his righteousness, his Son knew what it meant to be part of God's chosen people. He knew what the law said and he knew that it was about the love behind the law, not the law itself.

    And Joseph showed it first.

    Or something...

  46. Rev Dr Mom -- thanks for sharing that poem. I'm wiped and realize that I have two more sermons next week, and not much of a clue where they are going to go..

    now to go and practice for the "early edition" tonight...

  47. Hi Juniper - welcome...may your day slow down a wee bit!

    I have chocolate and tea...who would like some?

  48. Someone asked about a children's talk. I am following the idea at the end of this file. It is about the meaning of names. I can't find my book with names in it, so got some from the web.

    and as it is Sunday morning for me, time to shower and head to the church.

  49. It got dark outside. I think it's time to have a sermon panic.

  50. Gah! Don't panic, SB, because then I might have to! It's not dark yet here but it will be in about 20 minutes. I am maybe halfway done. Problem is I'm in desperate need of going out to buy a pair of church shoes for one of my sons. Which means not only time away from sermon prep but time out there in the madding crowds. I don't know if I can stomach it!

  51. deep breaths....don't panic...

    all will be well...somehow....

  52. I'm getting somewhere, but it's a hard slog. This whole fall has been a hard slog! My hope for 2011: less personal drama.

  53. I was thrilled on Tuesday because Silent had suggested something along the lines of the meaning of names idea for a family service sermon...and then I saw I had done basically that for Holy Name just under a year ago. Back to the drawing board!

    The real image of Joseph in my mind right now is of the preschool pageant this week, in which Joseph and one of the shepherds had an all out battle over who was going to put a little piece of sheep's wool on the baby Jesus. They each tugged and pulled, in sight of a mesmerized audience, until Joseph finally won. The shepherd stomped away and could be heard muttering loudly, "He took my wool!" Reminded me of how sanitized our view of the nativity usually is ;-)

    Anyway, I think I will be going with some version of showing various images of Joseph and then of angels, and then of Joseph and the angel (hard to find those), and encouraging folks to imagine further into the story. It's not great, but it's as much as I can think of right now.

  54. Songbird, yup. slogging through the muck of life....sigh

    Betsy - welcome - love that "He took my wool"...hope your sermon ideas come together.

  55. I'm done--largely because I borrowed heavily from what I preached three years ago at my previous parish.

    Now I have to make at least a dozen red bows for the "greening of the church" tomorrow. My tree will have to wait until tomorrow afternoon I expect.

    Good writing and good preaching to you all.

  56. This comment has been removed by the author.

  57. Hi Rachel....welcome. I suspect you are correct about that clip...and it doesn't help to just say, OH come on have a sense of humor! - Jesus did!

  58. I'm only just starting to think about my sermon, because I'm not up until next Sunday. Prayers for all'y'all who have to preach a three-fer in the next eight days.

    I'm sorely tempted to just play the Colbert clip and sit down. But I will resist, because I'm pretty sure that a substantial part of my congregation will be so scandalized by the phrases "Jesus was a liberal democrat" and "mouthfuls of French whores" that they will completely miss the point about loving and serving the poor and needy without condition.

  59. If you guys want to read something pretty flippin' awesome, go here . This blogger offered to give $30 gift cards to the first 20 people who didn't know how they were going to buy Christmas gifts for their children this year. Read it to find out what happened.

  60. I'm done the sermon and worship. I still have to work on the children's story. I'll nurture the small ideas I have as I did something on names recently.
    If you have a facebook, there's a great "social network nativity" video being posted. I added it to my profile if you want to use that link.
    I'm suggesting the woman teaching the senior high show it tomorrow. It should be a great way of seeing/hearing the story in a new light. I'd show it in church but I'm not sure enough people would get it.

  61. Rev Dr Mom,

    THANKS! All of my books are in storage, and I really wanted J. Barrie Shepherd about Joseph! thank you thank you thank you!

  62. Hey RevTSB - know all my stuff is in storage too - makes sermon writing and other churchy-things a bit

  63. earthchick - totally awesome - thanks for that link!

  64. Yay, I'm not the only one preaching on Mary
    Mary. She Rev your sermon rocked.

    My word verification is whazoafo, try to use that one in a sentence.

  65. I have at least 2 sermons here.

  66. Oh, people, I am ready to wrap this puppy up but she seems unwrappable. I feel so close to the end, but every ending I write is just bleh.

  67. kj, maybe someone else could use one of them?

  68. Also, there is a shocking lack of ice cream at my house. Just sayin'.

  69. SB, we have that same sad lack over here!

    Okay, I've got a draft done and I'm going to let her rest for now before I look again later. I love Joseph and his story and had really wanted to do him justice. Not sure that I have.

  70. They are both drivel sadly.
    BUT I do have ice cream pie to go around - YUM!

  71. Hey! I just remembered I have children's time tomorrow, but I don't need to panic. I. Get to use Juniper's Magnificat one that I didn't get to use last week since it wasn't my turn the first time I was supposed to preach this sermon.


  72. I have ice cream and homemade apple crisp....and tea....

  73. Hey preachers of the Word! As usual, I am not preaching tomorrow (well, usual for the past year and two weeks) but I have been sneaking a peek here and there to see what you all are up to.

    I've never gotten to preach about Joseph. At my first church, that Sunday was always, always The Christmas Pageant.

    But I have a sermon title at the ready if I ever get to: Fake Plastic Joseph. Based on a story about my children's childhood pal.

  74. Jules, excellent title...but do you mean like the one people use to bury in backyards to help sell a house?

  75. Okay, I've got a draft: Where is Love?
    My daughter and I are going to watch "The Bishop's Wife," which has the dual charms of Cary Grant and an enormous St. Bernard. Blessings to those still writing!

  76. Just because I finished doesn't mean you have to stop talking to each other. :-)


    Has anyone ever written the first and last comment on the Preacher Party before? What a dubious honor.

  78. songbird, I am recovering from a hearty piece of applecrisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a cup of tea....

    kathrynjz - go for it! the honor should be yours.

  79. if it has happend kzj, my money would be on either you or songbird as having done it!

    I am monologuing as Joseph tomorrow.

    And then in the afternoon I am reflecting for the Blue Christmas Service. I think both are set in my mind....

  80. I've definitely done it, but I was hosting and came back the next morning.

  81. Hosting can't count. My money would be on Vicar. She's often up early with her girls then back late at night with sermon.

    Anyway, glad to know this is here both on the hard days and the easy ones.

  82. Presentation put together for sermon; I finally found the right search words to come up with interesting images of differing types. I'll tell the story and invite discussion as we look at the pictures...simple in structure, but I think it will work.

    You all have me thinking about ice cream now, and the Trader Joe's candy cane Joe-Joe ice cream that is only 1 mile away. If it weren't pouring rain, I would run over to get enough for all who are still here; as it is, I think I'll have to offer only gingersnaps and assorted teas.

  83. Well... at this point I will be walking the dog proud. Not exactly the place I want to be on Advent 4, but it is what it is.

    I do believe the Holy Spirit has our backs and so at her prompting I may be up very early.

    In the meantime - I'm out.
    Thanks Terri for hosting. Blessings upon you all as you continue to work and serve.

  84. I have yet to have peppermint ice cream - may be the first time in many many years I have not had peppermint ice cream this time of year....

    kjz - good idea, hosting doesn't count...

    I think semfem may have been first and last a couple of times....

  85. ok,'s been fun but I'm calling it a day and a night. But for those of you who may be up late - I'll the tea kettle on. Last one up get the lights, 'k?

  86. I'm back. Two parties completed but not the shopping. oh well. I'm pretty sure the stores will continue to be open for me to shop tomorrow or Monday or Tuesday or ...

    KZJ - I think most of the RevNightOwls have had a shot at posting first when the party opened late on Friday night and then posted last before the early coffee Sunday crowd. semfem, SheRev, me or maybe Juniper, too

    ok, sermon, sermon, who's got the sermon?

  87. Terri, I think I have :) Only if the party gets posted on Friday night and I happen to check in before the sun rises on Saturday morning. But I'm sure I'm not the only one to have done it.

    Well, I had a lovely night out (if it was slightly comedy-of-errors-ish on my part) and now it's time to finish this puppy up. Preferably with time to sleep enough to stave off this sore throat.

    Glad many of us seem to be finishing, or close to it.

  88. earthchick, I am totally going to post that blog link on Facebook. And maybe gank it for one of the sermons I will be preaching on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday, or perhaps Friday or the following Sunday.

  89. Well, I intended to be in bed by now since I'm not feeling great, but I saw the opportunity to push through and finish my daughter's Christmas stocking, so I did it. Now with my only two Christmas knit/crochet projects done I can start on a new pair of socks for ME tomorrow. Yea!

    Now I'm off to bed if I can get the baby settled down a little better. I think her nose needs to be cleared then we'll both be good for the night. (You probably didn't need to read that part.)

    Anyway, I am pretty certain I was first and last without hosting just a couple of months ago. In fact it was one of the things that drove me to try to calm down with my posting late at night/early in the morning. It made me feel a little obsessive! It was a particularly post-hogging kind of night, so I don't think the open/close thing was the issue, but that's what brought it to my attention.

    OK. i never did work on the end of this sermon any more, but I'm OK with that. Off to bed. I've got The Longest Night worship on Tuesday, our two different Christmas Eve services, NO Christmas Day thankfully, then Lessons and Carols on the 26th. I'm definitely not the busiest around here, but with me not feeling great the sleep will be good. I hope to fight off the infection my kids got and make some visits this week. EIther my sickness or my kids' has kept me from doing those recently.

    Peace to those writing tonight!

  90. I'm relived to report that the sermon came together more smoothly than anticipated. I'm ready to move on to putting together prayers and printing.

  91. hi there, here I am back from the long christmas story and then running a redunkulous errand that took too long and now it's 10:00 and I got nothing on paper. except for the Barrie poem, which hardly counts.

    anyone else still up??

  92. ugh - childrens time on joseph?

  93. oh! never mind! I know what I will do - someone gave me a story block thingy and I can use that to help the kids tell me the christmas story tomorrow. that'll work.

  94. I actually meant "relieved." More so now that everything is printed and I'm on my way to bed.

    Blessings on your Sunday!

  95. I'm here Juniper if you are...hoping it works like Vicar and comes together for you soon...I ended up sleeping a little bit, now hoping to write. If all else fails, I have an alarm set for 5 am to make me write then.

  96. This beginning I wrote sucks. Gone. New beginning now written, thanks to a cue from the BBT sermon on Joseph in "Gospel Medicine." Which I am sort of surprised nobody mentioned earlier.

  97. I guess I get 100 since I am the only one still up, apparently! :) I have 871 words of a halfway decent sermon...just working up now to the conclusion. The end is in sight... (famous last words, I know)

  98. Okay! 1013 words and I'm finished! Quick write too, less than an hour once I finally got started. I suppose it did "pour" out of me...but getting it started was sort of like molasses.

    A quick read-through, then printing, then some last-minute wrapping of gifts for tomorrow, then bed.

  99. Off to get another hour of sleep. Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation this day!

  100. Good morning, all! I'm happy to say that there was no more stomach ick at our house and we all got a great night of sleep. Yeehaw.

    Semfem, I didn't mention BBT because I was horrified to look back at my Joseph sermon from 9 years ago and see how dependent on her work I was. *cringe* I have a love/hate relationship with her work - it is so amazing and so definitive, that once I read it I have a hard time finding words of my own!

    But yeah, her sermon on this text is pretty fanfrickintastic.

    All right, y'all, let's do this thing! Happy preaching, happy praying, and happy worshipping!

  101. My hopes of avoiding sickness seem to have failed. I don't know if I can even make it in today. I've never had to do this before. We'll see in another 30 minutes how I'm doing and then make the call.

  102. Good morning!!

    For SheRev - prayers for healing from this ick. Take care.

    For all others - you have my prayers today and through this week - for health, for calm energy, for schedules that work, for words to preach, for all that needs to be done, done.

  103. oh, sherev - that's a tough one. worth it, though, to get the rest and healing you need!

    hey there semfem, sorry to take off without saying goodnight last night. I'm up early now too ( for me ) and hoping to pull this together in the next hour or so. we'll see!

  104. Hey SheRev, just writing to check up on you. How are you feeling? Were you able to make it to worship?

    Things went well at our place and I was happy with my sermon, but I got a scare in the middle of worship when I started feeling nauseated and worried that our family's stomach bug had just hit me. I ended up making it through the service and am fine now, but it was quite worrisome at the time. I kept imagining the horror of getting sick right in the middle of preaching!!

    I hope all had a good time of worship and that some of you will get holy naps this afternoon!


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