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Friday, December 10, 2010

Rejoice! Rejoice?

I'm pretty certain I have admitted my horrible TV watching habits. Junk. A lot of junk. One of my more recent obsessions, though, has been giving me new thoughts about Advent and Christmas. (See even junk TV can be good, right? I'll try for any justification.) Anyway, MTV's 16 and Pregnant has me thinking a lot about Mary. In the show teen mothers are followed from mid-pregnancy through the first few months of their babies' lives. Needless to say, in most episodes there isn't a whole lot of rejoicing going on.

But rejoicing is what Mary did. (I know I'm off lectionary from most of the rest of you with my Mary thoughts, but it is still Gaudete or Rejoice Sunday). Even in the midst of her scandelous situation, Mary was moved to rejoice and sing.

Back to the lectionary: James urges us to be patient. When longings are deep, patience is hard to come by. And in my experience when longings are deep, times of rejoicing are not coming easily either. Which, I believe, is why someone had the wisdom to put this Gaudete Sunday in the lectionary - - to remind us to rejoice. Not because, as the fake roadside sign implies, we don't ever rejoice any other times, but because even in our season of preparation and anticipation there is room and reason to rejoice.

Now, about those sermons. Who's ready to rejoice? Maybe we can help each other get there. Have a story to share? A prayer to offer? Of course one of those ever necessary children's sermons would be great! Let us all know what you need and how you're doing. Join the party in the comments!!!

75 comments:

  1. Pondering preaching on the difference between joy and happiness. The latter comes to us from external circumstances; the former is a deeply rooted quality of God's reign. That's about as far as I have gotten, so I look forward to the insights others have!

    I am sure I've preached on these propers before, but I have the feeling it was in this same congregation; think they'd remember something from 9 years ago??

    p.s. Word verif is "outzing" which sounds like it out to be related to "rejoicing" :-)

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  2. 8.20 Saturday evening and I am just sitting down to start writing. I am off lectionary, working with the Angel and Mary and Mary's song of praise.

    Hopefully I will be back soonish, with a finished sermon, [somedays I am an optimist!]

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  3. after a long day, this is it.

    when God asks the impossible


    Betsy. I doubt anyone remembers 9 years ago unless it was an exceptional sermon, and then they would probably love to hear it again.

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  4. Good morning! I'm not usually an early morning sermon writer but, with an unexpected funeral this afternoon sandwiched between a staff Christmas party and a congregational one, I'd better try to finish up what I started yesterday.

    Preaching Ruth 3 and Joseph -- talking about the men who get lost in the shuffle. God calls us -- men and women alike -- to lives of strange obedience.

    I just tossed up a fruit salad for the staff Christmas party but you are welcome to nibble on that anytime before 10, when it must be whisked away to its rightful owners! And coffee is coming right up!

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  5. ha! I'm funny before 8am. Who knew! Here's a line from my sermon that cracked me up:

    ‘Cause here’s the thing – any God whose primary concern is politeness and well-behaved moderation probably wouldn’t go about the task by way of Virgin Birth. Not the best strategy for keeping up appearances. Just saying.

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  6. Not a lot of rejoicing In my parish this week as an extended family waits in vigil for the death of their wife/mother/sister/aunt from cancer. She was just diagnosed in September so this has gone very quickly.

    I've been thinking about expectations--Jesus wasn't whY anyone expected, not even John--and about how sometimes what we get is actually better than what we'd hoped for.

    I'm in the city right this minute; I came In yesterday to hear my son sing in a concert last night and I slept too late to take the early train home. So I may go down to my favorite coffee shop and write a bit even though I'd rather go Christmas shopping while I'm here.

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  7. Welcome Betsy! 9 years ago? I don't think they'll remember!

    Pearl - - I'm doing Mary and her song, too. Based on the ways my kids set up our children's nativity earlier this week, I'm calling mine "Mary's Song, Mary's Sermon." I'm looking at how she used her difficult situation to "preach" what she knew about God - - God is the god of the underdog, freeing the oppressed, lifting up the lowly, etc.

    Love the take on Joseph, Rec Irrev. I worked with him last week. I like your take. I went with his anger (assumed and imagined partly based on "The Cherry Tree Carol") and fear (since the angel told him "Do not" I made the assumption that he was showing signs of fearfulness) in the turmoil of his life. Repeated the words of the angel over and over. Do not be afraid.

    Rev Dr Mom - - Shopping would probably be my temptation, too. I'd definitely fall to it!

    No shopping for me today, though. We're on our way to being snowed in. My husband says we got 6 inches overnight and more is on its way. The good news - - the men's breakfast for which my husband is usually the cook, was cancelled. Egg bake for breakfast at our house! I love egg bake!! We have PLENTY to share - sausage, egg, and cheesy goodness for all!

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  8. good morning pals,

    Sitting down to write but have no idea what I'll talk about tomorrow.

    Thinking about joy in the midst of exile. Sort of along the same lines as Betsy (thank you!), happiness is external where joy is internal.

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  9. In case you stop by here again, Pearl, were your readings about the banning of the Magnificat on the internet or can you say just a little more about that? I might use that example, too.

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  10. Welcome G_G! May the Spirit's inspiration come to you!

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  11. hi! snowed in here. probably will be home all day.

    I'm not preaching, but we cancelled our Christmas program because we can't do it without the rehearsal today. hoping that we can have it next weekend. but since it made up the bulk of worship at 10:00 tomorrow, there is this big question mark: so what WILL we do for worship???

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  12. I'm sure you all are right about preaching a sermon from that long ago; it's more my hang up than anyone else's.

    I did find 2 from before I came to this congregation, and both are repeatable...and then there's the idea I was working on to start, which I still like. Rejoicing comes up every year, so I think I'll save that for another time and re-work one of the others. Good day for it, too, as I have the pageant rehearsal, a gathering with old friends, a party tonight, and the hope of fitting in the new Narnia movie with my younger son.

    Anyone need a spare sermon??

    Rev Dr Mom, what a difficult time of waiting for your congregation; I hope this member's death is peaceful.

    Wishing warm fires and a day at home to all of you who are snowed in! I have a bag of chocolate and toffee coated popcorn if you feel like a sweet treat.

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  13. You can find a rough sermon here
    If I were to re-write this, I think I'd note that we all have those moments of doubt, the times when we ask of Jesus 'are you the one, or should we expect someone else?'... and that even now, 2 000 years on from John's question, the resounding answer is 'yes'... and so we dare to hope, dare to dream and dare to take heart.

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  14. Diane, can you get away with picking a theme (say - joy) and asking people to pick hymns, favorite Scripture, or their own stories to tell from this theme? That's my favorite. Go-to on-the-fly service change. We did it with thanksgiving as the theme on the Sunday before Thanksgiving when that last ice/snow mess hit and we had so few show up. I'm half inclined to do something similar tomorrow since I know already that there will be so few.

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  15. Help, sisters! I have been downed with the stomach flu for the past 48 hours and am madly trying to finish the sermon for Sunday (also on Mary, something with Mary holding things in wonder...)...but am desperately in need of a chldren's story idea (I am plum out of inspiration here). Any easy ideas?

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  16. She Rev, I love that idea; I will have to keep it in mind for a "last minute" Sunday sermon.

    I had something new happen a few weeks ago: two of us showed up prepared to preach :-o I was on the schedule, but an earlier version had the other person and he hadn't noted the change. Better two than none, however.

    Well, I found out why the happy vs. joy theme was fresh in my head; I preached it last year! Not only that, but I'd gotten a great idea from someone here and used a bit from A Charlie Brown Christmas. If it's of any help to anyone, you can find it here: http://blog.saintmarksaltadena.org/2009/12/joy.asp (don't know how to put this in as a link, but you can cut and paste).

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  17. Contemplative Chaplain...a good and easy one for this week is to get a mirror and use it to shine light in different dark places around the church or onto people. We aren't the light, but we are called to reflect the light. I used a Robert Fulgham story about this last year in my sermon, but I'd done it as a children's sermon in a previous year and it went really well. I hope you are feeling much better soon.

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  18. Betsy - - I think that Charlie Brown's Christmas piece was me, or at least I did it, too!!

    Found a little more about the Magnificat's banning in Guatemala because of it's revolutionary impulses. I don't know as much as I'd like, but enough to use it as an example and lead into how powerful these words really are.

    Off to play Wii Bowling with the family. We've got to work together to keep everyone happy on this total snow-in day, especially with one with the beginnings of what I think it strep throat. We won't see a doctor until Monday, I'm sure, so I bet the rest of us get it, too!

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  19. It's a crazy day here. Pageant rehearsal and Pet Pantry are happening at the same time, so it's a full house at church. I'm catching up on RevGal email in the hope of actually introducing new blogs before Christmas. Later my daughter is in a big, all afternoon concert.
    And of course, tomorrow is Sunday, with all that goes with it. The church Ornament Swap party was postponed from last week and will happen tonight, but we have an overnight guest, MaineCelt, who is on call at the hospital not far from my house, and I will not be going.
    I'm updating a favorite sermon about Mary and Elizabeth, using Luke 1:26-56; I'm very grateful for having a Sustainable Sermon in the file. (Term coined on Twitter last Saturday, isn't it great?) When I preached the earlier version two years ago, many people admitted they knew nothing about the story. I was shocked! But Elizabeth is not in the lectionary. It makes me think that next Advent I'll do something about the supporting characters.
    Diane, I don't envy you! It's awful when weather messes up our plans at this season of the year.

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  20. oh, strep throat! so sorry, She Rev!

    I'm hoping hte little cough my boy has this morning will come and go because really, we have had enough sickness around here!

    I'm working on a monologue from the point of view of Elizabeth in Luke 1-2, who it turns out, is pretty awesome. I have never focussed on her before, but am loving working with her steadiness and faithfulness. Plus! She's the only person in the whole story who doesnt need a sign, she just knows. She's so steady, the story keeps time by her. Somehow, I only just realized that "in the 6th month" means in the 6th month of ELIZABETH's pregnancy- proof that the story really CAN be new every year!

    Does anyone know why she went into seclusion all that time (Luke 1:24)? Would that have been usual?

    Got nothing for the kids, though. Ideas? I've already used my favorite magnificat childrens time a year or so ago (give them little magnifying glasses, test how stuff does not change but looks bigger, talk about how praising god like Mary did does not change god, but makes God easier for others to see...) but there are some new kids, so maybe it would be worth doing again. Or someting about joy maybe?

    I have one leftover cinnamon roll from my birthday breakfast (it's my birthday today!) so help yourself. word verf = laesses = go gals!!

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  21. songbird, posted before I read yours - 3 cheers for elizabeth!!

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  22. A friend coined a new term for old sermons being preached again: sustainable sermons. :)

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  23. Songbird we must have been typing at the same time this morning

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  24. Busy here today, isn't it? I've been procrastinating mightily! I've done some on-line shopping, brewed an extra pot of coffee and my son just came out of his room to ask how the sermon was coming....?
    So I stopped by here to see how everyone else' sermons were coming. I think I'll read Nik's before I get to writing. I have an outline, but my conclusion is terribly lacking..not good.

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  25. Happy Birthday Juniper!

    Songbird, I love the term "sustainable sermon" - perfect! Have a wonderful visit with MaineCelt! Blessings to both of you!

    Tomorrow is Wild, Wacky, Smorgasbord Sunday.

    We have - (deep breath) - Transfer of New Members, White Gift Sunday, and 3 Baptisms. Oh, and a special piece of music (beautiful!) being offered by two uber-talented people in our choir. We will also be having the third week of our Memorial Angels to place on the tree.

    It's all going to be wonderful, but it's a LOT to pack into one service. For a lot of reasons, we couldn't do it any other way, so I'm just going to start the horse-race at 10:30 and celebrate every minute of it!

    It's all good, rich and exciting ministry, so despite having no sermon to preach, I'm going to enjoy it immensely. Can't wait!

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  26. Love the term sustainable sermon. I have a few on file myself.

    Our mission moment at church this Sunday is on homelessness so I decided to weave that into my sermon. Please come check it out and let me know what you think.

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  27. One holiday party down. In the office for some quick revisions and practice before I head over to the funeral home. . .

    Looks like we are going to get hit pretty hard with snow overnight, which means the dreaded decision about cancellation. Since we do not have a bishop to petition to in my tradition, does anyone out there have a fool-proof way of knowing when to cancel -- or not?

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  28. I'm off to my book group's holiday party. Please have some of the deviled eggs I've just made, plenty to pass around.

    I'm sure I'll spend the party sermonating. I don't know how to make the end of my sermon "take it home."

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  29. Great minds think alike - sustainable sermons and Elizabeth posts!

    I LOVE the Magnificat children's time. I don't have a bunch of magnifying glasses to hand out, but I think I've got one around here somewhere.

    We're getting. Easy to move toward nap time. I think I'll be able to write during that for a little. I've had some thoughts solidifying during the day which is helpful.

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  30. G-G I'm worried about "bringing it home" too. But I have a draft in writing! hooray. now I think I'll finish the worship pieces and children's story and come back to edit it later.

    good luck

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  31. I'm focusing on John's question to Jesus: Are you really the one?

    The response - yes! Look at all the amazing things that are happening. We are going to take some time to celebrate the signs of God's power in our lives and hopefully folks will speak up!

    For our children's time I might focus on the opposites presented in Isaiah and in the gospel - the deaf hear, the blind see, how contradictory that is! We'll move around and be big and small and fast and slow and talk about what it means for something to change... and I'm going to throw some bubbles in there... we'll share our joys as we pop bubbles =)

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  32. Happy Advent 3 to the RevGals! So appreciate reading your words on this Advent afternoon. Juniper, loved your comment about how the story keeps time by Elizabeth. (Happy birthday!)

    At The Advent Door I have new art and a reflection for the gospel text, titled "When the Prison Bars Bled Light"--John the Baptist really captured my imagination this week. I also got my rejoicing on and just posted today about the Magnificat--have been thinking a lot about how it's Elizabeth's blessing that enables Mary to sing her stunning, world-changing song.

    Also have an Advent post about waiting (and not waiting) over at my new blog, Sanctuary of Women.

    Blessings, good health, and inspiration to everyone!

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  33. I am not preaching but singing in the choir for Lessons and Carols. I will be able to exercise my right brain instead of the left!

    I do like the Mt reading tho. Even as great as JBap was, the least in heaven were greater. It puts propheteering and preachin in its rightful place, doesn't it?

    If I don't get back on line --Have a Blessed Christmas, ya'll.

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  34. She Rev, I first saw that the Magnificat was banned on UCC SAMUEL website, then googled it. one other reference is here

    http://www.rutgerschurch.com/Sermons/sermon122103.html

    The other bits I copied from the web into my notes file, I don't have references for.
    it seems to have been a variety of South American countries. I am not going into detail, but mentioning how modern day Herods found this too subversive to be sung, where we think of it as lovely song of praise to God.

    Sunday monring, time for a shower and heading off to church,

    hope you preparation goes smoothly today.

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  35. Whoa Nelly. Elizabeth's not in the Lectionary...not anywhere?

    Ka-razy.

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  36. Thanks, Pearl! Blessings on your Sunday!

    How are the rest of us doing? I had a small window of opportunity to write when all 3 kids were sleeping, but it didn't last too long. And I used it to load Christmas music into my iTunes anyway. Guess who's showing up for the late night party?!

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  37. I love my partner. She helped me re-write my sermon. She's the perfect pastors wife. Did I tell you I love her.

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  38. Does anyone else feel that sense of amazement at what can be achieved when one stays off facebook and other such distractions - except the preacher party!
    I simply sat down to write - and discovered I could!!!
    Hedged my bets when I chose the readings and went with Isaiah 35 and Matthew 11 so we'll hear about John sending his disciples to question Jesus but I'm focussing on the Isaiah passage in the sermon. I may even get to bed before midnight!
    Posted here.
    Off to have some hot ginger wine to try and quell an annoying cough. Happy to share that and some home made Scottish shortbread - good for late nighters!:)

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  39. Well, everyone sounds very productive here. Not so much at my place.

    One piece of good news is just remembered someone else has children tomorrow! Yeah!

    I made one of those decisions today that was supposed to make everything simpler, but I've been worrying so much about the results that any simple-ness has been erased. Sigh. HATE it when that happens.

    Loved my monologue this morning, now it looks ridiculous.

    Guess it's time to get out of the house, going to my goddaughters ballet recital and maybe out for dinner. Hope it will help. SEe you alll later!!!

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  40. I'm back from the city; did a little writing on the train, and a little more on arriving home, but I am still short of a whole sermon. Hoping it won't be a late night though. Still thinking about expectations...

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  41. Hello everyone! Sounds like great sermons being composed and tweaked all over today. I am working with the lectionary reading from Matthew, but I sort of envy those who are working with Elizabeth. Ridiculous that John the Baptist gets so much face time and Elizabeth, nothing!

    I haven't really gotten much to show, however. Went to the post office, dealt with a newsletter issue for a few hours, had an important phone call, made dinner, and suddenly it's 7 pm. Might be a late night for me too (big surprise)! At least the candlelighting reflection on joy is already finished.

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  42. We got dinner ready, ate, gave kids baths, and only then realized it was only 6 pm at the end of it all. Too early to send them to bed for ur own sake. Thank God, really, for Netflix streaming. We found a G rated Christmas movie that is only 73 minutes long. Perfect!

    Big kids watching. Little kid (baby) nursing. It's ALMOST sermon writing time. I, too, found out that I don't have the children's time tomorrow. I forgot I traded with someone. Shoot. I loved Juniper's magnifying glass one. Tuck it away for another year.

    Can I get anyone anything?

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  43. Oh, I hate it so much when you pull up the last sermon you preached on these texts and it just utterly sucks. Not a good sign.

    Maybe it's tea time.

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  44. Well, it is after 8 pm. The day started at Salvation Army - cooking lunch, delivering presents, dropping off clothes for a parishioner. Then home to have a short nap in an attempt to get rid of the last of a migraine that has lasted two days too long. Baked two kinds of cookies, made chili for the youth group who came over to decorate my Christmas tree and three Chrismon trees for people in the parish. My deacon called about 5 to ask what we would do about church if the weather turns nasty. I said we would have it and then remembered that the bishop will be at the second service only and someone was going to have to preach the early one!
    Now that everyone has gone home, I have time to figure out what someone might say tomorrow morning at 8. But I'm going to bed instead and pray for the Spirit to pay me a visit in the morning if not in a dream. I'm leaning toward John's question, though. I preached the OT last week and probably ought to hit the Gospel this week.
    come Holy Spirit come! My word verification is "grance," just a letter shy of grace. I'm taking this as a sign!!

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  45. Okay I have a draft...it ends with a challenge for the parish to let go of old expectations and look for new ways of being "church," which is something we really need to do. We'll see how it's received...

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  46. Gradually getting words on the screen for a "do you see what I see?" sort of sermon looking at expectations (using Isaiah and Matthew). Desperately in need of a children's sermon. And wondering what the predicted weather will mean for the morning: the local high school bell choir is supposed to be playing in worship, and we're scheduled to have a congregational meeting following worship to vote on the budget. Blech.

    Always grateful for the Preacher Party and sharing in the process with others!

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  47. RevDrMom, That's pretty much what mine's about. I'm preaching part 1 of a 2-weeker with a church that's just beginning to think about what's next after the retirement of its pastor, and I decided to jump in with both feet and encourage them to expect the unexpected. I wrote it last week-end and I've been worrying ever since that I may be overdoing it. Not sure what state of anxiety/anticipation they're in. Next week I'm planning to continue the theme with both annunciation stories, but I'm hoping to have a better sense of who/where they are by then.

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  48. Go for it, Robin! Jump right in with the Spirit!

    Let's kick this party into gear. I have ginger wafer cookies with an orange glaze drizzled on top, fresh baked bread, and if you're the breakfast for dinner type (or dessert) there's egg bake with chorizo. Can you tell we were snowed in today?

    The kids are all asleep, and I've had a little down time. Now it's time to write. With no football on this SHOULD actually be a pretty early night. We'll see.

    What else is going on out there? Who's with me? What are you rejoicing about? I'm rejoicing that "Quick Care" is open tomorrow so that maybe my big girl can get started on some antibiotics for what I'm 99% sure is strep throat. That's what she and my husband will be doing while the rest of us are worshiping with the faithful remnant tomorrow morning.

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  49. Thanks, Betsy! Brilliant! And Irreverent, I hear you. Asking the same question about cancellation if roads are icky (they're predicting 8+ inches here). Most of my parishioners live within a mile of the church, while I'm 14 miles out, so it will likely be an early morning (and potentially hazardous) trek!

    Blessings to all on this cold winter's night...

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  50. All of your food sounds delicious, She Rev! Snowed in or not, that's a party right there. I'll bring...um...peppermint chai? That's sort of all I have right now.

    I'm at 947 words and am now desperately searching for a fabulous bang-up ending. I'd love to have this done by 11, then watch the news, take a shower, and hit the hay. It would be lovely to be awake on Sunday afternoon...especially since this MN storm is supposed to hit us Sunday night.

    workingworkingworking...

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  51. Well, we made the decision not to cancel, but now I'm wondering if it was a good one. Ugh. I don't worry about people feeling like they HAVE to get there. My folks will have no problem staying home if they can't get out. I just hope I can convince the ones that do show up that it's "worth it" for us to gather and worship God. The church member whose company plows the parking lot just called to be sure we really wanted him to do it. I felt bad saying yes since I knew that meant an early morning for him, and since I know he was trying to save the church a little money by not plowing if we didn't need it yet. I hope he feels like it was worth it.

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  52. Peppermint chai sounds perfect!

    I am ready to work now that I have wasted an inordinate amount of time loading 9 Christmas CDs onto iTunes. I've been missing some favorite music in the years since I went to using an iPod, so it was long overdue, but not really necessary for a Saturday night. However, I will be thrilled to be serenaded by Harry Connick, Jr. while I write. The "shuffle" feature just pulled up his Ave Maria as the first son. So appropriate as I'm preaching Mary's Song tomorrow!

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  53. Hi, y'all!
    We've had a fun evening here, watching "The Shop Around the Corner" after eating a fantastic dinner including pumpkin soup made from a pumpkin from MaineCelt's farm!
    I deliberately waited until this late hour to review my sermon so I would know I was too tired to write a new one and spoil my reuse/recycle plan. Let's hope it preaches.
    Hope it's going well out there!

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  54. I think that was a great idea, Songbird. I have 630 words which make up the opening and the closing of the sermon. Now I need a middle. I think I'll go take a shower and let the iPad charge up a little. It's down to 43% after running all day, so it's not too close to losing it's whole charge, but I'm afraid if I let it run down I may have to take a break when I'm not ready for one. Since I'm ready, I'll take it now, charge it while I shower, then finish up confidently and hopefully before I go to bed.

    I think I'll try to keep this one short. For some reason it feels weird and overly formal to preach one of my full length (read: probably too long) sermons when the sanctuary is all but empty. I predict that's how it will be tomorrow.

    I'll be back in just a little while.

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  55. I don't have any food at my place, but I can send you over to the fabulous party I just left, because I know they have fabulous goodies there. I am well-acquainted with many of the offerings, because I showed up an hour early for the party and ended up--gladly--helping with the prep :-o

    I love "sustainable sermon"! Now I just have to make myself work on it...

    Who's still here?

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  56. Okay, so that didn't happen. Still don't have that bang-up ending. The ending I had planned for does not match where the middle ends. Hrm. Must get this done soon.

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  57. ACK my sermon just ended where I didn't expect it to! I know it's not good form to contradict the Holy Spirit, but it was not supposed to go this way. Harumph.

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  58. Okay. I have made my peace with the Holy Spirit (for now) and the sermon is finished, more or less, with my original plan having been wrestled into submission.

    Off to get ready for bed, then do a final read-through, and call it good. Will check in once more.

    Write well, friends...

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  59. You and Jacob, Semfem, wrestling away...

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  60. hey friends - look what I just found from a fb friend (and revgal, too!) http://worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com/

    lots of kids time ideas :)

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  61. Still here, but not back to writing yet. Taking a shower was risky and didn't pay off. My bathroom is under the baby's room, and it woke her up. 45 minutes later I can't get her back to sleep. Her older sister, likely with strep throat is also tossing and turning and moaning. My husband? Asleep on the couch. Don't get me started. I hope to be writing again by midnight.

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  62. Word verification is "brackles" which sounds evocative of all sorts of things, maybe the day-berfore-sermon chagrins?
    Not preaching tomorrow; preached today at a memorial service instead. Has anybody else dealt with a combo of Ecclesiastes 3 and 1 Corinthians 13 at a funeral/memorial?

    for those looking at Matthew, John sending disciples to ask Jesus whether he's the one...John Chrysostom preached the most brilliant and insightful sermon on that Gospel, let's see, um, 1600 years ago...His take was that John knew perfectly well Jesus was "the one"...but he had to cajole/wean his own disciples OFF their allegiance to him, and transfer them to Jesus. If he told them to go...they'd naturally resist out of loyalty to him. So from the moment he sent them on the fact-finding trip to see Jesus, he and Jesus were doing blindfolded improvisational theatre together. it really is a BRILLIANT sermon.

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  63. more facebook gleanings:
    Diana Butler Bass
    Advent poem by M. L'Engle

    The winter is cold, is cold.
    All’s spent in keeping warm.
    Has joy been frozen, too?
    I blow upon my hands
    Stiff from the biting wind.
    My heart beats slow, beats slow.
    What has become of joy?

    Help me forget the cold
    That grips the grasping world.
    Let me stretch out my hands
    To purifying fire,
    Clutching fingers uncurled.
    Look! Here is the melting joy.
    My heart beats once again.

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  64. oh, she rev, that is such a bummer. sorry you are on all kid all the time duty. hope the baby and sick little one will sleep soon.

    dude, I'm totally calling in with brackles next time I dont feel good....

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  65. I'm not much of a party-er tonight. I have two ear infections with a sinus/upper respiratory infection. The antibiotics seem to be kicking in but one of my ears hurts a bunch.

    I'm printing a slightly reworked sustainable sermon now. Prayers are right behind it.

    I hope printing is in your very near future, too.

    Blessings on your Sunday

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  66. Realized as I typed and updated my way through the old sermon (really old: 1992) that there was a major problem in the flow mid-way through. I don't know how I missed it the first time; I was probably so in love with a bunch of good lines that I didn't see the big picture. So now I am trying to make the pieces connect decently.

    My verification word expresses my thoughts: dratie!

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  67. Crimson, I can't believe I can say this, but yes! I have had both of those Scriptures at a funeral!

    Oh for the love of Pete! Just got the baby down after 90 minutes of trying and the 5 year old is yelling from the next room over

    bye

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  68. This night is no good. No good at all.

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  69. Oh, She Rev, I wish I could send a haze of sleep over all your house except for the room in which you are still working. Hmmm...and maybe not the sofa where your husband is snoozing when you need help! Or maybe a cone of silence would be good?

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  70. ok sherev, sending antonio over in his doctor clothes to help out.

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  71. Many thanks Betsy and Juniper. I think I got that out of my system. I've got just about 900 words and not too much to add at this point. I think it will come rather easily in a few hours. I know this is risky considering the state of the others who are barely sleeping tonight, but I think I'm going to go put my head down for a little bit. I'll come back to this around 5:00 a.m. and finish it up.

    Grace and peace to any and all who are left!

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  72. Oh dear, dear, dear...prayers for She Rev!

    Betsy and Juniper, I'm calling it a night. I've got 1133 words of a halfway decent sermon and am all ready for bed. May the Holy Spirit be with you both, and with us all.

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

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  73. ok, I'm hitting the hay, too. should I turn the lights out? betsy? anyone else still up?....

    ok, goodnight, then. advent joy all around on sunday!

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  74. I'm back, awaken 10 minutes before my alarm by the sick one. Hopefully she can hold on for about another 45 minutes before totally falling apart so that I can finish this sermon with something halfway decent. We'll see.

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