11th Hour Preacher Party: “Jesus is Back!” Edition

brbjesus

Jesus is back!  That most certainly calls for a magnificent, very excellent, give-it-your-all sermon. Yes, indeed.

So . . . first things first.  Take a breath.  Or two.

Breathe in through your nose into your lower belly for 4 seconds.
Hold for a second or two.
Breathe out through your mouth for 4 seconds.
Pause.
Repeat.
[From Calm Breathing]

There, now.  All relaxed and ready to go?

OK, then.  It’s all going to be fine.

We are here together.  And we have that amazing good news to tell.  Jesus is back!

Easter Preachers, welcome!  This is your party.   So, share what you’ve got, ask for what you need, and tell some good news here today.  What is going well in your life, work, family, hobby, or community?  We might even laugh a little.

Let’s fill up the snack table with Easter basket goodies or egg-inspired things or whatever you’ve got to offer.  Help yourselves to some Fair-Trade organic French Roast coffee.  You know it’s good because it’s brewed in New Orleans, baby!

A very special welcome — and tons of gratitude — to all of our not-preaching-this-week RevGals and Pals.  Thank you for stopping by with an encouraging word.

If this is your first Preacher Party – whether you are new to RevGals or if you have been lurking here on the blog for awhile — please introduce yourself.

Let’s party like Jesus just showed up!  Cuz, guess what?

[The pic (above) of the Southminster Presbyterian Church sign is made available through the generosity and good humor of their pastor, RevGal Marci Auld Glass, who said I didn't have to give her credit, but I did anyway.]

Categories: 11th Hour Preacher Party, Easter, Humor | 5 Comments

Good Friday Gathering Space

photo from a pearl downunder

photo from a pearl downunder

When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and his sandals, and divided them into four shares, one for each soldier. His shirt was seamless, woven as one piece from the top to the bottom. They said to each other, “Let’s not tear it. Let’s cast lots to see who will get it.” This was to fulfill the scripture, They divided my clothes among themselves, and they cast lots for my clothing. That’s what the soldiers did.

Lord Jesus, we divide you. We claim you belong to us. Others claim you belong to them. Help us to see you in your wholeness, pouring out your love for all people.

Jesus’ mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood near the cross. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

Lord Jesus, some of your followers stayed with you to the end. We want to have that kind of faith. Give us the strength to see things through, even in the midst of darkness, danger and despair.

After this, knowing that everything was already completed, in order to fulfill the scripture, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was nearby, so the soldiers soaked a sponge in it, placed it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips.

Lord Jesus, you showed us God’s abundant hospitality and turned water into wine. We showed you human hospitality and let things go sour. We showed no mercy, and yet we ask for your mercy, Lord.

When he had received the sour wine, Jesus said, “It is completed.” Bowing his head, he gave up his life.

(Litany by Martha Spong, in conversation with John 19:23-30, Common English Bible)

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Today we offer the comments on this post as a gathering space. Share your thoughts on this Good Friday. And as you share the end of Jesus’ earthly life with your congregations, draw strength from the collective prayers of this community.

Categories: Good Friday, Holy Week Prep Party | 2 Comments

Good Friday Five

From Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday stretches on–Knowing the outcome eases one’s heart but these days are long until Joy bursts forth.

How are you today as a minister, church person, believer, parent, friend, solitary. . . . ? What are your thoughts or images?

Share five and tell us in the comments section, leaving your blog address.

Categories: RevGalBlogPals | 4 Comments

Maundy Thursday Thought

Stripping the altars on Maundy Thursday is an Episcopal Tradition, also done in the Roman Catholic Church. It brings to mind the image of stripping our altars:

“In the spring of 1943 Bonhoeffer wrote to his friend Eberhard Bethge, ‘I sometimes feel as if my life were more or less over. . . . But you know, when I feel like this, there comes over me a longing (unlike any other that I experience) to have a child and not to vanish without a trace.’ By January 1945, he had adopted a fully retrospective view of his own life. He made the telltale gesture of instructing his parents to give away all his clothes, including the salt-and-pepper suit and the pair of brown shoes. According to the witness of the prison doctor, before he went to the gallows Bonhoeffer removed his prison clothes and knelt in prayer. On April 9, 1945, the stripping of his altar was completed.”

From:

“Stripped bare: Holy Week and the art of losing” in Christian Century

Categories: RevGalBlogPals | 3 Comments

Maundy Thursday Prep Party

Gals and Pals, it’s Maundy Thursday. Whether you are scrambling to finish a homily or find readers, or all set for the days to come, or wondering where to squeeze in time to ponder the Resurrection in the midst of scenes of the arrest and the Crucifixion, we’re here for you. Join the conversation in the comments to share resources or ask for suggestions or simply share the holy moments of this Holy Week.

Here’s a poem about love, for this Thursday.

Maundy

Sometimes it’s hard
to love one another,
To love into the foibles
instead of around them.

Mine are uncountable;
Unaccountable, too.

I leave the lights burning,
Turn up the thermostat,
Slip off my shoes anywhere at all.
I turn on televisions then walk away,
Forgetting, the sounds white noise
Underscoring my life.

It must be hard.

I have more yarn than
I could ever knit,
Projects begun, put down, 
Why I loved the color
Or the texture
Forgotten.

To love each other transcends forgetting.
We know and care, but know the truth.
He told us to love so others can know us–
Know him–
It’s a mandate, a commandment,
A rule for living,
Loving orders.

~Martha Spong

Categories: Holy Week Prep Party, Maundy Thursday | 27 Comments

Holy Week Wednesday Festival

Our own kathrynzj is Geek of the Week! (Did the library staff remember it's Holy Week, or was this a Godincidence?)

Our own kathrynzj is Geek of the Week! (Did the library staff remember it’s Holy Week, or was this a Godincidence?)

What a week! So much to consider, so much longing for the finish line, so much hope for the sunrise!

The RevGals are still writing up a storm as we wait and work:

Many posters to the RevGals Facebook page have commented on the challenges of sitting with the dying, addressing sudden deaths, and conducting funerals during this already-packed week. It would be the understatement of the century to note that as Jesus dies and rises, the deaths to which we attend this week seem particularly weighted with significance. How perfect, then, that Diane of Faith in Community ponders what she learns from funerals.

Beth’s House of Grace focuses this week on the abundance of giving which rises with such grace from a Holy Week filled with events which might seem like burdens, did we not know that through each of them we are called to care for one another.

Holy Week and Easter services may bring people our way who’ve not experienced a church worship service in a long time, or perhaps ever. Some of them may be surprised to find us in leadership! How will they respond? Just this past week, my son told me that people are looking for the Walter Cronkite of preachers – sorry, Mom. At Did She Say Seminary?, Erin focuses upon a seminary community’s approach to women preachers.

And what are we preaching? In her Tuesday Thoughts, Sharon reflects upon some of those huge theological questions which plague us all at this time of year. At least, I hope they plague us all, since we are preaching a strange story and stranger proclamation of hope to those who believe, those who seek, and those who are indifferent.

Some of those questions drive us right into the particular, force us into a corner, demand that we consider, and consider again, the people who populate Jesus’s life this week. When I read Appalachian Preacher Amanda, I often sit back and say, “Wow.” Her exegesis of Judas for this week is no exception.

And finally, Jane’s Journey with her dog reminds us that we have to pass through the fearful quagmire of Good Friday to reach Easter.
It’s Holy Week, a week of challenges in ministry, challenges in preaching, challenges in the text, and challenges in nature. May we sink deeply into all of it so that we are prepared to proclaim a New Creation!

Categories: Wednesday Festival | 4 Comments

Holding Our Breath

Jesus, we are holding our breath

Waiting with you for the days to come

We know the end of this story,

and the OTHER end, too.

But the first end: it’s too hard. We don’t like it one bit.

Yet, we are ready to walk with you. Keep us ready.

Keep us courageous.

We will listen and lead and bear witness.

Our communities will ponder the mystery together

and the OTHER mystery, too

But first, but first, come the Three Days.

We are holding our breath

with you.

 

 

Categories: RevGalBlogPals | Leave a comment

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