Good morning, gals and pals! In pondering the texts for this week, Peter casting his net into the deep water and catching a ridiculous abundance of fish is the image that sticks in my mind. For in the variety of texts, there is an embarrassment of riches. From Isaiah’s vision in the temple, to Peter teaching from Simon’s fishing boat, from Paul’s recitation of the basics of the faith; from the coals burning Isaiah’s lips to the Simon’s fishing nets tearing under the weight of so many fish — well, we’re definitely in deep water. (or maybe we’re feeling like our sermon smells like some slightly old fish!) You’ll find a great discussion of the texts here.

I have oatmeal with raisins this morning, fair trade coffee and Good Earth tea. I have cleared a little space on our dining room table, a place where there aren’t books and papers already, and even put some colorful placemats and napkins out (what color do you think?) And you know what? This particular table miracululously gets bigger every time someone sits down.

So, I hope you’ll join us, for a little while, or for the day. Let us help you as you cast your net into the deep water. If you nets are breaking, we’ll come and help you.

116 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: In Deep Water Edition

  1. Good morning! Love the picture of the fishermen, Diane.I'm up and at 'em. Well, actually I'm just up. Hope to be "at 'em" soon. Going to sit with some coffee and knitting a bit more for awhile.I'm preaching Luke, and my title is "Lord of the Broken Nets." I'm focusing on how in following Jesus means more abundance than we can imagine – our nets (our old expectations, old structures, old ways) strain and begin to break b/c they can't hold all that he offers. I'm going to be preaching this to the life of the congregation, as opposed to merely individual application, and will spend some time, too, on the notion of "catching" people – even though the whole evangelism notion is uncomfortable for a lot of my people.Those are my early morning thoughts. I'm excited about preaching this text, and about partying with y'all today!

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  2. Welcome, earthchick! sounds great! I love your title. I'm looking at the broken nets and the sunken boats, and using the title, "How Jesus Wrecks our Life." I had hoped to have it all written by now, but not. I think that some of what I'm thinking is similar to you….I had an illustration, but now am not sure about whether to use it. Has to do with the seminarian who was killed in Haiti, and the call that he heard — not the call to be a pastor, but the call to do justice, to love mercy….anyway, glad you are here!

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  3. Earthchick and Diane, I love the broken nets image. I will have to explore that some day. It doesn't appear that we will have church. We've got about a foot in the church neighborhood and no plow. It's still snowing and 5-8" more are expected. Plus winds. I sent out an alternative worship by email for those stuck at home. It's here. I hope it helps people worship tomorrow when they are digging out. Maybe I should look at next week's texts… I'll be visiting here tho, what's a saturday without the preacher party? If you two post your sermons, let me know.

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  4. I'm here, too, wondering if I'll even have services tomorrow because of this whole "snowpocalypse" that has buried us in Central PA. But I want to have it ready in case we do get shoveled out in time, and if we don't, I will be using it next week!I want to survey the Old Testament lesson, Epistle, and Gospel and look at the call stories embodied in each text. Also the way that each story involves some proclamation of "oh no, God, I can't do it! couldn't be me!" and the way that God still used each situation to do God's work in the world. I have some good quotes from the folks at Workingpreacher.org that I'd like to include, or at least allow to influence the sermon. This week's podcast was excellent, IMO.Looking forward to the party today, since I'm not going anywhere!

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  5. well, it's supposed to be my first Sunday in my first pulpit and texts from call stories, and I don't know if we'll be able to get to church. but I'm working on the whole the ineffable God of the universe calls fallible creatures to do God's work on earth angle, the title: Even Me.

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  6. My sermon title is "Why ME?" and will look at the reluctance to answer (and willingness to find excuses) when the call comes. Suddenly I had a "Wayne's WOrld" flashback and pictured JEremiah, Isaih and PEter falling to their knees and calling out "We're not worthy!"hmmmmmm, maybe I should sleep a bit more–I don't even like Mike Myers

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  7. Sistahs and Brothahs,I am having a baptism (hopefully) and I write a letter to the child being baptized, so I won't be using the wonderful call of Isaiah, a reading I used at my ordination almost 30 years ago. I pray for you folks that have been dumped on with snow in the Mid-Atlantic area. Nancy, I love the idea of an alternative service to send to parishioners! But my die hards (none with computers, mind you!) would be in church no matter how many inches they got! I have a 40 mile commute. The hardy Germans and Scandinavians wouldn't let 2 ft. of snow stop them!Diane, thanks for a place at the breakfast table. The coffee is wonderful!

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  8. Found an interesting thought through a link on The Text This Week on Facebook:"What If I Don't Like Fishing?"by Dr. Jeff Stiggins http://ctblog.flumc.org/?p=84What if Jesus never intended fishing to become our main metaphor for evangelism? What if Jesus was only inviting Simon and Andrew to be “fishers of men” because that’s who they were — fishermen? Think about it. If Simon and Andrew had been carpenters, would Jesus have invited them to be “fishers of men” or might he have invited them to follow him and learn how to be “builders of the God Kingdom?” If they had been physicians, mightn’t Jesus have invited them to follow him and learn how to be “healers of people’s souls?” Or if they had been weavers, mightn’t Jesus have invited them to follow him and learn how to “weave people into God’s community of love?” Or if they had been mechanics, mightn’t he have invited them to follow him and learn how to “repair broken lives?”

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  9. welcome, everyone! I'm back from Bible study and back to work on the sermon now. Praying for all to stay safe in the midst of all that snow. Gord, Love the "We're not worthy!" image. gotta file that one away.And the "what if I don't like fishing?" idea — that God uses the language that will help us to "get it" — I love that too. Beach Walkin', I'll be over in a little while, but I think I need to write a little more before I visit.Have a cup of tea anyone?

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  10. Good morning, RevGals! (and RevBoys!) I'm about to sit down with a cup of tea and some yummy natural peanut butter…come on by, there's plenty…Very cool to see the link to Jeff Stiggins–he was my district superintendent here in Orlando a few years back. Thanks, Queen Mum! I appreciate the questions Jeff offers, and your passing them along.After tea & peanut butter I'm hitting the studio, finishing a collage for next Sunday's gospel lection, then plotting a trip to a café to work on the accompanying reflection. For this Sunday I pondered the Luke passage. It's at The Painted Prayerbook. Come on over and sit a spell, I'll pour you some tea…Blessings to all, especially those facing the snowpocalypse.

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  11. Good morning all! Baked eggs with cheese to share here–with or without yolks to personal preference.Plenty of teaching work today–did some this morning and am giving myself a little break before getting back to it. Hadn't looked at the readings as I am not preaching this week but am intrigued by the call theme as I have started praying pretty intensely whether to renew my by the semester college teaching position for fall (assuming they want to renew me). It has been good to be back into the classroom but the price of keeping my priesthood in the closet at this Roman Catholic school is starting to kill my spirit. Discernment never seems to stop, does it?Prayers for everyone's work and prayer today.

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  12. Well, I hope we have church! I was up at 6 helping ds move cars around so he could leave extra early for the LSAT, which was canceled two hours later, half an hour before it was to start. He said the only people milling around the empty tundra of the university were dozens of LSAT takers with no. 2 pencils in hand, most of whom had driven long distances through the snow.Anyway, I am supposed to preach for the first time at my field ed church tomorrow. The first time I was supposed to preach there for the first time was Jan 3, during the meltdown of our vacation in Florida with dh's hospitalization. So I can't say I'd be surprised if church were canceled tomorrow, but the snow does seem to have stopped here.I'm focusing on Luke with a little Isaiah thrown in: Jesus' call is always known by his abundant gifts, and he interrupts us to invite us to offer the same.I have huge marshmellows for the hot chocolate needed by all snow-shovellers.

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  13. Mid Oklahoma is just finally recovering from our deep-ice week. Most folk have electricity back. I too thought of Wayne's World –Not worthy not worthy –but know only one of the folk who would connect with that… Love the image of language…and fisher/weavers/physician/ etc. That's most helpful. After a restless night am swearing off caffeine after 4pm. Also trying to figure out my lenten discipline. Blessings mmm tea…. thanks all

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  14. Hello Gals and Pals -In the middle of a very busy weekend here. Preaching three services (one tonight and two tomorrow) which I don't often do, and so I am a bit nervous. WisePastor the senior pastor is in Florida, the lucky dog, while here it is windy and snowy.I got a lot of help on my sermon from workingpreacher.org sermon brainwave this week, as well as the blogs of Peter (I am listening…) and Sally (Eternal Echoes)…don't quite have time to figure out the html thingee though. Come as you are…leave different is my title, and this quote from William Sloane Coffin encouraged me: "My rock-solid belief is that we are loved by God. He loves us as we are, but too much to leave us that way." Going with the theme of how Isaiah and Peter were called as they were, and made to be what God wanted them to be. God didn't wait to show up until they were ready.Blessings to all, unfortunately not much food to share. We're supposed to be at an all day church workshop but the signal to noise ratio was way too low! SO we left. Diane, the words at the end of your post "Let us help you as you cast your net into the deep water. If you nets are breaking, we'll come and help you." were great help at 3 a.m. when I woke up! Thank you!

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  15. I've been snoozing on the couch for a while. We had a early morning as we headed out to see a mass hot air balloon launch at 7:30 a.m. that didn't happen. Ugh. The winds were to strong higher up and they were blowing westward – – right toward the larger cities and a major international airport. Not good. We'll try again for the 3:00 p.m. launch.The kids and my husband are now outside playing (or working) in the snow. After my little mini-nap it seems like a good time to see if I can shave 700-1000 words off the old sermon I'm recycling for tomorrow. It needs to be a short one since we're ordaining and installing a deacon, have communion, and have music of unknown length.I'm just thrilled I have an old one I like to reuse!My bigger thing tomorrow is the Adult Education I've been asked to lead "Is Jesus the only way?" I've got 45 minutes and I'm not sure where to go. My thought was to present a few different standard opinions and then just let discussion run. Any thoughts or ideas about how to organize that or electronic resources that might help???

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  16. Ugh. I've been sitting here at the computer all this time and still have no opening words! I have all these thoughts floating around in my head, but no way in. I had a social engagement planned for tonight but I'm starting to think I won't be able to make it b/c I don't see how I'll be done./whine

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  17. earthchick, I've got a little over a page, and am just getting to the "wreckage" part. I'm struggling a little, too. got a lunch with mom-in-law, and a meeting in the afternoon, so I've got to get cracking…..because I have to preach this at 5:00.

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  18. I like the Wayne's World illustration Gord. I wonder how many in your pews will have seen SNL or the movie though…I'm going with the huge catch of fish. Once Jesus encouraged the disciples to go back out and fish again, they had so many fish they could hardly accommodate them all and get them to shore.Are we equally afraid to experience such an "embarrassment of riches" (so to speak) in our churches. Do we *really* want to catch and inspire so many people that our church would not be able to hold them all? Because we're in amalgamation talks, it's a very pertinent question for us. Most who attend our little church drive past two or three huge cathedral churches to get to ours. They do it because they enjoy the family atmosphere and the feeling that they are known – not just another nameless church attender.My point will be that if we don't want to "catch" people and bring them in – then our clear ministry is to go out and meet God's people where *they* are. That – and I need a children's story in the worst way.

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  19. MumPastor – that's the exact direction I went with Isaiah in this sermon I'm re-preaching from my last call. I started with the illustration of my sister debating about when to start her family, and the advice she was finally given "You're never going to be ready. No time is ever perfect."No time or person is ever perfect, but that's how God calls us then makes us into who God needs us to be.However, for time's sake this time around I have to cut that whole intro.

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  20. I'm doing something with Luke…but I don't know what. And I have to go to a baby shower this afternoon, so I don't have time to even get started until it's practically dinner time. I have no idea where it's going. sigh. And I have no food in the house either. could be cereal for dinner!

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  21. Poptarts anyone? I have been eating oatmeal for b-fast lately, but still cannot break away from the lovely treats of my childhood.It is a basketball afternoon here. Anybody watching the G-tow/NOVA game? The ref might need a little Just for Men! SRSLY.I am trying to combine the Isaiah and Luke texts. Not much luck as of yet. And it is a short day due to communion, so I have a meditation instead of a full sermon.This can be a blessing or a curse, less time to fill, less time to say something significant. Great pic Diane.Good luck

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  22. It just occurred to me that one of the reasons that I went with Isaiah is that I just preached on Luke this fall during our stewardship season. It was the first in a series using themed material from Logos. Anyway, here is that sermon, "The Call to the Depths" if anyone cares.

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  23. the C of E lectionary departs from RCL this week so I have Jesus asleep in the boat during stormy times…Need an all age talk as well as adult sermon.Also need TIME…but it seems to be 6.00 pm here…another long night beckons :(Just made another pot of tea – and there are Fair Trade choc chip cookies too. Will that help anyone?

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  24. ok, I'm done, but don't want to post as members of my church might read. Also, feel kind of like the opening story is now unnecessary… (about fishing…) we'll see how it preaches tonight and go from there. If I can figure out another place to put the sermon so you all can read it, I will…

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  25. Kudos on being done, Diane! That's awesome.I finally got an opening and have maybe 1/4 of the sermon written. I had to quit trying to come up with the "perfect" opener and just start writing. Am hoping it will keep flowing so that I might still get to make my engagement tonight.I have some yummy Good Earth tea to offer, and a big bowl of clementines.

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  26. remember, earthchick, I have to preach at 5:00. five hours before preaching time is ok, but not incredibly early.but, I'll take the compliment anyway.

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  27. Hello everyone, I'm checking in this afternoon with a bit of a sinus headache and a play I'm supposed to go to this evening…so it's good I already have a starting idea. Unfortunately that's all it is…an idea!Love what's going on in here so far, and what I'll be doing is not much different…focusing on how we often don't think we have what we need to do God's work, but surprisingly enough, it will be given to us. SO wanted to use Wayne's World, but decided it would miss the mark for many people. Instead I think I'm going to talk about my one-time not-so-enthusiastic fishing experience and how it came out all right because I was given everything I needed (even the fish!).I slept late this morning, so now it's time for breakfast. No delicious potluck item this week to share with y'all, sorry!

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  28. Love the Wayne's World clip, thanks 1-4, I hope you use it Gord. I don't always find people who get my more contemporary humor. It's really bad if I start to chuckle and am the only one. ah…

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  29. I had one sermon in mind for the congregation I can't ski to. I have another in mind for the walk-in St. Snowflake EpiLu congregation convening at the seminary chapel. Now I'm going to focus on death, illness and transition (seminary?) as opportunities to experience God and hear a new/renewed vocation.

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  30. I was thinking about images I have with fishing with my uncle as a child. I had to be quiet, sit still and not do anything to scare the fish. Then a fish would be caught, with that hook in his mouth my uncle said it didn't hurt the fish but I didn't believe him. I equated this with the fish be pulled in literally fighting to be said free. Reeled in kicking and screamoing. Is that how we want to make disciples for Christ? Not sure if that helps my sermon but its a thought. A random thought.

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  31. oh boy.I am MILDLY freaking as the kids are leading worship tomorrow. the children in our church are all pretty little, so when I say anything could happen, I really really really mean ANYTHING.and I have a gazillion details in my head, and some I'm sure I"ve forgotten.so, prayers are appreciated.And, you all have a GREAT day. I'm off to the planning session/party/sleepover as we get ready for manana….

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  32. Excuse my typos. Must be brain dead.Basically I was tried to compare the fish being pulled in unwillingly with the thought of making disciples for Christ. Do we sometimes focus on numbers instead of seeking to help people to be fed instead of shoving a rusted hook down their throat. Hope it makes sense.

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  33. Kathryn, thanks. you've just explained why Bob Mayo's PArish the thought this week was on a different text from the one I've been studying.I've got yummy birthday cake and clootie dumpling here and, thankfully, I'm not preaching tomorrow. Filing away the idea of Jesus using whatever language would help us to "get it" for another time.

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  34. Joining in the party late b/c we had a session future planning retreat this morning and then I got an invite to an elder's house for lunch.Great morning and afternoon … however, i've got 0 words right now. Ack!I did sketch out an outline earlier in the week. Hopefully it was good and the flushing out goes smoothly. It's on Luke 5 and the notion of being called together and doing ministry together.

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  35. Kathryn,I once retold the storm in the boat story, getting the congregation to do the sound effects on their cue – wind, waves and thunder: one third standing up and saying WHOO for the wind, another third stamping their feet for the crashing waves and the remaining third stamping their feet for the thunder an then SILENCE as JEsus says: Be still.Any help?

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  36. Dancing With God, I hope your outline requires only "fleshing" out and not "flushing" out!I actually have a completed draft, which is SO unlike me (as most of you know). Now I need to decide if I'm going to try and make it to the play, or try and relax and get rid of this headache, or head over to church and get it ready for tomorrow. Or some combination of those three.The draft is just that, only a draft, so either way I'll be back later to do editing and tweaking and trimming down.Diane, I really enjoyed your sermon and it helped me over some of the rough parts of mine!

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