Mountain top 15

view of Southern Utah from the top of the Rocky Mountains…. beautiful and will inspire gratitude for creation

This morning our preacher party wakes up in the land of gratitude. All of the readings from the Revised Common Lectionary point toward the idea of gratitude.

In Jeremiah we hear a call for the people, although in exile, to wait and not become discouraged, not lose heart. Jeremiah proclaims the people are live into life as it is, not as they would like it. Appreciate what is. Find grace in the moment. Love the enemy. And, pray!

Are you thinking about preaching from Jeremiah? And are you considering one of the above themes, or something else?

Paul’s first letter to Timothy says that sometimes our suffering is a consequence of our actions. Regardless the cause, we can find within our suffering moments of insight, grace. Again, pointing us to consider gratitude.

Perhaps First Timothy is calling to you. Maybe you feel a pull to talk about suffering, faith, and gratitude?

In Luke Jesus tells a parable of the lepers. The healing of the Samaritan (leper) is more than a curing of an illness, it is a redirection of the Samaritan’s faith and life. Gratitude and faith go hand in hand. Practicing faith is an act of gratitude. Gratitude is faith in action.

I think I am going to preach from the Gospel of Luke, on the idea of gratitude.


Welcome to the Preacher Party a day in which we are all grateful for this group of colleagues and friends. Pull up a chair, grab a mug, I have plenty of coffee and tea. I also have some delicious homemade low sugar, whole wheat and oat apricot bars. Or if lunch is what you desire I have some fabulous homemade fried rice (brown rice, tons of veggies…)

Regardless, the party is on, and we are here to help one another through this day.

46 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Gratitude edition

  1. liturgy complete I think. I hope πŸ™‚
    this afternoon I ahve a Presbytery meeting followed by dinner and worship – so I won’t be back until 9pm or later, my time. I hope the sermon somehow coalesces during the time I’m away. as I am chairperson, I can’t sit up the back and work. I am pleased I asked someone else to lead worship for the presbytery, last time I did that as well.

    then tomorrow afternoon an Induction – liturgy complete and someone else is preaching.


  2. I am focussing on 2Kings which is our lectionary OT reading: Naaman and Elisha… a tale full of misunderstandings and assumptions – and healing. Will include the gospel for the children’s message (my new student taking that part!!) Plan to get this all finished before noon – then family time with all my grown up sons here for the weekend. (see my Friday Five!!)


    1. Julie, I enjoyed preaching on 1 & 2 Kings when it was up in the lectionary a year ago over the summer. Really great stories to tell. I hope all is done soon and you have the day with your family.


  3. I have been very taken with the idea of being on the borders. In no-man’s-land (or woman’s!). Then comes in making the most of where God has put one, being thankful for it. Leading to being made whole, as opposed to just cured of the illness that presents. Don’t know if that makes sense. So much to say and so hard to select just one or two central ideas.

    Monday to Friday I’m off to a retreat. Will overlook the bay, watch whales and just be there for God. I can’t wait! I know deep down that if this hadn’t come now burnout was just round the corner.

    I’m busy stewing guavas. They are lovely if anyone wants!


    1. Yes, Pat, that does make sense. I do understand the challenge in narrowing the ideas to something central….and, wow – you have a great retreat planned!


      1. Marci – powerful – praying for the welfare of those who put us in exile…I’ve been there…looking forward to what you have say about it. And, since I am preaching on gratitude (and it is our Stewardship season) I’ll stop by and read your sermon from three years ago…(not sure I preached these texts three years ago, I was in exile then…).


          1. I am not speaking to stewardship directly, we have lay people doing that…but I still want to hint at it…BTW, I love your reflection on radical gratitude from three year ago!


  4. I’m up! I need to get this sermon written as early as possible. Today is our Blessing of the Animals, delayed a week due to oh so many other things going here. And, of course, I hope to walk to a yoga class this morning and get my exercise in.

    But first, GOOD MORNING preacher friends. (or evening if you are in another part of the world). I’m up and ready to host this party. Coffee, anyone?


  5. 9.30pm Saturday evening, home from Presbytery, time to get something written for tomorrow morning. I have found some great images on facebook – well they were there this week – and I am wanting to include the international day of the girl from Thursday, with the Luke reading. something about how living a faith is more than just doing our duty. I think. see what comes in the next hour, please in less than an hour.


  6. Good morning – at least as good as it can be given that I just discovered we are out of coffee filters! Judging a debate tournament most of the day, my first in this state and many, many years…Asked to help by one of my high school youth who is excited he recruited another judge, even though an out of practice one πŸ™‚ Need to make a coffee stop on my way.

    When I get to it using Jeremiah and Luke on practicing welfare, shalom and wholeness.
    Blessings on your day preaching pals


  7. I’m impressed with the two sermons already posted this morning, Muthah+ and Pearl! I’m back from yoga and have organic yogurt to share with sprouted grain organic granola and raw honey…also some homemade whole-wheat/oatmeal apricot protein bars (exploring ways to get protein with fewer animal products and less refined sugar…) – both are really yummy….


  8. Continuing our sermon series on Christian Practices with a sermon on Sabbath tomorrow. I have a draft and am editing it today. I don’t really have a story beyond the texts (Exodus 20 and Mark 2:23-27)…lots of good ideas, but no story to crystallize the point. Feels like a lecture in a way right now. Also lesson planning for confirmation tomorrow. I have some pumpkin bread and coffee to share.


    1. I have found that there are always people in the pews who appreciate a lecture-like sermon. Not everyone wants a story…so whenever I end up with that type of sermon I trust the spirit and know that some will be fed. Next week, I’ll tell a story and others will be fed. That said, I do like to find connecting points within the “lecture” to the readings….so it stays on point. Sounds like you have done that!


  9. One of my regular supply preaching gigs called a part-time person, so I’m not preaching as much as usual. Not preaching tomorrow. We have a birthday party to attend this afternoon…the poor mom is on Plan C. And a birthday party tomorrow after church to attend. We have spent the morning in pj’s to allow the introverts among us some time to charge up.

    Blessings on all of you juggling life and sermonizing all at the same time. Prayers for all of you.


  10. Cleaning and sermonatin today. We are sharing worship with our host congregation tomorrow–both services will have folks from both congregations leading worship, including a shared sermon from the pastors…not sure how this will go, but I am excited about it. We are talking about gratitude (this is Canadian Thanksgiving weekend) and the difficulty of being grateful for some things–we will have dialogue about an imaginary couple who have lost everything in a fire, with each of us taking one extreme–“God never gives you more than you can handle; make lemonade out of lemons” and “God doesn’t care what happens to us.” then opening up to discussion from the congregation. I think the reality is somewhere in between–God is with us through and in spite of our pain; not ignoring it, but bringing good out of the pain even when we can’t see it, AND (this is important to me) God is able to handle our anger and despair.. We have to taste the lemon juice before we add the sugar and water and ice for lemonade. Still refining, in between scrubbing and loads of laundry.


  11. I am a male lurker pastor who reads TLL and 11thHour on Textweek to mine for sermon ideas. I sent a story to 11th Hour a few weeks or so ago, but it was literally near the 11th hour. For the Luke passage this week I recommend using or at least looking at “Where Are the Nine?” by Martin Bell (he died about 5 years ago), an Episcopal priest who published the story in 1968 in a book that included a collection of other stories (including Barrington Bunny) entitled The Way of the Wolf: The Gospel in New Images. With a minimum of tweaking or explaining at the end, the story can BE the sermon this Sunday or for a community Thanksgiving Service. It is thought provoking, profound and powerful. Since the book is still in print, I cannot find an exact copy online, but there is a version with slight changes by a pastor here:

    By Googling Where are the Nine? Martin Bell, there are also several other sermons based on tomorrow’s Gospel that reference the story.



  12. it is Sunday morning here. i have just put two of the images I am including in worship this morning on the facebook page


  13. I’m really just getting started. I’ve never been this late getting started, but is lost yesterday and had two commitments today. Mild panic setting in. Luke for me. Final Sunday in stewardship series. Tying it all together under gratitude. If anyone else is still working let me know.


  14. I’m checking in later than usual. I thought I was doing something out in the world, and then that didn’t happen, so I did stuff around the house, did some non-sermon writing, then watched LSU beat Florida. So, I guess it’s now time to get down to business.

    I’m preaching on the 10 lepers story. Earlier in the week, the tie-ins with that story and this congregation seemed obvious and brilliant. Not feeling it at the moment.

    Maybe I need to make some iced tea. Yeah, that.


  15. 7:12pm and I am just getting started. I would rather be going to bed, it’s so dark out! But I have nothing written yet, so…guess I should do something about that.
    I’m on the NL, working on the call of Samuel. Had two possible directions earlier in the week, but I think I’m going to stick with the question of how often we do ministry without knowing the Lord. (it says Samuel was doing the tasks but he did not know the Lord and the word had not been revealed to him.) I’m sure Presbyterians are not alone in our tendency to get caught up in the doing and forget about the relationship-with-God part of faith.

    For those still hungry, I have mashed potatoes. πŸ™‚


  16. home from church, felt a bit flat today, but no-one else seemed to notice. 6 hours isn’t enough sleep for me, especially after a busy day yesterday. no time for a nap this afternoon as I am officiating at an induction. the orders of service were printed by the office [YEAH!!], now I have written names on them for those who ‘need’ an order of service, before other people decide they ‘want’ one. the words will be on the screen for the congregation.

    I am so looking forward to a day off. then only one more week and I will be on holidays for a little over a week.

    blessings on those of you are still writing,


  17. Well, this might be the smallest preacher party ever….but it wasn’t for lack of trying. I hope you all have a good night and blessed day tomorrow. (Now, this host is crawling into bed so she is ready for her 5:45am alarm…)


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