Here we are again, RevGals and pals. Advent 4 was yesterday; Christmas Eve is tomorrow.  There is still work to do &/or things to celebrate.  Let’s party!

So . . .

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How are you doing?

Are you pacing yourself?

Have you found some ways to feed your own spirit while you’ve been busy taking care of everything else and everyone else?  (I know how we are!)

It is indeed the 11th Hour of all things Christmas.  No reason to panic; no reason to fear. We are all here for each other.

Need a last minute idea or resource?  Ask, and expect good gifts.

Dealing with a crisis or sadness?  Let us hold you in prayer.

Anything interesting happening in your world?  Please, do tell!

Christmas treats overflowing? We’re here to help you with those, too. Thank you!  Just put them over there on the snack table and help yourself to a hot or cold beverage of choice.  Then pull up a chair and enjoy a selection of tunes of the season.

Welcome, one and all!

42 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Christmas Eve Eve Edition

  1. so happy there is a party today!!!
    I am (like us all) juggling the domestic and the work and everything in between
    my beloved has gone to do his Christmas Shopping today….
    I have iced my cake this morning; then I will get wrapping while he is still out..
    and then… in a couple of hours I will pin down my thoughts for tomorrow night… as mentioned on the FB page earlier, I am working on LIGHt… and what that might mean… as we walk into Christmas into God’s light
    I have lemon & ginger tea, and fresh made gluten and dairy free mince pies….

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  2. I have done my Christmas Eve sermon but as some people are at both the midnight and the Christmas day services, I really need to do something else for that one. Speaking on change at midnight – how we cling to our Christmas traditions whilst celebrating the most momentous change in history. On Christmas Day I’d like to do something along the lines of the Word made flesh. Not sure it’s going to happen though!

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  3. I’m struggling a bit this morning. Folks are beginning to arrive for early morning lectio divina. I am pondering something along the lines of the light shined in darkness and the darkness did not overcome it but I don’t know where I’m going with it at this point. Shopping is done. Gifts are wrapped. I have a luncheon to attend today and dinner guests coming to my home this evening. I am hopeful for writing inspiration following the prayer group this morning so I can put the sermon top bed by lunch time today.

    Merry Christmas and happy writing and preparing to all my revgalblogpals!!!

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  4. Good morning, everyone!

    All is not done for tomorrow’s Christmas Eve service. We are training a new office manager and she is working very hard, but the learning curve is steep, even though her other part-time job is also in a church office. Her church experience makes yesterday’s “Of the Father’s Love Forgotten” blooper even more curious.

    No worries, though. How can you go wrong with baby Jesus being played by the baby who was baptized the week before, his parents playing the roles of Mary and Joseph. So — ahem, and rejoice! — it was a black Holy Family and it was a beautiful thing.

    I made an early — very early! — morning trip back to New Orleans from Baton Rouge where I usually spend my Mondays with family. The office manager is here early too, so we *will* get this done! We are also between music directors (choir, organ/piano) and are piecing that together, too.

    It’s a good thing that the Good News happens apart from how well we have our act together, right? It’s even possible that good news is all the more GOOD when life is frayed. That’s my hope today.

    Along with hope: COFFEE! Help yourselves to that and/or Julie’s tea and pie. Virtual snacks are 100% good for you in every way.

    Party on!

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  5. Though I do have the Christmas Eve sermon to worry about, what’s most on my mind is whether I will be able to get down what looks like a sheer hill of ice. Moved my car down last night, so it’s just getting me in my Yaktraks to the car. Eventually need to get my heavy computer down for tomorrow’s family service. Or get a ton of salt spread! Otherwise, I think we’re ready for the two services.

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  6. Christmas music rolling here. I’ve got the classics like Bing Crosby and Mitch Miller! Hop on a sleigh and glide into Christmas Eve with me!

    I have no idea what I’m actually going to be saying tomorrow night. I’m getting a bit anxious and that just thwarts the whole process. Prayers for focus needed here.

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    1. Your party host today remembers watching a TV variety show called “Sing Along with Mitch” so thanks for the trip down memory lane. And you reminded me that tomorrow night, after Christmas Eve worship, I have to get my yearly viewing of “White Christmas.”

      Interesting thing (to me): Last year, as I was making the trip from New Orleans to Baton Rouge around 9:00 p.m., there was this strong smell of smoke the whole way. I was praying as I drove for whatever fire someone might be dealing with on Christmas Eve. It was my first year back in Louisiana since my youth, and I had forgotten the Christmas Eve tradition of bonfires on the Mississippi River levee, and of course the drive from NOLA to BR pretty much follows the river. (Duh)

      Anyone have eggnog? That sounds good to me right now. With cookies, please, the Christmas-ier the better!

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  7. I was beginning to feel sorry for myself because I don’t have a pulpit supply gig for Christmas Eve. I’ve preached three CE’s in a row at a church who just called a pastor (very happy for them, truly).

    But. Now the youngest has come down with the flu. It is nice to be able to rearrange the Christmas Eve plans relatively easily (though now I’m feeling sorry for myself because I will miss it entirely).

    Blessings on all the preparations.

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    1. Poor little one. Adding my prayers for health and healing and the mama, Monica.

      You could preach for me! (I wish) I’m not a big fan of the Christmas Eve homily, but other people seem to be fond of having one there as part of the tableau. I’m a big fan of the carols and candlelight, though.

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    2. aw, thanks, y’all. I just stopped back by and saw all your sweet wishes. She isn’t feeling that bad (but winding down as the sun sets, of course). Worried about Daddy, who has three services on Christmas Eve. And flustered with the disruption of our plans.

      Sharon, it’s not so much the preaching that I’ll miss, as the looking out at the candlelit congregation. Gets me every time.

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  8. Whoa! I’m so impressed. The Holy Spirit took hold a bit ago and my CE sermon is complete! I am amazed. I never thought it would come together this morning. I am filled with Christmas cheer as I head to my luncheon without a sermon looming o’er my head. Thanks to several of you who reminded us on the Facebook page to let the story tell itself and just get out of the way. Mine is a bit different from anything I’ve done before. I am using John 1 and a bit of Isaiah crept in. The Advent candle lighters are reading the gospel story from Luke so it is present, but not my primary focus … although the birth of that little baby boy is certainly front and center! I am focusing on light and the light of the world overcoming the darkness then and now and forevermore. I am ending with the poem by Steven Charleston. The night will be rounded out with communion and candle light and all voices singing Silent Night. I am SO ready!!! Thanks be to God.

    I am off to partake in what promises to be a feast with a family whose child and bride are in from Canada and heading out tomorrow. Then I am preparing my own festive meal for two sweet children and their parents. The menu is chosen by the girls, we are having spaghetti and chocolate cupcakes. It will be fun. Christmas through the eyes of children always is. The rest of us need to open our child eyes and be filled with wonder.

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  9. I’m apparently here under two different kinds of log in. Weird.

    I think I have a CE homily of sorts. There is a little time before the big night. I can put it down for a little while and see what it looks like later.

    How’s everyone doing? Can I get you anything?

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  10. OH! This CE sermon has been through so many tortuous permutations. I had to have a long talk this morning with RevGal and chem prof Michelle Francl on what light is and does. But I think I’m just about there, thanks to another RG on the FB page. And, like Dari (above), I am all about light tomorrow night.

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  11. we had carols last night – 23rd , as we found people had too many other commitments on Christmas eve, and 80 people came – pretty good for a church that averages 50 on a Sunday morning. lots of extended family, and some baptism families, but 2 new families and one asked about Sunday School – YEAH!!! Some of the children from church played, the Sunday School teacher, who is also very musical, arranged and ran the whole program
    Almost 11 am on Christmas eve and I have very little for tomorrow morning – which is big here. 2-3 times average weekly attendance – which means some people will be in the hall, fortunately the building is designed so that a part of the wall between the church and hall opens up.
    I am thinking about peace, but also came across an interesting question ‘ what are you looking for?’. I wonder what the people who come once a year to Christmas morning are looking for. Time to get working!

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    1. I think it’s beautiful. I wouldn’t change a thing, professionally speaking. And personally speaking, thank you. I needed that.

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      1. Thanks, ladies. I was of course up at 4:30 but decided not even to look at it, thanks to your words. As the week moves on, my heart gets heavier, so I’m glad to know it’s ok.

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    2. Ooh! Will I resist reading until mine is finished?
      Mine is all about light, and using L I G H T as jump off to different thoughts…
      It’s 7am Christmas Eve here in Scotland, I have yet to stick my nose out the door, last nights storm woke me twice…..

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  12. We have two services tomorrow. The first one is geared towards children in which they put on a live nativity with Matthew and Luke. I’m thinking about talking about “Charlie Brown’s Christmas” for that one. I also have started two sermons that I’m not loving. One is talking about Light (Isaiah 9) and the other about the census and no room in the inn. And our power went out for 1 1/2 hours tonight so I have a fabulous illustration about light. But where to go from here? Must get one done tonight.

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    1. Hello, Rev. Megan. Kids doing the live nativity is so much fun. Your real life illustration about the power outage seems like a very good place to start. It’s so infrequently that we experience darkness that we cannot easily remedy.

      Best wishes!

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  13. I’m just getting back from a trip to the City for my surgery-follow-up-doctors visit, a shut in visit and some last minute shopping including the makings for the Christmas bags one congregation gives out to children at the CE service. The person who has been getting those together ‘retired’ and assumed someone else was taking over. Pastor hears about it yesterday. Sigh.

    I scheduled the Lessons and Carols for CE, so I only need to tell a short story, so my sermon is pretty much done. But I”m directing the Sunday school Christmas program at one congregation, and somehow that ended up including making 90 or so angel charms to pass out at the end of the program, which have to be done before 6 pm tomorrow. And I have to get the announcements for the bulletin prepared and the newsletter written yet tonight.

    BTW – anyone ever heard Susan Briehl tell her Mrs. Logos story? If so, does anyone have a link or some way to get a copy of it?

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  14. Well, Gals & Pals, thanks for making this a fun Christmas Eve Eve party. I have enjoyed hearing your plans for tomorrow’s big day and sharing this time of preparation and excitement about what’s coming tomorrow.

    Most especially, thank you for the being a community of grace and gifts all year long. What a blessing!

    I pray that you will be at peace on Christmas Eve and receive the light of God’s love even as you pass that light to your congregations.

    I left a light on for any late night party-goers. Enjoy!

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  15. Here I am, late to the party once again, and sounds like most of you have gone off to bed. (Smart women!) Monday is my day off and my daughter who lives 1000 miles away arrived late last night with her husband and American Staffordshire (dog). We enjoyed the evening together and then all day together. Now that they have gone to bed, it is time for me to put thoughts to keyboard! Worship services aren’t until 5 – 7- 9 pm tomorrow. My theme is “Shine God’s Light” – and I have red silicone bracelets for everyone (400 of them!) imprinted with “Shine God’s Light”. Now to write the sermon. I’d rather crawl into bed, but I need at least a strong beginning and a good outline. Feels like I just preached. Maybe because I just did on Sunday. Like most of you.

    I am delighted to have all the staff and council gifts bought, wrapped, and delivered yesterday. I don’t believe that has ever happened before this early. Now to sermonate…

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  16. Well, I’m here for the RevNightOwls 🙂 I found squirreled away in my files from years ago put together by Anne Le Bas the story of St Brigid patched together from various sources which tells about her feeding the Holy Family. I could tell I wasn’t ready for bed so I worked on that for a while. I’ll be back.

    I’m also working on transferring my anonymous blog from Blogger over to WordPress. I’m going to re-activate it and not be anonymous with it when we finally get everything straight. The “supposed to be easy” process hit a technical glitch that required intervention by one of WordPress’ Happiness Engineers. Then the import she did also had a glitch. I’m really glad no lives were at stake. Because we went through the blog equivalent of flat lining twice — on purpose — in order to import the blog “through this really simple process.”

    How am I supposed to procrastinate my sermon if the blog isn’t even there?!?

    Sarah

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  17. I was still awake but trying desperately to get gifts wrapped – now I’m working on the sermon again. This feels like a regular Saturday to me – finishing sermon in the morning for the evening service, but it will be weird to only preach once instead of three times. It’s always fun to see how it evolves.

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  18. I am nearly finished with the sermon. Another preacher preaching on light. I have baskets of silicone bracelets to give the worshippers: “Shine God’s light”. The children’s time is done as well. I will use Martha’s story, “Go Tell it!” with pictures of our nativity set on the powerpoint screen, and our actual nativity scene in my hands for the children to see and touch. Nearly done…. time for lunch.

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