eagle's wingsHello, preachers! At our house, we’re trying to finish it all up before leaving Sunday for the RevGals’ Big Event 8.0 cruise!

What do you have planned this week? Check out the lectionary posts from earlier in the week if you are still pondering: NL and RCL. The stories this week offer us eagle’s wings, a wondrous healing, a walk on the water and an abundant banquet hosted by Jesus. Is healing a touchy subject in your setting, or does it bother you that the first thing Peter’s mother-in-law does is serve? What do you make of the feeding of the 5000? Did Jesus get everybody to share what they were inclined to hoard? Did he make something out of nothing? (Or are those both the same thing?) Maybe you’ve got your eye on Peter, walking on the water – Peter is everywhere this week.

Meanwhile, here at the Preacher Party banquet table, we have more than loaves and fishes. Come and share baked oatmeal, fresh coffee and a big bowl full of delicious Halos. Say hello in the comments, and let us know what else is going on with you today.

70 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Fly Like an Eagle or Walk on Water Edition

  1. Me first? I re-habbed a sermon on the Isaiah text last weekend and haven’t looked at it since. And I remember leaving it with the thought “this still needs some major help.” The congregation I will be preaching for has had a lot of deaths in the past few months, and I think they need a word of encouragement.

    I am also doing an officer training event most of the day Saturday. I’m still not quite sure how I got my (not a regular pastor) self into this, but here I go!

    When I return, I will have two pies to make for one daughter’s preschool bake sale. We will be eating supper from the Preacher Party snack table, I think!

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      1. Yes, quite Presbyterian. And let’s add a wheezing, coughing kindergartner to the mix this morning. On the upside, home canned (not by me!) plum jelly for breakfast.

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  2. The little church I serve as Interim Pastor has been touched by four deaths in the past three weeks, and I’m updating a sermon on Mark and Isaiah I’ve preached before, which includes a story about my mom when she was dying. The church itself is in decline; I wonder if a hand up from Jesus would make a difference?

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    1. You’re describing tomorrow’s congregation exactly. There are some signs of new life; I’m hoping that they can get some eagle’s wings to make it happen.

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  3. Quiet morning!

    I am off at a board retreat for our local chapter of the American Foundatuon for Suicide in the midst of two ridiculously busy weeks, so I am focusing on Jesus’ reliance on prayer and teaching lectionary divina tomorrow. Perhaps folks will gain an insight into a practice they might use as the closure/merger decision looms.

    Good thing I wasn’t planning to write a sermon as I am zonked – second time I have come to an event and agreed to share a room with someone who should not be doing so. Please do not share rooms if you have either one of those breathing machines due to sleep apnea (ministry training event) or a baby who awakens for an hour’s squealing at 5:00 am!

    Anyway, come on over for a hotel breakfast buffet!

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    1. Good morning, Robin! Thanks for checking in. Many of our “early” commenters are Scottish preachers who are already in Jacksonville ahead of BE 8.0. So we’ll have to make it a party without them this week.

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  4. I woke up ridiculously early and actually accomplished some of the writing on my agenda before breakfast. Now I’m fighting the urge to go back to bed! How goes it out there, preachers?

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  5. After a lot of sitter scheduling and scrambling (I lost a regular sitter due to her job promotion–great for her and not so good for me, though I am really happy for her)…we had another sitter arrive today to pinch hit while I work on sermon at library, where I am amongst a very diverse group of folks this am. Scored a spot with a great connection and because I didn’t have time to make lunch, I am looking forward to a small “splurge” at a local tapas restaurant which is RIGHT next door to the library…and I am somewhat a regular there (well, maybe once a month?). So, I skipped breakfast, not intentionally but stomach feeling wonky…and grandparents are both down with stomach issues (please God don’t let us be next). My son had something stomach related this past week and there was a ton of laundry, puke, you name it. So this prayer is legit. And two sitters scheduled tomorrow because I have back-to-back work obligations…expensive, thank God for savings.

    About Peter’s mother in law…I really *hate* this passage. I hate how Jesus gets a break (though we all need this) but the mother in law has to get up and serve. Maybe she is doing what she really wanted to do but it still bugs me. And Peter…well, he’s pushing Jesus, pushing her…Ugh. I have a sermon title, “It’s a little too crowded in here?” and was thinking of how we crowd ourselves or let others crowd us…but the passage is hitting more than one button with me. Social media crowds us…makes my brain hurt being bombarded with things that you feel that you should respond to, provocative stuff, even from the larger church. The fever of life just running, running, running…and the constant pressure to do more, be more, love more, reach out more, etc. So, I guess I am jealous of Jesus (but think his response totally understandable) and angry with Peter and compassionate for the mother in law. Why oh why did I pick this passage?????

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    1. Oh the jealousy of Jesus taking a break …or choosing a break…Well, some people can’t make that choice. I want to believe that the mother in law getting up was HER choice (but I question that) and that Peter was exercising compassionate choice and that we ALL have more choice than we think…but I am not convinced of that… I have three sermons from past years that I am so tempted to use, ’cause I am all over the place with this passage. And flying like an eagle– why does the U.S. have THAT as their symbol? I can’t get that out of my mind. And what if your wings are broken or still healing or whatever…like that song, “Take these broken wings, and learn to fly again…” by MisterMister, I think.
      Arrrggghh…..

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        1. 🙂
          Maybe my opening will be what to do when you really don’t like the scripture you have picked to study. I have Feasting on the Word commentary and am hoping to be enlightened. I like the song 🙂

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          1. Martha– this song is the one going thru my head. A “romantic” one, but not if you imagine God talking/singing to you… It is a powerful video– shows a black bird in a church….

            Baby, don’t understand
            Why we can’t just hold on to each other’s hands?
            This time might be the last I fear unless
            I make it all too clear I need you so, oh

            Take these broken wings
            And learn to fly again, learn to live so free
            When we hear the voices sing
            The book of love will open up and let us in
            Take these broken wings

            Baby, I think tonight
            We can take what was wrong and make it right
            Baby, it’s all I know that you’re half of the flesh
            And blood that makes me whole, I need you so.

            So take these broken wings
            And learn to fly again, learn to live so free
            When we hear the voices sing
            The book of love will open up
            And let us in
            Yeah, yeah

            Let us in
            Let us in

            Read more: Mr. Mister – Broken Wings Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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          2. Bonnie Bowman Thurston in Preaching Mark has an interesting take on the MIL – when she “serves” she is the first person in Mark’s Gospel to ACT as a disciple. The four guys have been called but will not get what that means. She gets it, and she acts on it, so she takes her place among the disciples, even if unofficially.
            I don’t know if that helps or not, but I like it.

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  6. Isaiah, Scout Sunday, short sermon for a family service with lots of little ones…anyone have a brainstorm for me?

    While I hope for inspiration, I’ll be planting a new rose–Twilight Zone, to accompany the Firefighter I planted earlier in the week, in a set of beds with 6 other roses–and doing laundry and running errands. All of which are just fine and would be better if I didn’t have the sermon to figure out.

    Girl Scout cookies to offer here, Samoas and Thin Mints. Because they are virtual, you don’t have to worry about someone else being disappointed if you eat the whole box 😉

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  7. I slipped out for a pedicure, and now I am back at it. The other preacher at my house has a funeral at 2 after an officer retreat all morning, so it’s busy around here and we’re trying to figure out where to squeeze in a trip out for cat food!

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  8. I am so scattered today – my mother-in-law is dying and I am unable to be with my husband because I am preaching tomorrow – I am grateful that he has made it in time, as she is five hours away, but I am so distracted and my sustainable sermon needs major revision –
    I have the Mark reading – (my sermon is focused on the Isaiah) in my head as I wonder what Jesus healing outstretched hand is offering to my husband and his sisters and his mother in this time – I hope it is offering relief, strength, release, restoration..liberation
    Our Supreme Court just made doctor assisted death legal yesterday and somehow all of this ties together – but I keep loosing my thoughts as they flitter through my brain before I am able to get them on paper….anyway – I muster on – with Dora in the background keeping my 2 1/2 year old entertained, so I can work ….
    I am about to make some decaf coffee if anyone wants some ~

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    1. Prayers for your MIL for a peaceful journey from this life to God’s kingdom, and for all the rest of you as you say goodbye. 21 years ago on this Saturday I was in the same position…these lessons and MIL dying (that day); it is a challenge, and my heart goes out to you. Although I am a manuscript preacher, the next day I spoke without even notes, to talk about how mad I was that Jesus made Peter’s MIL better and not mine, and then the difference between healing and curing, because she really did receive the latter, just not the cure I wanted. Don’t know if that’s any help…

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  9. I’m not packing for the BE until I least get an outline on paper. Love the thoughts from DDL about Jesus getting away – maybe a good thing to preach as we stat the turn to Lent. hmmmm.

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    1. It’s a great point. Hang in there, you can get it all done! I am currently hung up on printing the RevGals logo on the name tags, something I have done every year, but can’t remember how to do this time.

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  10. Amazing what sermon procrastination will inspire: I finally began to deal with some of the Quicken stuff that needs to happen before I am ready for our tax appt in 2 weeks. What other miserable tasks might I accomplish today??

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      1. Have to laugh because one of the errands was picking up shoes from the cobbler; they’ve been there several weeks but somehow it was today that I felt the urgent need to get them 😉 Now that you mention, they could use a good polish!

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  11. All right, I’m up. It’s not my Sunday to preach, but a fellow UCC pastor is having a personal emergency and called on Wednesday to ask if I would stand in for him. His church is two blocks from my house, which poses considerable consternation on his part, as he thinks I should be working for/with (no, for) him. I prefer my church which is 30 minutes away.

    Anywho, I am taking the “Restored” to health/service theme. I also use the Feasting on the Word commentaries, and really appreciated the theological approach’s words this week.
    I have the beginnings of a good sermon, but I am worrying that I will overgeneralize/genderize in speaking about Peter’s MIL’s desire to serve. In her 1st Cen. context, and ethnic context as well, it completely makes sense, but I don’t want to ffend any strong feminists by inferring that “real” women are domestic.

    I am on my first cup of coffee, but there will likely be bacon and eggs in a little while? Anyone want some? How do you like your eggs?

    Pass those Thin Mints…they’re my Achille’s heel.

    OK, now to type…

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  12. I was helped in managing the “serving” bit by Peter’s mother in law when I discovered (thanks to the Women’s Bible Commentary” that the Greek word used in the text in Mark 1:31 (from which our word Deacon comes) means to minister to and is the same word used in Mark 1:13 where the angels “ministered to” Jesus. In other words, the use of this word elevates the MIL to the level of the ministry of angels . . . how about that 😉

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  13. I have quiche warm from the oven. Anyone want a bite?

    This afternoon I’m mourning vital women who died much too young–one a former colleague and the other the wife of a current colleague. Relying heavily on the Christian Century reflection on Mark and suffering, loss, grief and demons. Think the good news rests in the compassion and companionship of Jesus and the hope he brings. Don’t know how I’ll feel about the passage after these two memorial services.

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  14. Picked out “I Love to Tell the Story” as the song after the sermon tomorrow, and am preaching toward that. From 1 Cor – woe to me if I do not proclaim the Gospel! In other words, if we know the story of Jesus, we are compelled to share it – knowing equals sharing. And from Mark – Jesus wanted to go to the neighboring towns to proclaim the Gospel. It wasn’t just for Peter/his MIL/the disciples, but for everyone. And sharing the Gospel to Jesus means healing, it’s about action, not just words.

    Of course, nothing is actually written yet. Better get to it…

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  15. This. is. not. happening. I am home…having just scheduled a supply preacher and sending her two of my older sermons…I know that I wrote that I hate this text but…wow…
    I was at the library…having just had lunch…feeling wonky…just made it thru their second set of doors on the way to the restroom with my computer (because you can’t leave it) when, not 3 feet from the bathroom, in their clean foyer…how humilating…I get sick– well, actually start to pass out then upchuck tapas and everything…in their narthex. How humiliating. On the good side, about 10 people stopped to help me…and then someone got me a plastic bag…and then my scarf, sweater, cloak, everything but the computer –nasty…and someone offers to call someone…and all I can do is cry and think, “God, how I hate that passage…” and why didn’t I listen to my body? And all the wonderful tapas I had for lunch— nevermind. I hope I never see a tapas again. Drove home and took shower. Threw everything in laundry except the cloak which will need to go to cleaners. In bed. Need to pay sitter before she gets this…but don’t know what I will do about kids. This. did. not. just. happen.
    At least I don’t have to preach on this text. But really, I was amazed at how many people offered a puke covered pastor a hand in the library…and asked if they could help.

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      1. Thanks. in bed. Tykes are watching (sort of) Thomas the Tank Engine. Grandparents are in bed in their home with the same thing…my other son hasn’t gotten it yet. Still humiliated about this am at library. Fever/chills. Debating on whether I should cancel sitter for tomorrow. I need the help but don’t want to expose her. Ugh. I need rent-a-robot-sitter.

        My son said the following, “Sck,Momm? Too much egg, Mommy? Want some (plastic) cookies? Mommy, working?”

        To all those who are pinch hitting supply pastors, thank you. huge thank you. you are more needed than you may know.

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        1. Oh no! I’m so sorry you’re sick. It sounds awful. I hope you feel better very soon, and I’m glad you could call in an emergency preacher. Thankful for helpful strangers, and glad you are in your own bed.

          And if you invent the rent-a-robot-sitter, PLEASE send one my way. I could just keep it in the front closet and pull it out when needed, right? Perfect.

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          1. Called emergency sitter. I am going to where a mask and seclude myself. She is going to feed the kids and get them in bed. I don’t want to touch them. this better be a 24 hour thing…I am railing aaingst God…sorry. And I am going to miss a friend’s installation… time to sign off.

            Prayers for the ones keeping vigil with mother in law…I cant find the entry. My stuff will pass… there are bigger concerns…

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  16. I spent yesterday and today until 1 pm at a synod conference. I just finished most of my background reading, and now I’m ready to put fingers to keyboard. I don’t have a sermon title, as I was out of town most of the week to spend time with our youngest daughter who is ready to deliver any day. I feel out of sorts and out of “rhythm”. Without a title I am free to move in whatever direction I choose. That is both the good news and the bad news! Which path to take?!

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    1. Most inspired from David Lose’ comments on this week’s gospel reading, “What are we freed FOR,” beyond the more obvious, “What are we freed FROM.” I’ll pair it with Ephesians 2:10 (For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.) It’s not about us. It’s about serving God’s people.

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      1. Yep, that’s where I’m headed. I’m using the metaphor of home renovation, specifically kitchen reno. If the main purpose of a kitchen is to prepare meals in, then what’s the main purpose of a human? To glorify God.
        Your idea to link to Ephesians makes good sense…I will likely copy that. 🙂

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  17. Hi, back again! We are mostly packed. I still have an essay and a blog post to finish and submit to Christian Century. I really have until Monday, but I want to leave my computer at home and be focused on Big Event 8.0.
    I might also want to take a look at my sermon…

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  18. Officers are trained. Pies are baked and cooling. Children bathed and in their rooms, if not quite asleep (that’s Daddy’s task tonight). Sermon. Oh yes, sermon. Let me see what I needed to do with the sermon.

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  19. Outline is done – packing is gathered but I’m off to put it in a suitcase before DH heads to bed – conflict inventory remembered and completed last minute. Will I get a case study written or will I be jotting it while on the plane? That’s the last bit to do. *whew*

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  20. Spent the morning judging an event at a speech tournament – what fun! Then napped, then baked for church tomorrow. Had a decent sort of outline earlier this week; hoping it comes together. Just need a good intro………..

    Brownies or cupcakes?

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  21. Embarrassed to say I’m just sitting down to write. I’m often a nighttime writer anyway. I am stuck on this idea that Gord hinted at earlier this week that there is a connection to the movie Frozen. I’m thinking about how our fears own us and how ultimately it’s a bigger risk to run from the fears than to face them. So the fear that the disciples faced was that they didn’t believe there would be enough food, but ultimately they tried and there was enough. Peter was afraid to step out of the boat but when he did the storm was calmed. Elsa was afraid to embrace her powers, but when she did she created beauty and confidence.

    So what are the fears we are living in instead of stepping outside of? Fears of loving again after loss or divorce. Fear of pursuing a different career. Fear of apologizing or reconciling. Fear of volunteering in certain capacities (being around “certain people”)…. And what will happen when we step outside of those fears? How will we not just be “okay” but truly flourish in abundant ways?

    Can someone write that into about 1800 words for me?

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  22. I so appreciate this group and agree with those who have concluded that the healing is about discipleship. Although it might be tempting to think the culture of Jesus’ day and the writer of the 1st century might have been subject to a lack of imagination when it comes to how women might serve I don’t think that Simon’s MIL cooking etc is the point. I think Jesus’ healings perpare us for the work of restoration of community, whatever our particular gifts and calling. I’m reminded of a number of examples….the idea of spreading knowledge in the three steps….observe, perform, teach. The healing, wholeness, Jesus offers is about being equipped for service.

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  23. No one should feel bad about arriving late! That’s the whole point of the party.
    I woke up (not on purpose) at 4:30 this morning, and I’ve about had it. I’ll see y’all on the other side!

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  24. A little nap, a few more errands, hospital visit, dinner with the wife of the person in the hospital, and movie night at the church, and somewhere in the midst of it something that resembles a sermon idea for all ages has developed. I sure hope it still seems that way in the morning! Good night, all, and Bon voyage to those going on the BE.

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