crazyclockWelcome to the 11th hour preacher party – or the 10th hour, or the 12th hour, depending on where in the world you are.

If you’re in the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Cuba, Haiti, or most of the United States, you’re getting an extra hour to finish that sermon. If you’re in Fiji, on the other hand, you have one less hour.

Are you working from the Narrative Lectionary? If you haven’t already, take a look at A Kingdom Divided (1Kings 12:1-17;25-29).

Are you working from the Revised Common Lectionary? Check out the Saints and Sinners Edition.

Or are you working from other scripture?

Wherever you are, whatever the scripture, and however far along your sermon writing is, welcome! Pull up a chair, order up a cup, glass, or mug of your favorite beverage, and join us! Share where you are with your work, ask for what you need, lend a hand, or just share the galship.

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57 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party – Time Warp Edition

  1. It is evening on Saturday in New Zealand and although we have no time change to contend with, the Rugby World Cup Final at 5am is expected to have a significant impact on the congregation. In any case we’re doing All Saints Day – which is also our patronal festival. We’re doing All Saints as a little Easter, celebrating the resurrection of us all, complete with our Easter Alleluia banner made by the children for the Great Fifty Days. My sermon for the 7:30am service is good to go, but the all age, interactive hullabaloo still needs some work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am in Australia, and there are a few people who follow the Rugby in the congregation,Not sure of the Game will effect attendance tomorrow or not.

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  2. Here in Scotland, we got our extra hour last weekend …. so no extra sleeps for me!

    I follow the NL – but this week is an infant baptism for a lovely church family, who are bringing along around 60 non churched guests…. and the divided Kingdom just didn’t cut it with me!

    So, I have gone with God’s promises, using two short readings from our Baptismal liturgy – Acts 2 and Mark 10 and going to encourage folks to see that church, faith, God are for all people – whether they know it or not…

    in our liturgy there is a wonderful phrase “this he did for you ‘Rachel’, even though you do not know it” so from Peter’s exhortation to those who sought how to respond, and Jesus’ command to bring in the kids… it may even become something of an altar call (very much NOT part of my lexicon)

    we will see how the day pans out!

    On the table I have left overs – we had an amazing Indian banquet last night – I love, love, cooking – so there are a few onion bhajis, some amazing chicken cashew, jalfrezi, spinach & potatoes… for you to graze through as you want (and all gluten & lactose free!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. almost 9.30 pm Saturday evening, and i am about to start on the sermon for tomorrow. today we have been with my father in law, celebrating his 90th birthday. we hosted open house at his place, and about 45 people came, which was great. fortunately some other people offered to bring food – too much food.
    so leftover slice and scones with jam and cream,

    good thing i wrote an outline on Friday morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good Morning from Canada – and Happy Halloween to all who participate in this celebration?/holiday? cultural phenomena? I am working on a sustainable sermon from a few years ago using the Ruth and Mark passages – trying to bring it up to date…

    For the children’s time I am going to bring in a bunch of tea light candles and place them on the communion table and then talk about ‘saints’, and light candles for them as they are named- I am hoping the children will remember people in their lives that have been saints – ‘set apart for the Lord’s use’ as David Lose shares.

    I also have a funeral this afternoon and of course my children are trick or treating this evening. I am going to appreciate the extra hour of sleep tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the tea light candles.

      At the church where I’m doing extended supply, we’re doing a tradition called “Totenfest.” We’ll be remembering people who have died in the past year, and lighting a candle for each one. It’s a tradition that’s new to me: fortunately, the congregation is handling this one!

      It seems you have a very busy day today. May it go smoothly into your extra hour of rest tonight!

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  5. sermon done Do I have to love me??

    now to cut up some paper strips for the ‘children’s talk’ . most weeks there aren’t any children, but the congregation is enjoying a picture book most weeks. Tomorrow for All Saints I am asking them to write on strips of paper, the name of someone who has been helpful in their Christian life, and then we will make a chain of loops with all the names on them. I hope to have 3 strips of paper per person, so 300 all up. time to get cutting.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m going off lectionary and preaching a sermon on lament for All Saints and the church closing. It’s a short sermon (written last night and not as short as I had hoped) due to the All Saints observance and communion. I’m going with Psalm 42 and talking about how we are called to be authentic and lament our losses, but not to lose hope, as we will someday share communion in the new creation with all whom we have lost.

    The last two days I was back at my seminary for a continuing ed event on spiritual assessment (fascinating and excellent program) with a friend who is a social worker and has also lost a son to suicide. She herself had spent much of the last week with a family who has just lost their high-school aged son to suicide. So we spent hours in the car discussing suicide and our own thoughts about the next life (no hell for anyone who has died of suicide, in case there is hell at all, which if there is will be a serious disappointment to me) and the spiritual lives of those who have experienced losses of such a severe nature — all of which comes out in the sermon in the one short phrase, “we want our loved ones HERE.” It was also very weird to be back at the seminary where I spent the two years immediately after my son’s death wandering around in a fog, and I blogged about that.

    Today I am grading long-procrastinated college papers in which my students are revealing a great deal about their own spiritual lives, which I was not particularly anticipating, and trying to figure out how to address that tomorrow. I really want to honor these tender spaces in their lives, but they are all OVER the place.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There so much of those “thin spaces,” liminal or threshold places in your post. So much of the difficult and holy.

      It’s so in keeping with ideas around halloween and All Saints Day, to be thinking of such things at this time. To have it all so close to home likely makes it all the more poignant.

      Blessings to you as you travel through these spaces where the temporal intersects with the eternal, where loss and hope mingle.

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  7. No sermon for me today. I have an allergist apt Monday and can’t take my allergy meds for the week before, so I was concerned that my symptoms would be too severe for me to preach. So we’re doing an All Saints lesson and hymns, with candle lighting as the names of our newly baptized saints, absent(shut ins) saints, and the saints who have recently joined the church triumphant are read. I just need to get everything in place.

    Which is good, because I’m behind on my DMin work and the assignments due tomorrow aren’t completed as I had planned. Ministry got in the way! So I’ll be frantically completing my exegetical paper and writing a reflection paper.

    So glad there’s an extra hour! I may need it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m preaching my first-ever sermon on Ruth. This supply congregation doesn’t celebrate All Saints’ Day, so it’s just a plain sermon. Not helping my motivation at all is the very real possibility that the highway bridge over the river will be flooded, and I won’t be able to get there at all. Current forecast is for the river to crest one foot before it starts flowing over the bridge. I will not hesitate to cancel, if need be. I already have arranged a ride on the other side of the river, because the church is located on a dirt road, which is now a mud road, and I drive a Prius, which is wholly unsuitable for such a task!

    The sermon…has a loosely related introduction right now and not much else. I need to get it finished before trick-or-treat time this evening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you’re taking the flooding seriously!

      My first sermon in my field placement was on Ruth, and (being the contrarian person I can be) I preached about Naomi.

      Prayers for safety for those affected by the flooding, and for your preparation.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m doing 1 Kings 12, but I’m not all that happy about it. Where’s God’s word in that? The only place it’s made explicit is in the predictions of two prophets (one referred to, but the actual story is back in chapter 11) about the dividing of the kingdom–those prophets indicate that the split is God’s will! I wanted to preach about listening for God speaking in the good advice we receive, but it looks to me like God in this text is on the side of the spoiled, entitled rich kids who gave Rehoboam the advice that ended up splitting the kingdom. Where’s the word of God in this story? I’m struggling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a tough place in the story, and it contains one of those “God hardened his heart” -style passages with which I struggle. Any Narrative Lectionary people want to weigh in with how you’re engaging this reading?

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  10. No sermon this week–Live at Five is going to the Marigold Parade(a Dia de los Muertos parade held in Albuquerque’s largely Hispanic South Valley). We’ll have a simple eucharist by our simple float (a decorated pick-up truck) and then join the parade.

    But I’m working on next week. That poor widow vexes me. I think she’s a victim not an exemplar. So I’m looking for tales of joyful giving–in scriptures and elsewhere. Going to focus on the Teilhard de Chardin quote about Joy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Of course she’s a victim. Jesus has just called out the religious officials for devouring widows’ houses, and here comes one of them now, paying her temple tax with her last two cents. I’m wondering what the consequences would have been for her if she hadn’t paid it. Would she have been jailed? Put out of the Temple (no great loss there, I’d think; it’s not like the Temple is doing anything to help her out)? What? So was her payment voluntary or compulsory? Last time this came up I connected her with Ruth–with the idea that she put in all she had because she knew from the story of Ruth that her God is in the business of making something out of nothing. I don’t think that erases the monumental injustice of the very community which should be taking care of her instead taking every penny she had. But it says that she’s got some incredible faith–and can the same be said about the Temple officials?

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I’m with you on the widow. Matthew 23:4 and Luke 11:46 contrast what the leadership does and what they expect from others, and I think the widow is that kind of illustration of contrast, not as example

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  11. Good morning! I’m working on Narrative Lectionary. Had a hard time finding the Good News. Did NOT want to preach about how we need to listen to the elders because youth are horrible.
    I’ve decided the good news is in the unheeded advice from the elders–not because they did it right when they were young, but because they recognize how wrong they were. At this point it is very short.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like what you have there. I wonder if there’s a little of what I call “the two ways to learn a lesson.”

      The example I usually give is when my patents and grandmothers told my brother and me to not put our hands on the electric stove, even when it wasn’t glowing. I learned because I was told by people with the wisdom of experience, while my brother tested it and learned wisdom through personal experience. My lesson was easier while my brother’s lesson is more… vivid.

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  12. just sitting down to start… its 4.20pm and I am usually finishes by now. But spent morning helping paint daughter’s flat got home walked the dogs, made up the goody bags for guizers (trick or treators) and now am out of excuses. I too am on 1 Kings 12….so far I have an idea about the choices we make, who we listen to…. No food I am afraid….the sandwich I bought on the way home didn’t hang around very long so waiting later til I nibble something….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The challenge of this 1 Kings text is starting to make me wish I was working from the Narrative Lectionary. I like a good challenge, though I suppose it’s easier for me because I’m not in a long-term relationship with any of these churches.

      I’m hoping your digestive tract settles a bit!

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  13. Tomorrow is the only Sunday when I am preaching until December. Our Curate is in her final year of formation and I have given her a long run of preaching and presiding in order to really feel the flow of day after day of liturgical ministry. I must say its very weird for me, though, and has taken a lot of mindful work to do this, to let go and not feel like I have to be the leader every Sunday or even most Sundays. Its a sacrifice made in an effort to be a good mentor and enable a good experience for the Curate.

    Anyway….tomorrow is our Stewardship Sunday, pledge in-gathering, and All Saints’ Day celebration so the sermon has a focus that only offers a nod to the readings (John: Mary and Martha and Lazarus). I pulled up a sustainable sermon but only took a portion of the illustration and then wrote a new sermon. The illustration refers to a book called “Failing Sainthood” – a title I just LOVE even though I haven’t read the book. Still it offers an interesting thematic structure for an All Saints’ Day and stewardship sermon. I have solid draft and am letting it percolate….But, I think I want to go shoe shopping while it does. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I didn’t end up going shoe shopping. I did, however, clean my house and exercise. The sermon is finished but I’m not going to post it because it really just a reflection on the many good things this church is doing as a way to inspire us on stewardship Sunday, you know….

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    1. I’ve also got Stewardship and All Saints, and the most concrete progress I’ve made is to determine that I need to tell the stewardship committee that they can’t schedule stewardship Sunday for All Saints’ Day in the future…

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Crazy weekend here, and I am a bit stressed. Young kids, single mom preaching, and Halloween don’t fit together well. Oh well, on to the divided kingdom. Think I have a direction to go, yay! It can be short what with All Saints’ Day and communion. Here’s hoping we all are able to get it all together!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes I talk about the divided kingdom in terms of what the spaces were in Jesus’ time and today, just to give folks a reference.

      I usually run short, which will be good today as we have Communion and an annual tradition called Totenfest.

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  15. I’m using the Pentecost 23 readings for tomorrow, focusing on Mark 12, which is also the theme for our current Bible study on loving God and loving others. Need to come up with something new to say, ideally bringing in All Saints and stewardship. The current plan is to spend the kids’ time talking about what pledge cards are and why people fill them out, and then have the kids go collect them from some of the adult members who have been told to be prepared for this.

    Wanting to focus the sermon on what love means, how we show love to each other, how our congregation shows love to the community, how God shows love to us. So, I guess I’ve got an outline, but not much written yet. Also, trying to figure out where All Saints fits in.

    At my favorite coffee shop for writing now, but I need to be home in 2 hours since my sister is bringing my nephew over for trick or treating! Hoping to have something resembling a draft by then…

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    1. Considered for a minute writing the entire sermon in song lyrics. “All you need is love! (do-dodododo)” But, “what is love?” “I want to know what love is, I want you to show me.”

      I’m not going to do it, but the idea won’t leave my head, so I’m just putting it here for the good of the community. You’re welcome 😉

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  16. Procrastination attempts here: weeding, vacuuming the car, making pizza dough, showering. I have a few more words written. River flood forecast is now 0.9 feet higher than previous forecast, which means it’s reallyreally close to going over the highway bridge. Motivation to finish: low, very low.

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  17. Starting to do battle with the NL passages. I liked how the Working Preacher podcast contrasted the centering of God in worship of a united people in last week’s passage with the division and decentering this round. As we approach the election of congregational officers, I am struck by the importance of spiritual vs. organizational leadership and power dynamics that come into play every time we put humans in charge of directing/leading other humans. The crushing workloads obviously echo the plight of Israel under Pharaoh, but also made me think of the austerity measures in place in countries struggling under heavy yokes of debt and poverty (and continuing pushes in some quarters to do the same here in the US)… Not sure how or if that all goes together yet.

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  18. Thankfully I have a play written for the Family worship a couple weeks ago to work which provided a start for tomorrow’s sermon on Ruth. I made Pan de Muertos for the communion bread earlier today.

    Then, as often happens something came up. I learned of a tragic accident last night involving one of our members who was driving his 93 year old dad home from weekly grocery shopping. He somehow failed to stop at a stop sign and was broadsided. His father died in the accident. The days ahead are sure to be challenging. I’m sure it will be a difficult day in this small town church as well. Keep us in your prayers.

    Needless to say, I’m having trouble settling in to putting the finishing touches on
    the service.

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  19. Yay!!! My DMin assignment is done and ready to post as soon as my sermon video finishes uploading. One church is set up for tomorrow and I’ve convinced myself that I can get there early enough to set up at the other.

    Now all that is left is to eat…I mean hand out…uh yeah, hand out Halloween candy.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Howdy fellow late nighters! After a HORRIBLE week of dealing with craziness at church which appears to include someone using the church office computers to spy on what happens in the church offices, an elder quitting over advanced security measures being recommended and doing damage control all over the place, I had to deal with Halloween night for three kids. PTL for the Summer Nanny who called and offered to take them trick-or-treating for me!!!
    I have worked on a sermon about Lazarus, that ignores my current feelings and situation. http://randomrevhd.blogspot.com/2015/10/all-saints-day-rough-draft.html
    What I want to say is “Martha was afraid of the stink. We too are often so afraid of the stink that we would rather leave the ugly festering wounds covered up than let them be really cleaned out and healed!”

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I’m back at it, after the trick-or-treating extravaganza. Ours is that street where everyone in town comes to get candy, so it is quite busy for a while. The introvert child came home and went straight to her room. The extravert child stayed outside and handed out candy with Daddy.

    The sermon is going to be mostly a re-telling of the story of Ruth, which I guess is ok, but it isn’t particularly spell-binding. Nor is it finished.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. 8:35pm here (which is like 7:35, right?) and I’m getting ready to work. I have the divided kingdom business, and the theme of Wisdom for the week, and All Saints. I have to keep it short, and intend to go with the “who do we surround ourselves with” angle, which will hopefully lead me to being surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses….somehow.

    I realize this is probably heresy and also not helpful, but when it comes to our desperate search for the good news in a text like this one, I wonder whether every single segment of scripture has to contain good news. Maybe, like everyday life of everyday people that the text is so often about, the good news is obscured by our human-ness…and yet. The good news is somewhere in the “and yet.” And it’s okay to not see it right now, just like it’s ok to not see God in the midst of any number of life circumstances and situations. In looking back, perhaps we see…or not. After all, we see only through a dark glass now…

    I have apple crisp! And various ice cream flavors. And salted caramel sauce…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Teri, I’ve been doing that all day! 9:30am? It’s really like 8:30… no need to start the sermon yet. 6pm? It’s like 5… go ahead and start that movie. Plenty of time before worship… 🙂

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    2. I’m with you… not all the news is good in scripture. Sometimes it just sets up the fact that we need the good news that comes later. And holds up the mirror for us to see that we humans are still awfully messy, even after the whole “Word made flesh” action.

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  23. OK, back to it. I had most of a draft finished by 4pm, took a break to hand out candy for trick-or-treaters while in costume (Dorothy Gale) and watching Men in Black (not a bad choice for Halloween!) but now I’ve changed out of my costume and need to finish up that draft. Motivation is not helped by the fact that our normal 2-service Sunday will be only one service tomorrow, at the later time, because the stewardship committee thought it would be good to have the whole congregation worship together for stewardship Sunday. Add that to daylight savings and it feels like I’ve got an extra 3.5 hrs to write this weekend! But no, I need to finish. Must finish…

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  24. Super late start here…I’d love to say that at least I get the extra hour of sleep, but seeing that I have 2 little ones, I’m highly doubtful that will happen. 😉 At least I’ll have an extra hour in the morning to prep. Working with the Mark text. This week was a rough one for us – our Mother’s Day Out had to close because of a Norovirus outbreak – luckily it was in the 3yo class, and my son in the 1yr old class didn’t get it…but it did mean I lost 2 days in the office (and a lot of sleep), so I’m totally not feeling ready for tomorrow.

    I found a fairly sustainable sermon on the Matthew version of this text that isn’t at all Matthew specific, so I’m going to use it as a base and add a bit more – thankfully it was a really short sermon this first time, so I have some room to help groom it into something a little more substantial for the Mark text. It’ll have to do…

    I’ve got all of my son’s trick or treat candy here to share if you want some…also have oreos and hot apple cider to warm you before you go to bed (or wake you when you get up tomorrow!)

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    1. Happy writing! Sounds like you’ve got a good start even though it might be a late one. I’ll add some candy to your son’s trick or treat haul, we didn’t get as many kids as I’d expected tonight…

      Like

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