We continue to preach in the season of Easter, even though the world seems to have moved on to other topics, squabbles, and what not. The RCL is on the Road to Emmaus (which the Narrative folks had a week before, if you want to check out that previous discussion).

The Narrative lectionary jumps from that road to Emmaus to the martyrdom of Stephen, which feels a bit abrupt. How are you handling it? Using Julie’s great idea, I’m telling the first part of the story, (when the church “forgets” to feed widows and the church leaders say they are too busy to serve people. ahem) in the time with the children.

First they love you
Then they kill you
Then they love you again –Arcade Fire, “Joan of Arc”

I confess I’m a little conflicted about martyrdom. I know  people who claim that when people are opposed to them, it is proof they are standing firm for God. Sometimes they just seem to be jerks. Know what I mean?

At the same time, Joan of Arc is a she-ro. This quote is helping me with my conflict.

“I never wanted to be a God fearing person. I wanted to grow up and be a person that was fearless for God. There was a difference.”
― Shannon L. Alder

My son’s going to his senior prom Saturday, so getting him ready for that has been more fun than writing a sermon about martyrdom. I will post pictures (of prom, not my martyrdom).

I’m trying to eat healthy these days (I lost 3 pounds last week!) so I have a fridge full of carrot sticks, cucumber slices, and jicama to share. (Don’t worry, I’m also eating protein, carbs, and fat–just in much smaller amounts!) I’m sure someone has more satisfying treats to share.

Share your ideas, thoughts, questions, and brilliance here. I certainly could use them!

Marci Auld Glass is the pastor of Southminster Presbyterian Church and lives with her husband and sons in Boise, Idaho. She is a graduate of Trinity University and Columbia Theological Seminary. She serves on the Clergy Advocacy Board of Planned Parenthood and the Mission Agency Board of the Presbyterian Church USA. Marci blogs at Glass Overflowing and is among the contributors to the RevGals book,There’s a Woman in the Pulpit (SkyLight Paths).

RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

35 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: It’s Still Easter?

  1. late Saturday afternoon, and just put lasagna in the oven for dinner tonight. Struggling with the Emmaus Road, 500 words of about 3 different sermons. need an early night as still not completely well.


    1. Oh Patti! You need rest – silly me thoguht you wuld not have to preach this weekend. Take great care of yourself. Feel free to nip across to my blog (and others who are NL!) to see what we did with Emmaus.
      And – I’m praying you’re feeling better soon

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I love lasagna! Hope you’re feeling better and get some rest. I had a similar trouble with Emmaus last week. There are so many good ways to go with the text, it was hard to preach just one sermon.


  2. Well – good morning all. I am in that – “going on leave so need to pack in two weeks work so I can go on leave” frame of mind.
    Thanks Marci for using my idea – which I must confess came from Spill the Beans, not entirely me.
    My sermon title is Am I Brave Enough?
    and, like Marci, I have very mixed feelings about the whole martyrdom thing. pictures of Christian workers being beheaded spring to mind – ugh.
    and martyrdom – I know folks who are very good at playing martyr, when they are nothing of the sort. But I really don’t want to go there!
    My fridge is also full of healthy stuff – 10 days ago I joined slimming world with a friend – at my first weigh in I had lost 6.5 pounds!! I have 5 stones – (70lbs) to lose though. It has bothered me for a long time that I had gained so much weight, but now I now it is compromising my health and I am just ready to do something about it. If you are coming to REVive Iona with me – feel free to keep me right!

    so – back to the sermon – I am procrastinating lots. I do not want to write about being a martyr – maybe because I am not brave enough to tackle it today?! hoping for some inspiration soon.


    1. the Uniting Church Ministers in the local area meet each month to talk about the Bible readings a month ahead. at the moment we are all on RCL, but are planning to change to NL in September. I have used NL for a year and it was OK, but some weeks a choice of readings would be nice.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Well done! I’d be happy to be healthy eating partners with you.
      Why does leaving always require so much work that you’re exhausted when you leave? I’m already starting to feel that for my upcoming sabbatical. At least I’ll see you while I’m sabbathing!
      Maybe it’s worth just struggling with martyrdom with the congregation. If we’re muddled about it, they probably are too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. calling it done, though shorter than i would usually preach. I did think about re-using a previous sermon, but i haven’t preached on this reading much, and they didn’t seem to fit.

    at least i am finished much earlier than many Saturday evenings.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a word that will provide challenge to people who need challenging, and comfort and hope to those who aren’t sure why they are on the road. Rest well!


  4. I just searched some sermon resources on the internet (not generally a habit of mine but this week has been NUTS!!!) and was struck by two very different messages with the same focus: ‘We had hoped ..’ that encouraged us as preachers to name the disappointments and the discouragements in the lives of those who walked with Jesus 2000+ years ago and the disappointments and the discouragements in the lives of our congregants. The gospel message, while focusing on hope and love, also lets us know that it’s ok to be upset etc with life events. Not sure I am expressing this well, major fatigue has set in so I’m praying for stamina and strength to write my sermon and lead worship tomorrow. Then blessed noon hour and an afternoon of no commitments (read: Netflix binge, sleep and more sleep:-))


  5. I just came back from a 10 day Presbytery Twinning trip to Malawi yesterday so I have millions of thoughts running through my head. We are also baptising a baby who is very much part of our congregation tomorrow so I think there will be a celebratory feel to the service. I chose the Acts RCL reading before I left (repent and be baptised) and I am thinking of using some of an article I read on the plane on the way home about citizenship, how it is conferred (through birth or parentage) and what it means (a place to belong and a sign of worth) and tying it in to the Baptism and the differences between life in Scotland and in Malawi.
    And as it is almost 6:30pm I had better get on with it. I’d blame jet-lag but there is only one hour time difference!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw some photos on Facebook. Looked like a great trip. I also can’t believe it is one hour different between Malawi and Scotland!
      Citizenship is a perfect theme with a baptism, especially in light of the way citizenship is conferred (or possibly taken away) today, based on where you were born, or what faith you profess.


  6. Just home from a baby shower for a great-grandchild of the congregation and had my fill of sweets there. I am trying to preach through 1 Peter. I described God’s love for us as imperishable (v. 4) last Sunday and was delighted to see that word again in v. 23 this week. Playing with the imperishable and perishable seed and what is being born anew in our context now. I will put on a pot of coffee for all of us who are pushing into the evening on the east coast of the U.S. at least.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thinking about the breaking of the bread and communion (I’m DOC) but not sure where to take the bigger sermon as I am frustrated from a meeting we had earlier today discussing new ministry ideas and what the church’s vision looks like on a day to day basis. Maybe I relate the two by discussing radical hospitality…


  8. Ugh. It’s 8:30 at night and I can’t find my way in to this sermon. In a strange way, it feels very connected to my Maundy Thursday meditation. In that, I focused on Jesus’s love being expressed through mutual vulnerability, the giving and receiving of deep hospitality. And here, I notice that Jesus invites them to speak to him on the road, they invite him into their grief, he invites them into his story, they invite him in to their table, he — what?– invites them to see himself, themselves, the community of disciples and the world with post-resurrection eyes and hearts?

    (My apologies if reading my sermon’s emergence is annoying. Apparently this is how I’m working tonight)
    I hope the rest of you preachers are done and off to bed. This looks like something I can play with for the morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve gone way off lectionary to preach about immigration, sanctuary and welcome as our congregation explores what it would mean to be a truly “Immigrant Welcoming” congregation. In the midst of that I checked twitter and caught a glimpse of the rally in Harrisburg, PA tonight, where racism and immigrant hatred are spilling over. Trying hard to keep my emotions in check.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I had a breakthrough on the Stephen passage when I connected it to Paul, who watched the stoning and then had his own encounter with God a few chapters later. Paul uses similar language to Stephen about “house not made with hands” in a different way, in 2 Corinthians 4-5. And so I get to the point of Stephen doesn’t show us how to die. He shows us how to live. Using Paul’s words about carrying around the death so people can see the life of Jesus.


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