For RCL preachers, it’s mostly Rock Sunday; there’s some good connections and discussions on the RGBP post from Tuesday. Narrative Lectionary preachers are encountering church conflict in Acts 15 (and perhaps within their own congregations), and the Tuesday NL post has some intriguing questions to consider.

Pedernales State Park, 2016. Photo by Monica Smith

Besides the lectionary passages to consider, there’s Mother’s Day (there are several threads of discussion on whether, and how, to observe Mother’s Day in the RGBP facebook group), the constantly moving political situation in the U.S., upcoming graduations, and all of the things that go on all of the time in our congregations. We’re all ears for children’s time suggestions, prayer suggestions, and anything else you’re planning.

Our snack table has peaches (they’re from Florida, the grocery store tells me, and they are pricey, but oh, the first peaches of the season are delicious), cantaloupe, and I’m considering making Snickerdoodles, too. Enjoy!


Monica Thompson Smith is a Presbyterian Church (USA) minister, serving as stated supply pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Luling, TX. She is a contributor to There’s a Woman in the Pulpit.

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48 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Rock & Roll Edition

  1. It’s Friday night at 10:30pm, I am doing pulpit supply at a nearby church on Sunday, and I’m just now ready to think about the sermon. I’m preaching from John 14:1-14, and I love this passage, so that’s good… I’m going to read my commentary now and then sleep, and hope the Spirit speaks to me in my dreams.
    What are y’all preaching on?


    1. I’m sticking with 1 Peter’s living stones. Hopefully the Spirit did her thing while you were sleeping, and you’ll wake up full of ideas!


  2. 5 pm on Saturday afternoon, and not sure what direction i am headed tomorrow. i extended the John reading, John 13: 30-14:14, so i can give some background as to where this section fits. some inspiration form David Lose, In the meantime; and Karoline Lewis, working preacher. now to see if some cheese and crackers will help.


    1. Extending the John reading is a good idea. Now I wish I had considered that! Cheese and crackers is one of my favorite snacks. I hope something has come to you and you are slumbering peacefully.


  3. ‘Between a Rock and a Hard Place’ is the title of my sermon this week and that’s pretty much how I’m feeling this morning as I try to find that ‘ah ha’ moment in the 1 Peter passage. Lots of ideas swirling around but nothing has clicked yet. After reading commentaries it’s now time to look at some online resources. I’ve got salted caramel chocolate chip cookies that my sister in law who’s visiting from New Brunswick brought, some homemade cinnamon buns from Texas that my husband brought back with him on Wednesday and some Kenyan coffee and tea to share. So pull up a chair and enjoy the brainstorming and the brain food:-) Oh, and you’re all invited to the Mother’s Day High Tea this afternoon at the church. There are door prizes, a prize for the most creative hat and lots and lots of delicious goodies including homemade scones.


    1. I am having similar trouble with the “living stones” in 1 Peter, a passage which I really like. But I’m rambling with disconnected thoughts. I think I’m going to have to start over, which is not a big loss.

      Have fun at the tea!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so aware of how Mother’s Day can be painful. I have a friend who longs for children and who weeps on this day each year. So I’m acknowledging that fact up front… and preaching about Julian of Norwich, whose feast day it was this week. Not only in her role as a strong female figure within church history, but also because of how she speaks of God as mother.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We have worship tonight, which is great in the “I don’t have to wake up early on Mother’s Day tomorrow and deal with that nonsense in worship” sense. It’s less great in the “I need a sermon, stat” sense.

    I am preaching Acts 15 and so far my sermon is boring me to death. Although I do refer to Peter and Paul as the Jets and the Sharks of the early church. Maybe I can distract them with clever. Come on, Holy Spirit!

    I’m trying to eat healthy, so I have jicama and cucumber slices to add to the party, knowing that after church I will be eating lasagna at a church dinner.


    1. I would send you an Acts 15 sermon, if I had one. Nor do I have one for the text I am preaching, but I do have a few more hours in which to procrastinate. I think Jets and Sharks works.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Well, I’m sitting hereon Saturday evening and still have nothing I feel connected too as far as a sermon goes. Planning on going down the John path, but it all feels very samey and boring.

    Waiting for the spark!


  7. We are now at the second weekend in a row with a child afflicted by a tummy bug. It’s the clergy couple worst case scenario, but we survived last weekend, so I suppose we’ll survive this one.

    My sermon is almost halfway there, but it’s uninspiring.


    1. Oh my, that must be one hell of a juggling act, and make it additionally difficult to focus on what you need to do for tomorrow, prayers your little one is feeling a bit better.


  8. Just now sitting down to start working on a sermon. My energy has been monopolized this week by the death of one of our elders and his funeral this morning. When I got home from that, I was absolutely exhausted, so there was no hope of getting anything written before a nap. The nap went on a little longer than I intended, so I’m getting a late start.

    I have a bunch of ideas rolling through my head, so the challenge is to get them corralled, organized and heading in the right direction. I’m doing Acts 15. I have two opening thoughts:

    1. There have always been disagreements in church, whether they’re over theology, practice, or the color of paint on the men’s room walls.
    2. The Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 gives us some ideas for how to handle disagreements in church.

    Even though I’m not Methodist I’m drawn to the Wesleyan Quadrilateral as a model, but I worry about reading something into the text. I’ll need to do some thinking about that.

    I’ll put a ration of homemade white pizza on the share table–leftovers from last night but still awfully good.


    1. Funerals are so exhausting. I’m glad you had time to grab a nap. I can see the quadrilateral as working with that passage. (I’m not Methodist either, but I’m married to a UMC pastor, if that gives me extra credibility!)


  9. Home from a major church fundraiser (tea and fashion show), and now spending time with my LO. I’m trying to get some thoughts down while my LO is doing some crafts, but most of my sermon won’t be written until this evening. So far, I cut out a tree, and am handing out leaves/flowers so folks can make a family tree of their faith family: people in the past and present who have influenced their faith/our congregation. I was thinking of starting with Stephen and adding in other figures throughout history who were influential in our faith – and somehow tying it into John’s gospel about there being room for all in God’s dwelling place.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. oh, that is an interesting tension–feeling like we need to be divided from some of our neighbors, yet being called to heal the divide. Blessings


  10. I’m working with 1 Peter and we’re celebrating our high-school graduates tomorrow, so I’m trying to develop something for that. Of course, it’s also Mother’s Day, which I was going to dispense with during a prayer, but I’m actually thinking about making at least a brief connection there. It occurred to me that Peter addresses where we came from (as newborn infants) and where we’re going (as a royal priesthood). In the same way, we’re looking at where we came from (the Mother’s day part) and where we’re going (the graduates). Not sure exactly how that’s going to flesh out though….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m working on 1 Peter too. It’s a long, slow, unenergetic haul for me today. I like the growth connection for graduation.


  11. I poured 100% of my heart and all of my brain cells into the funeral and sermon that I preached this morning on John 14. A 90 year old member of our congregation who was born and lived and died on the Family Farm. He was loved beyond measure, and his example of faith was inspiring.

    But my brain is jello… come, Holy Spirit!

    I’ll share my kale smoothie! It’s actually tasty!


    1. Are you preaching on John 14 again tomorrow? It’s completely understandable that your brain is jello. If I see the Holy Spirit, I’ll send her in your direction.


  12. I’m connecting the dots of identity formation via both our mothers and our keeping Christ the cornerstone of our faith. Peter’s letter is reshaping their identity “in line with their God and their new heritage.”
    One mother’s day takeaway is that we learn WHO we are through our mothers (and fathers) but we learn WHOSE we are through our faith. I’m still tweaking the way this sermon will unfold, but so far so good. Preaching blessings everyone.


  13. Had a wedding this afternoon, and was determined to get Sunday’s sermon done before that. So I confess that I took huge chunks from the sermon I preached on John 14 three years ago, to use as the basis for this one. But instead of Confirmation Sunday references, I was struck this week by the connection between John 12:27 and John 14:1. Jesus’ own “troubled soul” was fully surrendered to giving God glory. Here’s the sermon, for what it’s worth. Now I’m ready to get into some comfy clothes and sit on the porch for a spell… maybe with a nice beverage…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m reusing large chunks of a sermon from 2008. No need to confess! I’m glad you’re finished, and thanks for sharing your sermon.


  14. So I am done enough to feel I can go to bed, and have something I can use tomorrow.
    The closing sentence of my sermon is:

    Regardless of what troubles you are carrying today, we are followers of Christ, who just as with the disciples, says to us, “Do not let your heart be troubled”, he goes before us, preparing a place for us to dwell for as long as we need, in order that we can continue our journey, wherever that may lead.

    Night all,



    Liked by 2 people

    1. Love that, Marci! Thanks for sharing! Do you share audio of your sermons too? I love listening to other people preach. Blessings, from one Chaos Muppet to another. (though I do have Order Muppet leanings)

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Friends I am calling it a night. The sermon is printed. The children are nestled in their beds. I’m hoping that sleep will be restorative to the upset tummy of the elder, and preventative for the rest of us.

    Blessings to you as you finish up, approach the pulpit, and bring the Word.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Just getting started on the physical writing part of my sermon. After a lot of thought about Mother’s Day and how my new congregation celebrates/doesn’t celebrate, I decided to go with my gut and avoid the topic in the sermon all together. I will address the idea of all kinds of different mothers in the Childrens sermon and prayer only. As for the sermon I am going with John 14 and focusing on the comfort it offers to the disciples and us in times of transition and change….and as a reminder that we don’t have to wait for the church to be “ready” to start new ministries and try new ideas. We are getting ready to go over the constitution and hopefully actually make some changes (changes have been evaluated and suggested before but rejected because the church wasn’t ready for change). I was inspired by my friend’s post about this passage and provision…I am not sure if this will link to his specific video or just the facebook page..

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Morning all, I have cheerios and a pot of tea if people would like to join me in breakfast whilst doing the final read as I am.
    It is always nice when you read the next day and it isn’t as bad as you though the sermon would be when going to bed!
    For those of you that are at the end of you Sunday, I hope it went well, for those of you with it yet to come I pray all will be well.


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