Grace and Peace to you, Preachers!

What’s on your mind today? The Revised Common Lectionary continues its journey through Exodus, Philippians, and Matthew, with an Isaiah alternate reading. Tuesday’s post raises excellent questions for consideration. Narrative Lectionary preachers are considering the icky family system present in I Samuel 3, and the Tuesday NL post addresses that text. Maybe you’re preaching a stewardship sermon, or addressing the ever-increasing number of concerning current events.

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This is a red oak tree in our former yard. It doesn’t change colors until Christmas, so take heart, Southern Hemisphere friends, it isn’t fall here either! (Photo by Monica Smith 2016)

The snack table is starting to fill up: pumpkin pecan muffins and brownies, for starters. Share snacks and ideas for liturgy, children’s time, sermons, etc. Ask for help, too.

You are in my prayers as you prepare.


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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39 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party

  1. I’m pairing that tough Gospel passage with Isaiah to talk about being called to wear Micah 6:8 clothing to the banquet everywhere. Jill Duffield’s column in the Presbyterian Outlook was a huge help in geeing me started this week, when all I could think of was the Presbytery meeting where I was examined for candidacy and asked by a conservative pastor in the Presbytery what I made of Jesus saying “Many are called and few are chosen.” The question was ruled out of order (no theological questions at that point in the process) which was a good thing, because the only answer I could think of was, “Jesus said that?” (My way of saying, It has to mean something other than what it says.)

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  2. I am still off lectionary. The LOGOS kids are doing a narrative/bell chime piece on the Prodigal Son so that’s my text. Thanks to Mary Luti (she was at the church for a weekend seminar a couple of weeks ago) I have a new perspective on the parable.

    I’ll be preaching the texts for this week…next week…so reading here also with an eye towards that.

    Pumpkin pie to share! 🙂

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  3. I’ll be checking in throughout the day. I have a sustainable sermon on the golden calf that I’ll be sprucing up and possibly renovating. I decided not to read the Matthew parable if I wasn’t going to talk about it, so we’re reading the Philippians text instead.

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  4. Blessings, Sisters! This is a tough one…being Lutheran I’m looking for the lens of grace. Definitely had to do some soul searching here as this week’s gospel is not our warm, fuzzy, buddy Christ. Sometimes the truth is hard to preach but we can’t gloss over our call to transition when we are clothed in Christ. #ProjectRunway #Makeitwork Fair Trade coffee, a cozy blanket, a warm pooch and hugs to share.

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    1. Forecast high is 90 here today, so thanks for the cozy blanket, but I’ll save it for another time!

      Looking for grace is always a good idea, but you’re right–this parable is tough.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, I am all over the place, as usual. It’s the beginning of our stewardship campaign, so there is that. I am using the Golden Calf text. My title is “Brought Out”, and I sure hope a sermon is brought out of the mind-soup percolating in my head! I have three snoring dogs to share, lovely harp music, and in a while I will hop down to the local taqueria and get lunch for everyone. Oh, and I have a funeral tomorrow, too, with a WHOLE BUNCH of family dynamics. Love what we get to do, but sometimes everything gets packed into a day, right?

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    1. You say so much with “whole bunch of family dynamics!” I think we know what you mean. And on a Sunday. Whew!

      Joining you in hoping for a sermon to be brought out.

      Thanks for the tacos!

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  6. It is 5 pm here is Scotland.
    I have had a fun family day with my sons and grandson, as the boys went to choose and be fitted for kilts for the younger one’s wedding in February.
    Now home again and time to get to it; I got most of the sermon done yesterday – though I have now re-written and taken a chunk out – too long, and too blah!
    It is also communion tomorrow so there’s a whole other dynamic as it is the formal one which I really don’t enjoy so much.

    and, a big funeral to prep for – sudden, traumatic death; family in shock. Spent more than two hours with them on Thursday and we didn’t really get anything planned. Currently they cannot even agree on a hymn let alone anything else! However, I will phone them tomorrow, and hope that when I see them on Tuesday we will be better able to make a proper plan.

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    1. Kilt shopping sounds fun! Hope the sermon becomes the appropriate length, and less “blah” quite soon. And prayers for the funeral.

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  7. Retired me is preaching for the first time in over a year. And at the church (same building, but different church) where I was pastor for 10 years. It closed three pastors from me–and was opened anew two years ago. It is not doing well. And the pastor has just left, and I agreed to preach twice this month. WHY? Do I have a sermon? Not a bit. Yikes!

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    1. That’s a lot of feelings to sort through for you–not just an average pulpit supply gig. Prayers for the congregation, and for you.

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  8. I have two full sermons. One on the first lesson and none that touches three of the four. Yet I am writing another one.
    Moses came down from the mountain where he experienced the glory of God face to face to discover that there was some bull in the Israelite community. They were worshipping bull at the foot of God’s holy mountain. They had their bull all up in God’s face when the said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” There’s a lot of bull in the church…

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  9. I’m in the eleventh hour party. My husband is away, I’m home with the kids and sermonizing while they (thanksfully!) play a deep long imagination game in the next room. Grateful to have found the RevGalBlogPals, because it feels already like a group of kindred spirits. Currently preaching on the tough gospel text from Matthew 22, comparing it with Luke 14 and a side of Isaiah 25:6. It’s a communion Sunday and I’m struggling to put all the pieces together. This one will be preached still wet from the sweat of my brow! Charleen

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  10. Just returned home from a mission event. Yesterday, when I had planned to write the sermon (or at least the first draft) was spent at Children’s Hospital to see a 15 year old with a malignant stomach mass and then at a local hospital to visit my 93 year old grandmother. Hard to say which was responsible for the massive stomach ache that ensued and gathered momentum by the time we got home and kept me up a good part of the night, but here I am. It’s 3:50 p.m., and I haven’t started. I’m preaching in a colleague’s pulpit tomorrow for the first time, and need a power point to go with the sermon. Lord, have mercy.

    Exodus passage. Sermon Title: God Matters. Currently thinking a straightforward three point sermon: 1. god matters (what gods are we worshiping? Where are our sacred cows?) 2. God MATTERS (“I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” how do we express a need/desire for God to be present among us? In what ways do we recognize a need for leadership that places service to Almighty God above people-pleasing? How does our worship reflect our thanksgiving for God who loves us and forgives us, who provides for us and shows us grace?) 3. GOD matters (What does God expect from God’s people? From leaders?). It’s a play on a title in the Seasons of the Spirit curriculum from 2011. Any suggestions are welcome as I flesh this out. May be time to get on the phone and call my friend, Ann …….

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  11. Interesting that so few preachers seems to be addressing the parable this week! I can’t blame you… but I feel compelled to preach on it, so that’s the sermon I’m working on. Starting with the guy who gets kicked out of the banquet because he wouldn’t follow the dress code. Except, this was like one of those clubs where the jacket and tie would have been provided, so he had no excuse. Was he to arrogant to put on the wedding robe provided?

    Then need to figure out what to do with the guests who refuse the invitation in the first place. I think they’re refusing to participate in the community by staying away from this important event, but I haven’t decided what to do yet with the severe punishment brought against them.

    Trying to find a way to tie the importance of community living, as demonstrated in this parable, to living as a member of a church community or a neighborhood or county – all of these places have expectations and rules, and they are important, and they keep us living well together. Not sure if I can make the connection work, but that’s where I’m headed! And it’s slow going, so I’m likely to be working for a few hours yet tonight…

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  12. Using the NL so I’m on Samuel and Eli. Good liturgy put together, if a bit more responsive than usual. The work of the people will be more participatory tomorrow! Trying to wrap my mind around hearing and listening amid our current culture in both nation and church. Will have 10 visitors from Brite Divinity School tomorrow, and meeting with them after to talk about serving a “rural” church. Feeling a bit of something about that……………… I have Chocolate Cherry Dump Cake to share!

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  13. It’s 7:15 here on the US West Coast and I am about to take a break for homemade beef stew. It’s been a slog today. I finally abandoned the parable and settled on Exodus (thank you for the challenge earlier today Wil Gafney) and the false god of American exceptionalism, which is hard to eradicate, even in oneself, even when one KNOWS it has always been a lie. Opening and closing with words inspired by Debi Thomas’ reflection on the Philippians text (Christian Century)

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  14. Did an internment from a funeral back in April. The son is in bad shape and admits it to me. It’s been a long week for us as a family.
    Focusing on the Parable, “Whom then shall we invite?” With sides of the Isaiah, Psalm 106, and Phillipians. Seasonings of Amazing Grace. I thought a lot about inviting in anyone and being willing to wear the wedding robe. I need to figure out what to do with the punishment of those who refused to come when invited.
    Not much food to offer. . .

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