christmas silhouetteHow are you sharing the good news of Emmanuel: God with us this weekend?
Will you be preaching to congregations inflated by visitors or will you be feeding those on the margins?
Have your Advent preparations built up to this proclamation or will you be relieved to emerge from chaos into Christmas eve and morning?
How much has still to be written and delivered before you can worship at the manger or are you already on your knees?
We can help each other with the final touches or with the beginning of the story as we celebrate that God thought we were worth coming to earth for.
Thoughts on the RCL Advent 4 and RCL Christmas and  for the NL appear in posts from earlier in the week.
You may have other traditions for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We’d love to hear about them.
Please share what you’re up to, how you’re doing and what you need as we encourage each other in this final push to celebrate the Incarnation. And, if you still have the energy, tell us how you will recover and continue the work of Christmas begun in the manger in Bethlehem.
May we, who attempt to make Christmas just right for others, know God right beside us and may we approach with joy and wonder God born for us.

Liz Crumlish is a Church of Scotland Minister currently working on a National Renewal Project in Scotland.  A Board Member of RevGalBlogPals, one of the instigators of Spill the Beans and contributor to There’s a Woman in the Pulpit, Liz blogs at journalling


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18 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: The Incarnation

  1. morning Liz, well it is [Saturday] morning here in this part of Australia.
    ecumenical carols and lessons tonight, still to write a prayer, but with 6 clergy praying, surely short will be fine.
    advent 4 in the morning, then carols led by our family service in the evening, then 2 Christmas morning services. i think boxing day should be renamed sleeping day. Christmas carols and Christmas morning, i expect lots of once a year church attenders.
    i love your phrase “celebrate that God thought we were worth coming to earth for.”, it may well make it into one or more services this weekend.
    no sermons written yet 🙂


  2. Oh, Patti, blessings on all the writing that is ahead of you. I’m sure at this time of year, everything short is acceptable! Glad the phrase struck a chord! Prayers for stamina and then for good rest. Merry Christmas.


  3. calling it done, a little earlier than some weeks, but given i have carols tomorrow evening, and a sermon to write for Christmas Day, the extra 30 minutes of sleep tonight will be wonderful.

    Tomorrow morning, we will hear the prologue from John, i am also including a video Christmas message from a denominational leader, and reading “Applesauce and the Christmas miracle”, another Aussie Christmas story. so i think i can get away with a short sermon Light and Life Coming into The World and Our Lives

    blessings sisters and brothers


  4. My sermon for the Christmas Eve late service (and Christmas morning service) is a remake of a sustainable sermon from 2011, very apropos I think for today. My seminary intern is preaching at the 8am Advent 4 service. I’ll keep tweaking for a bit and then post it. For those of us who follow the liturgical cycle, this is such an odd year: only three real weeks of Advent followed by Advent 4 on the same day as Christmas Eve. All week I kept thinking that I had a late service tonight and services tomorrow (Sat/Sun) instead of three services on Sunday (Advent 4, and two for Christmas Eve), and one on Sunday. Anyway. Four more services and bunch of work to do, and then some time to rest. All my family will be here by the afternoon of Christmas Day, including my 10 month old grand daughter. I’m looking forward to all of it.


  5. Not a Greek scholar here, and wondering: would anyone like to share some thoughts on Luke 2:14b? I’m now stuck on the fact that the KJV is “on earth peace, good will toward men,” while the NRSV is “on earth peace among those whom [God] favors!” One if of course very broad and all-embracing; while the other narrows it down to a select group.

    I have a footnote indicating “Other ancient authorities read peace, goodwill among people.” Is that it? Competing copies? Thanks for any insight anyone can provide.


  6. Our church is doing an Advent 4/Christmas “mashup” because the worship team decided hardly anyone would come to a traditional Christmas Eve service. So we’ll be doing Advent 4 liturgy, plus “Lessons and Anthems” where the Luke story will be interspersed with videos/live anthems.

    In prepping for the sermon, I remembered a story from when I was singing in a community choir, and we had worked diligently to learn to sign “Silent Night” to end the program in silence. It was a new space for us, and the lighting person messed up and turned all the lights off, so we ended up signing in the dark, which isn’t especially moving or powerful. Lately in the US, though, trying to share the good news of Jesus’ gospel of love for all feels like trying to sign in the dark, so that’s going to be my working metaphor for Sunday’s message.

    I’ve got some home-made Christmas cookies and hot cocoa (with peppermint schnapps, for those who might want a little extra “warmth”) to share. Peace and good will for those with marathon schedules over the next couple of days.


  7. I’m doing Advent 4 in the morning, with the sermon focused on The Annunciation & the Magnifcat and then a Lessons & Hymns Communion service for Christmas Eve in the evening. My parents arrived yesterday so I’m using the narrow window between our morning/early afternoon adventures and dinner plans to reflect for the morning service. 6 people accepted my invitation to come over for Christmas Day supper and then planning for next Sunday begins on Tuesday.


  8. This paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13 is how I’m closing my message but could also be a prayer of confession.

    I also wrote this pastoral prayer based on the Magnificat.

    God our Savior, our souls magnify your holy name. For indeed, you have looked on us with favor and done great things for us. Though we often do not feel blessed, in this moment, we
    acknowledge that we certainly are.
    Even in our own failures to feed the hungry and lift up the lowly, we give thanks that you do so. For the hungry and homeless on these holy days, we pray that homes and churches open so
    that they may be filled with good things. In particular, we pray for the guests at Divine Intervention. We also pray protection from the cold that is coming this week. We give thanks for those who give up their comfort to host and staff warming rooms, free
    meals, and shelters this holiday season. We also pray for those who must work to keep us healthy and safe: for CNAs, nurses, doctors, police officers, air traffic controllers, and service
    men and women. May they know the miracle of your love in their lives as they celebrate your birth at their workplaces.
    For those who sit on thrones and other seats of power, we pray that you would give them the gift of wisdom. May power be wielded on behalf of the weak and justice be tempered with
    We pray according to your promises, Lord, and in the light of your faithfulness. As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, we join our voices praying the words most familiar to each of us:
    Our Father…


  9. It is 6 pm and I am finished and ready. Amazing! We are doing Christmas Eve in the morning and night with mostly the same parishioners. So one sermon – focusing on how all the people in the story are feeling about the whole thing. Zachariah, Joseph, shepherds, and Herod are scared; Mary, Elizabeth, and the Wisemen are not. How are we feeling? Amen
    Hoping all your services, worships, prayers and plans go well.


  10. Advent 4 and Christmas eve carols are over, now for a snack, then on to Christmas Day sermon, and wrapping presents. at least i have an outline for tomorrow morning.


  11. We had Advent 4 this morning and 2 services tonight–I’ve got the earlier “family” service. It’s supposed to snow all day so I’m wondering how many people we’ll have tonight, but it will be good and holy regardless.

    For 5pm, we’re doing a sort of modified Las Posadas where one side of the congregation will be Mary/Joseph and the other side will be the innkeeper, and they’ll dialogue back and forth. I’m pretty excited for it and that challenge to welcome the stranger just as we would welcome Jesus. Now I just have to write the homily and carve out some time for a couple of visits and phone calls. And clean a bit, so the trustee who’s stopping by next week while we’re out of town isn’t totally horrified but maybe just a teensy bit horrified.

    Blessings to all who continue to prepare and to those who are worshiping now!


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