pexels-photo.jpgThat’s right! It’s Transfiguration Sunday!

(Confession: I’m being completely sarcastic. I find Transfiguration one of the most difficult Sundays to preach; in fact, I’m ignoring it and preaching on Mark 2:1-12, which doesn’t make it into the RCL this year).

But, if you love Transfiguration, or are preaching about it anyway, Rachael Keefe’s reflection will be helpful. If you’re a Narrative Lectionary preacher and are pondering the man born blind, mud, and spit, then this post will give you some food for thought.

Ask for help; share ideas; bring a snack to the table which has room for all. Peace be with you.


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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23 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: the Most Wonderful Time of the Year Edition!

  1. In New Orleans, it’s the weekend before Mardi Gras. Bad enough to have to preach on a Sunday when hardly anybody comes to church — they’re all at the parades or have gone out of town to escape the crowds of visitors. But the Transfiguration! I’ve struggled with it for too many years. Now I’m retired and doing guest preaching. I reworked (a lot!) an old sermon from the Fourth Sunday of Easter, using the Good Shepherd text from John 10 and a 1 John 3 text. Sermon title: The Intersection of Fear and Love (is the cross). Had a chance to reflect on some atonement theology, a favorite of mine, and the emotion of fear as an underlying (secret) driver of hate. I enjoyed writing this one. As for snacks to share, hey, it’s Mardi Gras. I’ve got king cake. Weight Watchers can take a holiday for a few days.

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    1. Mmm. King Cake! Thank you!

      And you are a hero for being a guest preacher on Transfiguration Sunday in New Orleans! Thank you for joining me in lectionary rebellion 🙂

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  2. later than usual, but i am finished for Saturday night, here it is 11.30 pm, so i need to get some sleep soon. working with the John 9 passage in the NL. blind spots
    Tomorrow i will also be letting the congregation know a member has just been diagnosed with a tumour on his spine.
    good night

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  3. The kids are doing the T-Fig scripture so less talking for me (Can you say 100 day cough!!!). We have switched to communion by intinction with the servers tearing off a piece of bread and giving it to people as they come forward (can you say flu season).

    My sermon is more meditation but we also have annual meeting and lunch following so I’m good with that. I am spending my words on listen to Jesus. I’m using a Charlie Brown comic strip about duckys and horseys in the clouds…so naturally my sermon title is just that…duckys and horseys!

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    1. I love interesting sermon titles, and I haven’t come up with one in ages. “Duckys and Horseys” is perfect!

      Hope the flu stays away and your cough exits quickly!

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  4. So–the tradition here for years is that on the Sunday before Lent begins, one of our members who is in a Dixieland Jazz band brings the band to lead our worship music on “Mardi Gras” Sunday. The band is good and well known in this region. There are folks from the community who come to worship with us ONLY on Jazz Sunday every year. So, every year they hear me preach on the Transfiguration. They must wonder why I have such a weird obsession with this story. (Most of them wouldn’t know about lectionaries and liturgical cycles, etc.) So–as I work on this year’s sermon I am musing: If the T-fig was the only story from the New Testament you really ever heard on a regular basis, what would it tell you about Jesus? Is the whole gospel somehow in this story in a nutshell?

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  5. I’m pulling in our Week of Compassion theme this year from Ephesians 3: “More than we can Imagine”. Plan is to go with those stories of how God works through us, shining light in our darkness, transforming us and the world.

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  6. Tomorrow is one of those days with too much. I am starting a confirmation prep class (my first ever!), preaching the Transfiguration (again– preached it in August), and leading our youth group through a prayer experience with the labyrinth (and an art project making their own finger labyrinths). I hope to use the story of the Transfiguration to help us imagine our identity as transfigured people, a transfigured community following Jesus down the mountain towards his death and resurrection. We are preparing to make the liturgical move into Lent, so this sermon will point us towards Wednesday.
    It’s vague so far, but it’s only Saturday morning here. There’s plenty of time for walking the dog, lunch with a friend, and craft supply shopping for youth group.

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    1. I love teaching confirmation–enjoy! And youth group activity sounds fun, too. Enjoy your Saturday…the party will still be going when you get back!

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  7. After a change in plans at the last minute (we *thought* today was the day we would get to meet our new puppy, but it turns out it’s next week), I’ve had a relaxing Saturday: I have some bread dough rising, the kids and I went out for lunch and a trip to the library, and now I’m doing laundry. It turns out–and yes, this was news to me–that if you get your sermon done before Saturday, then Saturday can be enjoyable! I actually even finished *two* sermons this week–one for tomorrow morning on the aforementioned Mark 2 passage, and the other for a friend’s installation tomorrow afternoon, on the “feed my lambs” passage from John. They both could use some editing, but it does feel nice to have a “normal person” Saturday for once!

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      1. We’re all signed up for a schnauzer, black. The process is a little unclear to me, so I’m not sure if we’re getting a male or a female.

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  8. I have had my coffee next to the fire … looking out on trees bowing from the snow. Before I started my morning read with Joyce Rupp … I wrote a few thoughts of feeling tired and empty … not wanting to even review what I had prepared for this morning. Then I realized that Jesus came down from that mountain … filled with light to walk with and through me …. to be a presence with others. Perhaps it is less about that “mountain top experience” and more about the light of Christ that is among us …. So I have two hours to figure out how and if I will toss the typed message … and pick up my handwritten notes from this morning and share them.

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