Happy weekend, preaching friends! We are at the midpoint of Lent, Sunday-wise…how are you doing? Are you preaching a series you’re still really enjoying, or one that seemed like a good idea at the time? Are you in the wilderness with Moses and the voice on the mountain, or with Jesus flipping tables in a different kind of wilderness, or pondering with Paul the wilderness of the pulpit? Or perhaps in Peter’s wilderness of denial and fear, in the NL?

The wind is howling here, and there is literally more snow than we know what to do with. The many different plan changes that resulted from this “Beast from the East” storm mean that I have lots of goodies to share, so hopefully something will strike your fancy and prime your preaching pump! I have cheese sandwiches, mini tarts of various types, cakes, scones, and a veggie tray….and also butternut squash enchiladas in the fridge, and I’ll be making soup for Saturday lunch. Feel free to add to the buffet, whether of snacks or of ideas! We could all use a children’s sermon idea, or a hint of what you’re preaching or praying or singing.

Need a boost? You can find this week’s Lectionary Leanings for the RCL here and the NL here.

let’s party, preachers!

37 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: from the howling wilderness

  1. been at day one of Mission Shaped Ministry, left at afternoon tea time, to come home and get started on tomorrows sermon. i need to get to bed much earlier than most Saturday nights, still tired from tummy bug last weekend, and now a head cold. tomorrow is hubby’s birthday, so i have booked 2 nights away in a cabin in the bush about an hour away.
    working on the NL reading about Jesus, Peter, the trail and denial.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello All! A new members class this morning followed by 4th funeral of the last 6 weeks, so good thing the sermon is done. More on covenant — this time a brief intro to the 10 Commandments as we have communion and then a potluck – part of our renewal and reconnecting process.

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  3. In the wilderness with Moses, literally, figuratively and Biblically. Working on a positive spin on ye ole Ten Commandments and feeling relaxed by the smell of a turkey cooking in my oven, in preparation for the Annual Turkey Dinner at the church tonight. Wish y’all could attend!!! Just finished listening to the amazing https://pray-as-you-go.org/prayer-resources/lent-retreat-2018/ and ready now to tackle sermon prep. I have fresh Kenyan coffee and some raisin bread which is delicious when toasted to share, have a blessed day one and all.

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  4. It’s 7:15 a.m. here and so far I am the only one up. I need to get writing before the boy awakens. Some associates always preach the first Sunday after Easter or Christmas. I always preach the Sunday after the Week Long Contemplative Retreat (which my colleague and other church members attend *religiously*). I am preaching Isaiah 55 as part of a series, and before she left my colleague mentioned that it’s “the best passage in the entire Bible.” So… no pressure.
    I have lots of ideas and no coherence. Here’s to working on coherence.
    –Wendy

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  5. I’m writing my Narrative Lectionary sermon on Peter’s denial, after sitting at home all week after knee surgery (and not writing a single word). I’ve got an ice machine, if anyone needs a spell with it (I love this thing). And lots of snacks that friends and parishioners have brought by this week while I’ve been convalescing.
    Glad your walk was shoveled, Teri. Hope the snow is done for a while.

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      1. It’s basically a small igloo cooler that has a pump attached to it. Once filled with ice and water, it filters nearly frozen ice through a sleeve that you put on your knee (or wherever you had surgery) and it keeps it nicely chilled. The ice melts inside the cooler, and not on your leg, etc. It’s great.

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  6. Sermon is done – the John reading (RCL) made me dizzy looking at the layers of incarnation – where is the home of God? – and I tried to convey that in a spiral/circular structure to the sermon.

    What I still have left to do is prepare the Prayers of the Community (these are usually prepared and led by members of the congregation, but I take a turn every couple of months). We have a pianist for a couple of weeks and it is such a nice change to sing to “live” music instead of a recording. I am taking advantage of this fact, and will be structuring the prayers around a sung refrain of “Lord, Listen to your Children Praying”; and I’m planning to play with some feminine imagery for God in this very conservative congregation – I think that I have built enough trust that I won’t be run out of town on a rail after the service…

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  7. Reassuring myself that the sermon series on covenants that “seemed like a good idea at the time” is still good as I prepare to preach on the Exodus passage. I am grateful my Sundays and Wednesdays share the theme if not the same texts, but my esteem for anyone who preaches 2x/week year-round is soaring. I have bright sunshine and a lavender candle burning here. And somewhere a sermon is forming.

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  8. Anyone else preaching Narrative? Here’s a question for you. Is Peter ever really in danger when he’s asked if he’s one of Jesus’ disciples? The other disciple moves back and forth without risk. The other questioners seem to be trying to identify him, more than do anything to him.

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    1. Good question. I’ve usually assumed that because he’s right there at the scene of the action, he might be in more danger, at least in his own mind, than those farther away from the court. Whether the danger is real or perceived is another matter.

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    2. I guess once you’ve cut off someone’s ear, you’re going to be afraid, whether the risk is there or not.
      It also occurs to me that Peter doesn’t deny he’s ever heard of Jesus. He denies his relationship to him, he denies his own identity as a disciple.

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      1. This business about what exactly Peter denied occurred to me while sitting in church this morning listening to this text preached. I suddenly had to check the text again (on my phone, shame shame, lol), because we always say “peter denied Jesus” but that isn’t exactly what happens…just before this, in the garden, Jesus claims his identity, saying “i am he” and then in the courtyard peter says “I am not”…it seems like a fairly significant difference between “denying Jesus” and “denying who I am and what I was made/called to be.” Totally making a note of that for next time.

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  9. I am using the John text with Jesus in the temple and the moneychangers. It is all tied in with this weeks theme of walking from Soul of a Pilgrim and that a peregrinatio (Latin/French origin) means leaving the homeland and wandering for the love of God. I touched on the economic system of the temple and that in John, Jesus’ focus is on where can God be found…and hint, hint, hint…its not in the moneychangers in the temple. I used an example of all the moneychangers needed to make over 78 professional baseball games “work” at their home stand. It’s a first hand example as I lived in a metro area for two years and attended my fair share of professional baseball games.

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  10. I’m sitting down to work with little energy. New puppy has taken a lot of time and energy this week (and stolen some of my sleep, too). Presbytery meeting, at which I had several responsibilities–good ones, but tiring–yesterday and today. And the usual bits of adulting this week.

    We are traveling Holy Week all through Lent (following Mark’s Gospel, and using Borg & Crossan’s “The Last Week”). This Sunday is the Tuesday of Holy Week, which Mark stuffs full of all kinds of things. And we have communion. And a goodbye to one of our older couples, who are moving this week to be closer to their kids.

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    1. So many things! But yay for puppies!

      I initially read “we are traveling Holy Week” and thought “omg how are you getting away with that?” And then I read the rest of the sentence and realised that wasn’t how you meant it. Lol!

      It’s possible that my “I’m not leading worship tomorrow” Saturday night wine has gotten the better of my reading comprehension skills. 😉

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  11. It’s bedtime here in Scotland but I expect you all to party well into the night. Please leave snacks because after snowmaggedon I’m running out of things I can appropriate for breakfast food….

    See you in the morning! Remember: the spirit has your back!

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  12. I am preaching on the John passage, with a focus on Jesus standing up for the Gentiles. The Court of Gentiles where they can pray is full of the money changers and animals – how can anyone pray? What would you stand up for/against is my focus!

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  13. Butternut squash enchiladas sound amazing! Recipe?

    I’m doing John but am trying to decide if my original idea is more Synoptic Gospel table flipping than true to John’s table flipping message and whether or not I need to change it. Our church is at a turning point moment where one might say tables have been flipped and the church has the opportunity to make changes or go back to more of the same (maintenance vs. mission). Then again…David Lose says this in his post this week and I think wait..I am on track, I just take it in a different direction than he does…
    “Then comes the symbolism. Notice that Jesus doesn’t quote Isaiah (56:7) and Jeremiah (7:11) as he does in the other gospels (Mark 11:17, Matthew 21:13, Luke 19:46) to accuse his opponents of turning the Lord’s house of prayer into a den of robbers, suggesting that the main problem was defrauding the poor, corruption of the Temple leaders, and collusion with Romans. Rather, in John’s account, Jesus instead says, “Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace,” calling into question the not simply expedient but absolutely necessary act of changing coins in order to obey sacrificial law.” (http://www.davidlose.net/2018/03/lent-3-b-a-thin-place-every-place/)

    It’s only 11:30 pm Sat night…plenty of time right?

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    1. Plenty of time!!

      While in the shower this morning I was thinking about the seven last words of the church (“we’ve never done it that way before”) which I am also reminded of in that quote…I think we too quickly overlook that Jesus (well, god through all of scripture really!) asks far more of us in the realm of our economic system than we are willing to give.

      Enchiladas are easy! Roast a squash however you normally would (I use oil, cumin, smoked paprika). Then when it’s done, mash it up. Mix in goats cheese while it’s still warm, so it gets all melty in there and you have a sort of slightly chunky purée. Taste it, and fix it up however you want. Spread some in a tortilla, add some other cheese (I had a block of white cheddar, so I sliced that and put it in, but if you’re in the US I would maybe use chihuahua cheese from the Mexican section). Put in whatever other veggies strike your fancy—this week for me it was sautéed kale and mushrooms (and loads of garlic). Sometimes I add black beans. Roll it up. Put some enchilada sauce in the bottom of a baking dish…put the rolled tortillas in the dish, and then cover them with sauce. Cover with foil and bake until the sauce is bubbling a bit…maybe 20 minutes? Uncover, top with shredded cheese and cilantro or green onions, bake until cheese is melted and slightly browning. Eat. 🙂

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