Here we are, and it seems like just a few days after the last time we needed a sermon. The second Sunday of Easter is one of the trickier days in the calendar. The lectionaries bring us Thomas in the gospels (RCL post here, and NL post here)—Thomas, who gets a bad rap, in my opinion. Some of us will be beginning a sermon series. Some of us will be Associate Pastors preaching for the first (or only) time. Some will have a “low Sunday”…others will find return visitors in the pews, hoping for a repeat of last week’s excitement. All of us will be looking for ways to facilitate an encounter with the living Christ, for whoever might turn up.

So…what are you thinking about this weekend? What direction are you taking? What are you looking forward to, hoping for?

Personally, I’m beginning a series on my own favourite texts, because I’m brand new in this congregation and it seems like a fun way for them to get to know me, and to encourage them to think about what they find meaningful in scripture.

I have a huge stash of Lemonades (maybe the best Girl Scout cookie, because they taste like summer!) that a friend brought over, and an enormous pot of potato-corn chowder to warm you up…pull up a chair, grab some sustenance, and let’s find out what the Holy Spirit has to say this time! 😉

30 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Sunday comes yet again…

    1. I’m going for the others as the doubters. They had seen Jesus a week early and he breathed on him, and here they are still behind the locked door. Why aren’t they out looking for him? But Thomas saw him once and immediately confessed “My Lord and my God!” Annnndd–It’s not yet 10 p.m. and the sermon’s DONE!

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  1. Two visits to the GP this week, the ongoing cold that just wouldn’t go away, has become an ear infection, about to start the second set of antibiotics. GP also thinks that I have had an infected tonsil, which explains the aggravated throat, though I thought it would have been more painful.
    Thomas, NL, tomorrow and I have extended the reading to include the fish breakfast. Including a lovely reading/reflection from Iona – I know that my redeemer lives, 4 people speaking about it was like to meet the risen Jesus.
    I have found a previous sermon on Thomas, so using some of that. Hoping for an early night, though the Commonwealth Games is easy watching.

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    1. Ugh – poor you. Sounds really wearying. Praying that the antibiotics do the trick – and that you get a chance to give your voice a little rest (no shouting at the TV!!)

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  2. Mid morning here, and I have a funeral today, then an afternoon of fun with a fellow RevGal, at the gin festival! 🙂 I have started a sermon (on Luke 24, the beginning of my “teri’s top ten” series), but i haven’t yet decided exactly how to approach it…so I’ll be pondering a bit more yet. In the meantime, I have cinnamon toast crunch, thanks to lovely friends who brought it to me from the States, so grab some breakfast!

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    1. Do you already know the other “top 9” and if so, I would love to see what your “top 10” texts are??? Sounds like a good way to start in a new call.

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  3. Mid-morning here too (same side of the ocean nowadays!)
    I’m working the RCL, but using the epistle as the main text, with the gospel as the introductory text – for the kids (if we have any) and playing some sort of game, which I have yet to tie down, of “What did Jesus do next…”
    My working sermon title is God is Light; Thomas saw the light (Light); light overcomes darkness… etc. etc…. and that’s it.
    I will shortly have a pan of soup on the go… otherwise there is lots of fruit!

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    1. here is the sermon http://julie-acountrygirl.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/god-is-light.html

      Today as well as leading worship this morning, this afternoon I am conducting a wedding for an older couple who are having no guests, just two witnesses; it feels strange that they are not including their children, I need to hold onto the fact that it is their choice, not mine! I should add, I have no reservations, just feeling strange that it is such a quiet celebration.

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  4. Checking in as Australia/New Zealand hit bedtime, scotland nears lunchtime, and the east coast of North America wakes up….anybody need anything? I hope you have days filled with inspiration!

    The funeral went well so I’m just grabbing lunch and pondering the sermon for a few minutes before heading down to the gin festival! I’ll leave potato soup on for all of you. 🙂

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  5. Believe without Seeing. When Mother Teresa looked for the Holy she didn’t look up, she looked into the eyes of those around her. What would she see if she looked into our eyes? Also, are we, like the disciples, locked up in fear lacking the courage to go out and speak up for those who are voiceless. Might mention the Acts lesson where everyone sold all they had to distribute it to the needy—-that probably is a bit “squirmy”

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  6. Starting a new series called Beyond Easter – Rethinking Resurrection. My church is in bad need of resurrection, but we’re really scared about the part that comes before it (the dying part). So I’m using the RCL texts to help us think about how resurrection manifests in our own lives. This week I’m mostly using Thomas (with a side helping of Acts and 1 John) and looking at what it takes for us to believe in resurrection. It occurs to me that if this whole Thomas story takes place a week after the disciples first see Jesus, it may not be his fault he has doubts. I’m thinking that the other disciples don’t seem to have changed their behavior much in response to seeing Jesus, so what evidence does Thomas really have? Just the same line Mary gave the disciples (I have seen the Lord), which they didn’t believe from her. If we expect people to believe in resurrection we may need to give them more than words. Look at how the Acts church behaved as “the whole group of those who believed.” If Thomas had seen that, I bet he’d have been more inclined to give credence to the whole resurrection thing. So what does it take for us to believe, and perhaps what would it take for others, seeing us and our behavior, to believe in the resurrection? We say we believe in Easter, but we’re too scared to actually change anything or to let things die believing there could be new life.

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  7. Mid-afternoon in my time zone. My brain is still located in the stupor of post-Easter. I’m preaching on Thomas, as I have lo these many years. I have a file of Thomas sermons, but it turns out I’ve already preached them all in this congregation, at least the ones I can stand to re-use (there are a couple of real duds).

    One kid at a birthday party, one watching movies that involve high-pitched voices, puppy is semi-settled down. In theory, this is a good time to get going, right?

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    1. Marci, Thank yo
      u for sharing this sermon. I have struggled all week with the “americanized, superhero Jesus” and the actual wounded image of the Christ we have in this interaction with Thomas in John. May I quote your comparisson to my congregation tomorrow?

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      1. I ran across this tweet this week, along the same lines (I think, anyway):
        James Martin, SJ‏ @JamesMartinSJ 
        Gospel: After a series of brutal beatings, a long and painful walk through Jerusalem, and a bloody crucifixion by the authorities, the first words of the Risen Christ to the assembled disciples is not “Revenge” or “Retaliation” or even “Fight Back,” but something else: “Peace.”

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  8. When people talk about where I live, one of the things is that we are an hour form the mountains, and hour from the desert, and an hour from LA. So tomorrow I am preaching for a teeny tiny congregation in the mountains and next week for a small gathering in the desert (but not LA). When I was asked to preach this week, I first said no because I am catching up from the convergence of Kids’ Spring Break and Holy Week and midterms, etc., but I realized I had been sending out a copy of a holy humor sermon using Thomas all week and I had the liturgy to go with it. I might as well make use of it myself. There are very few weeks where I have something in the files. So I called back and said yes. I still need to tweak the sermon for the present context, but it’s 90% done. Today has been family and midterms. Now we are heading to dinner and GodSpell at the community college where I teach. Sermon and communion liturgy tonight! –Wendy

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  9. I want to begin with a story about a friend of mine who came outside of his church last Saturday and was awestruck by the full moon. He knelt to take a photo of it with his cell phone and while kneeling a car drove up to him. Two police officers got out of that car and my friend, a soft spoken gentle soul of a man, a black man with a wife and two kids, slowly stood up, terrified as he thought, I am a black man with a cell phone in his hand facing two police officers on a dark street. He was terrified as he faced his church, where he is the priest, where his name is on the sign outside, and realized just how vulnerable and terrified he felt and was. Nothing happened, the cops didn’t do anything. But that’s not the story. The story is how terrified he was, a black man on a dark street, with a cell phone in his hand, confronted by two police officers.

    I want to talk about darkness in 1 John – where it says that God is not in darkness, and how much I dislike that phrase. God is in darkness, God births new life through darkness. And, how it is that imagery like this has been used to teach “us” that darkness is bad and therefor dark people are bad. I hate that it appears in scripture and I can’t let it go unacknowledged.

    I want to talk about the Gospel of John, and that the disciples were afraid of the Jews. Of the Jews – how weird that is because, well, they all were still Jews. Not by the time the Gospel was written, but they were when the story takes place.

    I want to talk about the way we internalize prejudices of all sorts, and hear things like this so often that they flow over us without any thought. Instead we should be provoked, unsettled. We should be more like Thomas, questioning, doubting, walking into the darkness and finding Jesus there. Jesus who, through his wounds, brings new life and points the way to truth, who shows us how God is in and with and for everyone. And because of that no one should ever have to live in fear.

    However, since I am preaching without a manuscript, and since I tend to say whatever comes to mind in the moment, I am not sure that this is what I will actually say….

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