Lens to live by: Awakening

Perversely, since I stepped out of parish/congregational ministry, I’ve fallen in love all over again with the texts that, week after week, speak into life and culture. Somehow, freed of the pressure of preaching every week, I’ve gained a new appreciation of the timeless relevance of Scripture in all that confronts the world and creation today.
The word I’ve been journeying with this year is “Awakening” and that has certainly been an important part of my new relationship with Scripture – awakening a new kind of awareness of and relationship to the Word speaking into all of life,
As you prepare to preach this week, where have you found the texts speaking into the life of your community? Where are you seeing God’s heart broken? Where are you finding good news? How are you being called to respond? And how are you continuing to listen and discern along with those with whom you serve?
This week’s NL post is here and the RCL post is here.
Please share in the comments what texts you’ll be preaching this week and how you’re planning to bring those texts to life where you are.

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.

RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.


18 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Always in season

  1. Gosh! No comments yet?
    It is 1.30p in Scotland… and as in the past few weeks, I am still running on empty.
    The Spirit always turns up; but somehow it seems I am always pretty much at rock bottom before she does.
    The lethargy I am feeling pervades my week – it isn’t just a Saturday thing. I discussed it at length with my Spiritual Director on Tuesday. She is a wise and gentle woman. Acknowledging how I feel is a good starting point.

    I am going with the James text and the gospel today, from the RCL.
    I am wondering why the disciples, in the face of hearing Jesus tell them again that he will die, they ended up arguing about who was better, rather than what Jesus could possibly mean.
    They were behaving like children – badly behaved children.
    Jesus exhorted them to put themselves last; to change priorities, and welcome all God’s children, because in doing so, they would be welcoming God. Did they get it? Did they understand any of it?
    I think those are the questions I’m going to frame in my sermon…
    after which I’ll be on the floor – playing with my grandson!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Julie, the Spirit certainly likes to keep us on tenter hooks at times. There’s something deep and rich in being so hollowed out but, Lord, it is exhausting. I hope the naming will lead to transformation.


  2. I’m filling the pulpit for a congregation I’ve not met before. Focusing on the Proverbs 31 passage using “Measuring Perfection” as a sermon title, but still trying to narrow that down. This is a “clean for Grandma” Saturday, so that labor of love and this one are the only two things on my agenda for today. It has been a very full week, and despite my efforts to prepare early, here I am, so I’ll bring the pulled pork/mini pepper nachos. I look forward to the conversation.


  3. Im thinking about how the disciples conversation about greatness in the exact moment that Jesus is telling them about the cross is a classic example of denial. They are not ready to let go of their dreams of the conquering messiah and so they are jockeying for places in his court instead of facing the reality of where they are heading. I want to invite people to think about denial in their own lives. Also, I think in some ways the longing or quest for greatness is almost always an act of denial. We long to be significant as a way to hide from the frailty of our own life and of the world. Jesus, on the other hand, embraces both his frailty and our own and in that finds life and resurrection. Right now I am trying to think about ways to illustrate what it looks like to embrace our frailty. Apparently its much easier to look around at the world and at my life and find ways to illustrate how denial works, a little more of a xhallenge to find the opposite.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s late afternoon here in Scotland. After a day of errands, I’m settling in to write and reflect on a busy few weeks. I picked up some sweet potato chips and nutty caramel bars to share while I ponder steeping out into the light of Christ, embracing (and sometimes wresting back) the power God has given me too fulfil the role to which I’ve been called.
    How about you?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. One of our church families with a new baby is planning to make their return to worship tomorrow – how perfect is that? Planning to talk about the priorities of empire vs. the priorities of God’s kin-dom. Thinking that the “punch line” of the sermon will be that here is this baby, this vulnerable creature, without status or power, someone who can’t really DO anything for us. She’s helpless and needy and messy – and yet, when we manage to make room for such a one (and also, realize the ways in which each of us is such a one), that’s when God feels at home among us.

    Now I just need to write it. Blessings to you all!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nearly 1pm on Saturday here. All I have for the sermon so far is a vague idea about the first being last, and being humble enough to listen to what others are truly telling us – whether it’s Jesus talking about his impending death, or women talking about their past trauma.

    I have a children’s sermon on the same theme – have printed out photos of a sports car and a smart phone and 2 pennies and a few other things, and I’m going to ask the kids to put them in order of value. Then I’ve got some questions prepared to challenge whatever order they choose, with the conclusion that God believes that all things have value!

    Time to put my vague sermon idea into sentences and paragraphs. Looking forward to reading others’ ideas here throughout the afternoon!


  7. This is my 3rd weekend of preaching with my new congregation and I think I’m talking about the world’s version of greatness against Jesus’ – how would greatness be different if “competed” more to treat others well than to see who gets the most “toys” in the end. I spent my morning relaxing, doing a little cleaning, and going to watch a young adult with special needs participate in a therapy riding session. I have our more laid-back service at 5:00 this evening and then tomorrow am hoping to go with some church folks to see & discuss “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”, the documentary re: Fred “Mr.” Rogers after our traditional service.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks (?) to an icky stomach virus last weekend, I have a sermon from last week that is un-preached. So, I finished writing the last third of it this week, and it’s done! It’s on the Mark text, about wanting to claim Jesus without putting in the effort/suffering/rejection of actually following him.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m thinking about the first being last and wisdom being in the way we live to show that servant lifestyle. I’ve got an exegesis in just now and slowly adding in stories and pictures of who are the children in our midst. Hoping it will come over the next hour.

    For kids talk we’re thinking about how it feels to have ask a child to teach us how to do x or y with our phone or with a modern dance move – I’m hoping a child can teach me the ‘Floss’ dance. Jesus used a child to teach the disciples it didn’t matter who understood most, or have followed longest or beleived most or prayed most…what mattered was that they just came as they were and saw the vulnerable and saw what THEY needed/wanted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve had a kid teaching me how to “dab” in the greeting line after worship 🙂 (He has a very precise way I’m supposed to hold the hand near my face.) A few adults who have seen us greet each other this way recently tell me I’m lucky I knew how to do that. I told them that he’s been teaching me for months! He’s finally got me trained 🙂

      I don’t think this example works with what I’ve already got planned, but thanks for the reminder and the smile! Feel free to use my story if you have no kids show up to teach you anything tomorrow!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s 10pm and I haven’t written anything yet, but I have managed to watch Strictly, read two books, pet the cat, cry about the one that died, and load the dishwasher, so that’s something. Now I just have to actually write something.
    I’m a week ahead in the NL, so thinking about the crossing of the Red Sea. I’m planning to use the midrash about how the first person had to go into the water up to his eyeballs before the sea actually parted—had to go forward in faith (the theme of my autumn preaching) and the way appeared as he went. Very apropos for where the CofS is right now, and especially fits with some meetings we’ve had this week about what to do next….

    Liked by 1 person

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