#ViewFromMyWindow #WhyIWriteAtThe11thHour

Here we are, friends: sermon time again! For some, it’s World Communion Sunday, or Thanksgiving, or Harvest, or a transferred St Francis’s day…for some it’s a regular Sunday…for some it’s a first or last, or a first-of-the-last.

In the NL we’ve got the Ten Commandments—did you know the movie came out 62 years ago today?

In the RCL it’s Jesus and divorce, and children…or creation.

How are you bringing all that to the table this week? What are you doing for a children’s time? Any ideas are welcome, whether seeds or fully grown sermon trees (I suspect several of us would appreciate one of those!)! Pull up a chair, enjoy some virtual snacks, and share your thoughts on how the good news speaks to your people in this moment.


Teri Peterson is a minister in the Church of Scotland, who has a mild addiction to the view from her window (and therefore does most of her own writing after dark). She spends her days with Andrew the cat, no relation to the patron saint of Scotland. She blogs occasionally at CleverTitleHere.


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22 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: bring *that* to the table

  1. On my church’s Facebook page, I rashly posted something about how my discomfort with preaching on the “divorce text” was probably only matched by their discomfort with what they expect to hear. “Join us,” I said (I stopped short of saying “it’ll be fun”). I promised that we would dive into the texts to find the good news that was hiding behind all that harsh language. Now I just have to deliver.

    For our virtual table, I have my very-most-favorite Red Raspberry Salsa, some cream cheese, and crackers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i preached on one of the Gospel divorce texts, maybe 3 years ago? and a person left the Parish, as i wasn’t ‘biblical’ enough. i said Jesus speaking against divorce was speaking against women being thrown onto the trash heap, maybe a little more politely than that, and that not being able to remarry was about women being property. so in today’s society, this is about respect – anyway it did not go down well with the person who left, and she is divorced, and determined that the gospel means she can never be in a relationship again.

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  2. I’m going with Job. Not sure exactly where I’m going yet, but the message I want to get across is, “When bad stuff happens, it doesn’t mean God is punishing you.” As a pastor, I’ve been with so many families going through terrible illness, and they don’t need guilt on top of everything else…but so many go straight to “I must have done something wrong for God to be punishing me like this.”

    I have teeny blueberry and lemon cookies from Starbuck’s to share… they came up on an ad on my feed and I had to buy them. 130 calories for six, so if we’re ditching guilt with this sermon, three cookies comes in at 65!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. been to a 90th birthday party this afternoon for a lovely member of the congregation, a retired Minister who still prepares the PowerPoint each Sunday. i am reworking my previous sermon on this reading, which was when i began using the NL in my previous Parish 4 years ago’ which is good, as it is also the night we ‘lose’ and hours sleep due to the start of daylight savings.
    the ten commandments, thinking about relationship and freedom.

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  4. so I could not bring myself to use the divorce text
    It’s just too difficult right now and brings up too many ghosts of my own divorce 10 years ago, and my now husband’s which was too horrible for words…
    so, I’m just taking the final few verses about Jesus and the children, and going with the Hebrews passage as my main text.
    there was some very helpful notes on the Church of Scotland worship starters page, which have got me reflecting on “What does a Christian look like?”

    I also have son & his new girlfriend; his son; and my daughter-in-law staying (her husband, another of my sons is away on a stag do!) so I’m distracted – they’ve gone to play at the park so I can get on…

    we have a few of the most delicious macarons left….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve spent the day “at” a conference (via livestream and fb conversation group), which I didn’t know was a possibility until this morning. I thought I wouldn’t be able to attend at all, so I thought I’d get to the supermarket. But no supermarket happened, obvs, so I have pretty limited food options to share!
    My sermon situation is also pretty limited…I’m just thinking I’d like to come up with something now, so I can watch Strictly Come Dancing in peace in 90 minutes! So…the Ten Commandments are on my radar. Hoping for a decent opening idea to strike because I think I have the general direction down, so if I could just get started I’m pretty sure the rest would follow…

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  6. I’m compelled by working preacher’s commentary on Genesis and Mark that state that whether or not one preaches on divorce, if the text is read people will begin to tell their own stories in their head about divorce…and therefore it can’t be ignored. Oy Vey. No pressure there.

    I’m still working out what I’m going to say, looking at Genesis and Mark.

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  7. I’m reading Genesis and Hebrews (for that very reason, Terri) and preaching on Genesis. In theory. In actuality, it’s been heavy week for my Presbytery-related work, and I apparently was exhausted, because I’ve taken a total of 3.5 hours’ worth of naps today. I’m about to go work at the pumpkin patch at my spouse’s church. Then, I suppose I might get to work. Since it’s kind of a dreary day, I’m hoping the pumpkin patch won’t be too busy. I’ve enjoyed reading here and there about the Genesis 2 passage, but nothing has really coalesced or jumped up and down saying “preach me! Preach me!”

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  8. For the kids’ sermon, I’ve got it easy tomorrow – we’re blessing quilts in worship before sending them off through Lutheran World Relief, so I’ll have the kids help me do the blessing.

    For the adult sermon, my basic outline is:
    – it’s been a rough week in the US, especially for women and survivors of assault
    – we come to church hoping to hear good news, but these Bible readings don’t sound like good news!
    – yes, Scripture has been used in harmful ways.
    – but God is always on the side of the victim, the oppressed person, the one who suffers
    – let’s reread the passages with that in mind… God is with the woman, the survivor, the lonely person
    – the ultimate reason for the creation of a second human was the need for companionship. humans need community. this interpretation makes the Genesis passage sound like good news!
    – we all need community, especially little children, as Jesus reminds us.
    – the kin-dom of God belongs to those who prioritize the community above the self.
    – and…. conclude somehow.

    Now to put that thought process into coherent sentences that can be preached!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I’m talking about our common faith using the Hebrew’s text and reciting the Nicene Creed. We are celebrating communion in both congregations, so we’ll focus on all the good stuff. Our folks need church to lift them this week. I need to have a ‘happy’ service since I’m struggling with the loss of my dog this week and my childhood friend last week and family illnesses. If there is one sad note, I think I’ll burst into tears, I can’t handle that right now. So, Hebrews it is. And I’m hoping to have something that makes sense. I have oatmeal cookies to bring to the table, my neighbor brought them to me with a card to express her condolences of the loss of our dog.
    Right now I have spent all day avoiding the writing of the sermon…time to get to work..get those random brain ideas on paper.

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  10. How’s it going, friends?
    I did not get something written earlier, because I accidentally fell a little bit asleep for part of that time. So I watched Strictly and now I’ve eaten and I have two hours before I need to be in bed. I’ll probably get some ice cream and get to work….in theory. I have honeycomb ice cream and homemade strawberry sauce that I made in the summer and kept in the freezer for just this sort of moment…help yourselves.

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    1. Yum – I’ll take some of that ice cream with strawberry sauce! All I have to offer for snacks is a giant zucchini from the garden…. I’ve been eating zucchini at every meal for about 3 months now…

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  11. We had a guest preacher last week, and since we just preached 10 commandments this summer, I’m picking up last week’s Exodus Narrative text and preaching about how some people seem to prefer the “comfort” of systems of oppression over the liberation God wants us to walk toward. Somehow seems pertinent in the U.S right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m bored with my own Ten Commandments sermon. I think I am trying to do too many things. I might go to bed and come back to it in the morning….currently it just needs an ending, but I think I might actually want to ditch about half of it and go a different way. I just can’t see it at this moment. But maybe after a little sleep it’ll be more obvious what I should do.

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  13. I don’t know if this will help any of you working on the Commandments, but every time I hear about them, I think of this statement by either Rolf Jacobson or David Lose when I was in seminary: “God gives the Law to our neighbor because of how much God loves us. And God gives the Law to us because of how much God loves our neighbor.” Sometimes I’ve been able to work that into a somewhat light treatment of asking people which are our favorite commandments and who they think needs to pay attention to them.

    Liked by 1 person

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