(Photo by Terri Pilarski, Deception Pass, Washington State)

I am not preaching this Sunday, so I am a little less invested in the texts than I might be otherwise….however, I know that I always struggle as we come to the end of the long season after Pentecost. I follow the RCL and we are heading toward the last days of the story of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark. Jesus is all tense and terse. And frankly, so am I and and so are many people I know. I mean, I am trying to not be terse and tense, but I am. How do I live in and through these days? Isaiah speaks to me:

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people….”


If I were preaching this Sunday I might tap into Isaiah and reflect on what it means to go astray, to end up living a perversion of justice….yes, WHO could have imagined this future?

I wonder what you are pondering for Sunday? Are you working with the Narrative Lectionary? Or the RCL? Or another set of texts? What is provoking you, prodding you, inspiring you, or where are you stuck?

I’m here all day, let’s party together, pray, and laugh, and hope, and work out what the Holy Spirit is trying to move in and through us.


The Rev. Terri C. Pilarski is an Episcopal priest serving a parish in Dearborn, Michigan. She’s been a member of RevGalBlogPals since 2006 and blogs at Seeking Authentic Voice

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


17 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Called to…

  1. after a day of training in discipline processes of the church, i am hoping dinner gives me enough energy to write a sermon on David and Bathsheba – power, sexual relationships, arranging a murder – all matters that are against the Code of ethics – and illegal as well. So after a day of regulations, processes, burden of proof, outcomes etc etc, i am ready to blast David for being such a b**idiot and recommend that he no longer should be in Ministry.
    probably not helpful for the congregation.
    so with my husband cooking dinner, and a candle in the kitchen in case the storm takes out the power, i am tidying up some notes from today, so i am ready to start the sermon after dinner. and i have emailed some files to myself so i can work on the iPad if the power goes out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. calling it . finished Fortunately i have preached on most of the NL year one passages in a previous Parish, so reusing some bits.
    the earlier storm has blown over with no problems for us.
    blessings on those starting their Saturday, i hope to be heading to bed shortly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Poached eggs, anyone?

    After a short break, back in the pulpit for my first Sunday in my new ELCA interim congregation. I’m using the sermon time to introduce myself and the transitional time — sort of two mini-sermons, but with Reformation Sunday a big deal next week, it’s now or never. I’m a little apprehensive — two services, one contemporary and one traditional; a lot of people I don’t know; congregational expectations over the moon; and coming out of a tough situation. Youth program introduction between services, and confirmation class orientation (that one’s on me) after worship, so I won’t actually be breathing till about 2:00.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve got David and Bathsheba this week. My congregation is taking bets about whether or not I can preach it without swearing. Sermon is written, at least. May still tweak it a bit.
    I have a funeral today, so I’m working on that now.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve fiddled with the RCL, and am borrowing the Job 42 text from next Sunday (which will be Reformation-y for us). I’m using it to tell the whole story of Job. We haven’t been reading those passages this month. Or, rather, I *will* be using it to tell the whole story, as the sermon is mostly in my head at this point. It’s been an eventful week around here (some good, others not so much), and I’m distracted on several fronts.


    1. The Job story is a good one on so many levels. I once did an interfaith Bible study: a rabbi, a mennonite, and two Episcopal priests studying the Book of Job using Richard Rohr’s book, Job and the Mystery of Suffering. We concluded by wondering if Job repented IN sack cloth and ashes or FROM sack cloth and ashes – in otherwords, beating one’s self up can be as sinful and arrogance….Anyway, I hope the words find you, actually I trust they will.


  6. I am SO far behind at this point, and I don’t think my congregation would ever believe i could get through David and Bathsheba without expressing rage or at least outrage. We do a “Message for All Ages” (children’s sermon … but we have literally no children, so it has evolved), and I think I’ll go over the basic story line there, and focus on Nathan’s parable during the sermon itself … and the fact that it’s easy to jump into condemning others for their obvious sins as we overlook our own over-reaching/misuse of others, etc.

    The other thing I’ve done simply for myself is that I chose to use the NCH hymn “Make a Gift of Your Holy Word” as the hymn that comes between the scripture and the sermon. I choose it periodically at occasions like this, when I need to remind myself and others that God’s word IS a gift even when it’s hard. My congregation’s culture is relaxed enough that I can provide commentary as we go along, and I’ll include that fact for sure. Sometimes just admitting that it’s hard helps, I find.


  7. I’m roasting some sweet potatoes for a late dinner, if anyone is still up and wants to share!

    One of those days where everything takes longer than expected. I’m not preaching tomorrow (we’ll have a guest, which I’m excited about) but I get to do the children’s sermon. No idea where to go with that. We’re using RCL, and I think I actually taught the kids how to say Melchizidek 3 years ago, so I’m not sure what to do this time 🙂 And I can’t get the Dollar Store Children’s Sermon site to work, which is usually super helpful! Hoping that something comes together soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve found that I can actually repeat some of my sermons and its helpful. Some people like hearing the same thing again, so it might work to teach them how to say Melchizidek again, and perhaps add a new twist to it – like who is a priest forever (priesthood of all believers?) and what does it mean to be a priest (baptism of all people)….


  8. It’s 4:15 a.m. on Sunday where I am. I went to bed at 10:15 p.m. last night after a vendor booth all day yesterday with the sermon finally begun, but just that. Settling in to finish it this morning. I have exactly two hours and forty-four minutes to finish before I have to get in the shower. Preaching on Job … Wisdom and Perspective … telling the story of my own loss and the platitudes people share after miscarriage that aren’t “You must be bad” but “It was God’s will (that your baby died)”. Examining what we believe about suffering and God’s part in it, considering our place in the universe, and challenging our sense of trust in God during times of trial. Here we go …


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