Sometimes God speaks through the most surprising agents….

Welcome to the preacher party! Here on the west coast of Scotland, it’s chilly and rainy, perfect weather for a cup of tea by the fire with fuzzy socks. Less perfect for, say, dipping oneself seven times in the Jordan river (though that would probably have been slightly warmer than the river Clyde outside my window!), and yet those of us on the Narrative Lectionary will ponder that nonetheless. Who are the prisoner-of-war girls or the nameless servants who might be inviting us to faithfulness? What does it mean to follow God’s script rather than our own egos? What surprises are in store for those who seek God’s prophets?

Those preaching the RCL can warm themselves with love (though we all know that Jesus doesn’t mean fluffy pink hearts…and neither does Ruth, or the psalmist, or the writer of Hebrews! But still.). They can follow to unknown places, try out unorthodox approaches, and make some adjustments to previous understandings of the word.

Whatever way you’re going, whether it’s a lectionary or a series or All Saints Sunday or something else, and whatever weather you’re experiencing, this is the party for you! I have ice cream, and hot cocoa…a fluffy cat to sit on your lap, and plenty of housework to procrastinate with. And here in the Church of Scotland it’s our national day of prayer for the church, so I suspect I’ll come home from the prayer breakfast with something carbalicious to share!

Pull up a chair and a blank screen, and let’s get this party started!


Teri Peterson is a minister in the Church of Scotland. She lives in a delightful manse looking out at all the weather headed straight for her, while she and her cat Andrew decide whether or not to brave the elements or make sermonising into a blanket-fort activity. You can sometimes find her at her blog CleverTitleHere, and in her book, Who’s Got Time: Spirituality for a Busy Generation, and as a contributor to the RevGals book There’s A Woman in the Pulpit.

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20 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: For All The Saints

  1. I’m first? Good, because I need extra time. I’m writing two (2, a pair, double the usual number) sermons this week! A sermon for Sunday morning (on the Mark 12 passage from the RCL on the greatest commandment) and a sermon for an installation Sunday afternoon (on the mustard seed passage from Matthew). The first is about halfway finished. The second only a glimmer of inspiration. But, I took a break this afternoon and went to play with my daughters on a fantastic playground in beautiful weather, which I’m not at all sorry about. I’m sure I’ll be back later.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m preaching my last sermon (probably, since I usually only preach once a quarter) before our church closes in the beginning of 2019. It’s called “A Time to Transplant.” We are doing a series on the “Harvest” and looking backwards to what the church accomplished in 60 years, and now what God might do through us in the years ahead. I’m using Psalm 1 (A Time for Roots); John 15 (A Time for Pruning); and Rev. 3: 14-22 (A Time for Choosing).

    So far, I have the bare bones and some illustrations. As you can imagine I have to walk this delicate line of “you blockheads!” and “go do God’s next thing for your life.” The church became inwardly focused and lost their young families. A soft restart 6 years ago didn’t work (not for lack of trying or expertise).

    So there’s a bit of anticipatory grief, and some practical stuff… About halfway done, and I have a lot on my plate tomorrow.

    BUT – I have banana bread and decaf chai so there you are…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m preaching All Saints’ in my newish interim call– hopefully surrounded by parishioners’ momentos and photos of beloved saints in their lives. It’s a “family Sunday,” which means everyone expects a kids’ sermon. But I preach to everyone. We’ll be considering saints as those who “shine the light of God in every generation,” (thanks Book of Common Prayer), and finding the living saints and our own sainthood in the process.
    That’s all I know so far, but that’s enough for tonight. And there’s lots of leftover halloween candy if you’ve got the munchies!


      1. Lord Christ, your saints have been the lights of the world
        in every generation: Grant that we who follow in their
        footsteps may be made worthy to enter with them into that
        heavenly country where you live and reign for ever and ever.
        Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, p. 111: “An Order of Worship for the Evening”)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. even though we are following the NL, and we will be reading the Naaman story, i am not really preaching tomorrow. We will be baptising at the second service and have communion at both services. i am including a picture book – Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge – and talking about saints and how saints come in all shapes and sizes, like the boy in the picture book, or the slave girl.
    here is the sermon from 2014 NL

    Liked by 1 person

  5. calling it done for tonight. i am inviting people to write the name of someone who is a saint for them on a sticky note [i have hearts and stars] and then hopefully they will stick to the communion rail at one church and the baptismal font at the other.
    an earlier finish than some weeks, it is only 10.00 pm, which is good as i have now worked 61 hours this week – i usually manage to keep it a more reasonable level of 45-50 – and still have Sunday to go.

    we did some shopping on the way home tonight, so we now have ice cream – it has been over 35 C here today.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We had a prayer breakfast this morning for the Church of Scotland’s National Day of Prayer, which involved some reflecting (not preaching per se) on my part, and then a meeting afterwards with the clergy and an elder from each congregation in our area as we look toward some form of shared ministry in the future…and then when I got home I confess to taking a nap. So I still have a blank screen about Naaman. I titled the sermon “Impossibly Possible” because I have these notes that say “the slaves/servants saw possibility, where the powerful (King, Naaman) saw impossibility”…that isn’t a ton to go on though. 🙂 It’s week three of my “To See Ourselves” series so somewhere along the way I’ll be pondering how Naaman learns to see past his ego’s script to God’s script only when he listens to/considers/takes instruction from those at the margins. Or something like that. It’s still very nebulous…
    It’s dinner time here, and almost time for Strictly Come Dancing, so I’ll be pondering over leftover Indian and ballroom dancing, and then writing afterward!


  7. Just saying “hi” – preaching a very short All Saints sermon, including Tree of Life for second week. Apparently we read names for 10+ minutes — anyone whom anyone knows who has died in the last year. I have had a wonderful full day off – first one in 2 weeks and clearly a thing I should be doing regularly. Amazing to do a few things I want to do, including laundry, without constantly checking the clock for where I’m supposed to be next.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. For a variety of circumstances, I’ve only preached one out of the last five Sundays, so I’m making up for it this weekend, having preached at our Creation Care conference this morning and a funeral this afternoon and just now sitting down to look at tomorrow. Of course, I picked a scripture that I’ve never preached on, so no sustainable sermons to look back at. Luckily it’s communion and All Saints, so a shorter sermon will be okay. I remember when I picked Ruth I thought there was a connection between “Your people will be my people and your God will be my God” and our connection with the saints in our lives, but it’s feeling pretty tenuous to me at this point. I’ll take some of that hot cocoa for inspiration! I’m full-up on cats (and dogs) for lap-sitting.


  9. I’m going with Lazarus. For me this time, the take-away comes from David Lose: how does Christ invite us to participate in the miracle-making of unbinding the newly resurrected and letting them go?
    We will not only toll a bell and light a candle for each remembered saint, we will baptize a young man and welcome 4 new members. Five years ago, this young man was a little boy who introduced himself to me by raising his middle finger. Now he wants to be baptized. Grace abounds.
    I’m off to do a hospital visit on my way to provide child care for one of our shelter residents, while she goes to her sobriety meeting. Today was the annual Fall Bazaar, so that means there is lots of leftover pie. Help yourself to some!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Finally, after pondering all day (ok, and while napping), I have an idea for the opening of this installation sermon. I’ve had the guts of it clear in my head for a week, but couldn’t figure out how to make it interesting. Here I go! Oddly enough, Teri, it’s titled “Impossible Possibility.” (Google is unclear, but that is apparently either a Barth or Neibuhr quote. I will investigate further).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. I found something similar re: R. Niebuhr. Barth apparently thought the “impossible possibility” was sin, but I am not able to explain that without thinking on it some more. Barth doesn’t lend himself to the sound byte!


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