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Hand-stitched chrismon ornament, First Presbyterian, Luling, TX. Photo by Monica Smith, 2018

It’s the Sunday of Peace, except for my to-do list and calendar, which are not comporting themselves very peacefully. Yours?

Regardless, onward we go to proclaim the good news. Revised Common Lectionary preachers can find a helpful post here, and Narrative Lectionary preachers, here. Maybe it’s cantata Sunday, or children’s pageant Sunday, or sermon-series-that-seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time Sunday for you. Regardless, we’re here to help at the 11th Hour Preacher Party.

I hold you in prayer as you prepare for whatever Sunday will bring, as we together prepare for the unexpected surprise of God-with-us.

 


Monica Thompson Smith is a Presbyterian Church (USA) minister, serving as stated supply pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Luling, TX. She is a contributor to There’s a Woman in the Pulpit.


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31 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Advent Sunday of Peace

  1. I’m trying to get my sermon going because last time I preached I wrote it on Sunday morning, and it didn’t hang together very well. I am preaching Mary and Living Improvisationally and using some of the ideas from MaryAnn McKibben Dana’s book on Improv. Using the first three section of the book, the annunciation is “Yes,” the Visitation with Elizabeth is “And” and the Magnificat is “Cultivate Vision.” I have a start, so that’s good, but it’s almost time for carpool duties.
    (I also have a stack of research papers to grade because being a part-time preacher and part-time professor, everything converges in December. We have Advent candles and an Advent house with candy, and that’s about it on the Homefront.)
    –Wendy

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve not read the book, but I can see how that all fits together, even from this sketch. Does MaryAnn know you’re doing this? I think she’d be thrilled.

      People who are preachers and part-time professors *definitely* need an Advent Sunday of Peace!

      Like

  2. tomorrow is a congregation AGM after the second service, i am hoping it runs smoothly, and as quickly as it can with 15-20 places to fill, mostly it will be the current people continuing. some phone calls today and a few more names pencilled in, and the rest of the exec are making some calls as well.
    9 pm Saturday evening and time to write something about Esther. i have a sermon from 4 years ago, if nothing else materialises.

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  3. calling it done, partly new and partly reused and shuffled. Esther
    I admit i am looking forward to preaching on the gospels soon, feeling i ma skating on thin ice for the past weeks, becasue i know so little about some of these books.

    i have home made shortbread and Christmas Cake to share, both gifts from a member of the church.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. On the one hand, I like to preach on texts that are unfamiliar to me, because the nerdy part of me loves the thrill of discovery and investigation and learning something new. On the other hand, wow does that kind of research take a lot of time that I sometimes just don’t have. I’m glad Shannon’s piece was helpful to you.

      Homemade shortbread in particular sounds delicious. Thank you!

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  4. It’s a gloomy and cold Saturday morning here. We’ve done some baking this week, so we have fudge, gingerbread cookies, and one piece of pecan pie to share. Said baking, among other good and meaningful things, has meant not much sermon-pondering time, so I expect my writing process will be rough today.

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  5. I’ve been in this new interim call location for 9 days and finally two days ago got my internet connected at home. I moved and started this interim in two weeks time so I am thankful to repurpose previous Advent sermons which has been a huge gift. Tomorrow it is Zechariah’s story which is a bit about being fearful, a bit about not letting Advent be just another Advent, and a bit about letting God be God. It’s in the tweaking mode which I will do later…after more unpacking of boxes.

    And added bonus, free tickets to see A Christmas Carol at 5 p.m. at the Hale Center here in Sandy, UT!

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    1. I’m preaching on Zechariah and Elizabeth tomorrow, too. Allegedly. I’m glad you had something to recycle in such a busy time. Blessings on the new place, and enjoy the play!

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  6. Someone had the bright idea to preach a few days after knee surgery. That someone was me. My knee is actually doing fine, but my sermon mojo must still be under anesthesia. I’m preaching next week’s narrative text (Isa 42) tonight at our sabbath service.
    So I’ve got my knee on ice and I’m working on the ‘broken reed’ and ‘dimly lit wick’ part of the passage right now.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I love these texts, and I have an affinity for John the Baptist so I always like preaching on Advent 2 & 3. This year we have a baptism on Advent 2, so I am tying together themes of the baptismal profession of faith (Do you renounce the devil and all the forces that defy God?) with the Baptist and Luke’s theme of repentance and advent themes of preparing the way/preparing our heart…and hoping it hangs together. I am using examples regarding Confession (our Confirmands are very interested in this topic for some reason this time around), bullying and the forces of evil inherent in it (another topic of interest to ALL our teens in this place), and illustrations from “The Blind Side” (turn around) and a story about a little child who kept wondering if people could see the cross on her head following a baptism. It’s either going to all hang together or all fall apart…only God can tell 🙂 Preaching in my current context is a mixed bag as I so rarely hear anything from anyone about it…and that is very different from anywhere else I have ever served.

    It’s always so good to hear where everyone is headed for each Sunday…Blessings on your preparations and people!

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  8. It’s snowing in the lower panhandle of west Texas! 4 boys in house, so later today will be filled with chores and Christmas decorating. But now I am needing to focus on John the Baptist. Have some initial thoughts floating in my head, just need them to come together coherently!

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    1. I saw snow photos from Lubbock, but didn’t know y’all were getting it too! So exciting! Enjoy your day, and may those sermon thoughts coalesce easily.

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  9. I am about to go out to my grandson’s second birthday party (early, but that’s because we can’t all get together on the 20th!)
    This has been yet another crazy week, so I have updated an old one with a new introduction and some added context.
    I have just also realised next time I preach will be for Christmas Eve midnight service! Kids Nativity next week, and a student preaching Advent 4 – so actually feeling much relieved at the thought!
    Sermon is over on my blog: https://julie-acountrygirl.blogspot.com/2018/12/be-prepared.html

    blessings everyone

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  10. I’m joining Monica and Elaine in preaching the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth – the Annunciation to Zechariah, and then up to where we find JtB in the Gospel. I just realized this week that this story never gets told in our Sunday lectionary. I have still have leftover Halloween candy to add to the community table – help yourself 🙂

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  11. Preachers, how are you doing?

    I’ve engaged in some productive procrastination/procrastinatory productivity today…a little cleaning, last bits of decorating, laundry…as well as some not-productive procrastination…a nap. I think I’m going to work on some sewing of Christmas gifts, and then I’ll get on the sermon. Really. Soon. For sure.

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    1. I’m guessing the nap may have been the most productive thing you did all day! Advent can be exhausting, your body probably needed the rest 🙂 Thanks for hosting today!

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  12. 9pm and I’m just coming to the party….I spent the day decorating my first ever christmas tree! Woohoo! And then lazing about in the same room as the tree, enjoying the lights and fir smell. 🙂
    I’m preaching next week’s NL passage as well (Isaiah 42), but also adding on the first eight verses of chapter 56, which came up in a discussion with the elders about passages that speak to us as a congregation right now. I have not in any way decided what any of this is going to be about. I have exactly zero ideas, about five brief notes, and not much motivation. 25 days to holidays, 30 days to the BE….10 services and 3 school assemblies to go, not that I’m counting down or anything.
    #betterthananadventcalendar

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sitting in a darkened room with the tree lights on is one of my favorite things about Christmas.

      I imagine at 9 pm in my time zone, I will be in your exact same situation.

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  13. I’m in Luke 3, talking about preparation and anticipation, and the second coming of Christ. Not sure what my congregation will think about that. But I’m trying to affirm them in the ministry that they are already doing – they are already preparing for the coming of Christ by finding ways to show the salvation of God to all flesh – working for environmental justice, helping schoolchildren access food on weekends, supporting housing initiatives for low-income folks… Not that these things bring about the second coming of Jesus, but they are how we prepare. They are how we make the mountains low and the rough places smooth.

    At least, I think that’s where I’m going. We’ll see what the next few hours bring…

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    1. I think the Advent/Second Coming connection is the hardest things for parishioners (and, ok, me) to grasp. You’ve explained it well already.

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  14. Well, grocery shopping at Walmart on Saturday afternoon in December – blah. Now I’m in a yucky mood, and the sermon is still just out of reach. And the bottom 1/3 of our artificial Christmas tree has gone missing – how does that happen?????? And the seasonal stress just hit………

    Like

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