6B8FB1F6-5EBB-481A-9630-FA72C0FF2C3ELots of emotive triggers in our texts this week, in both the Revised Common Lectionary and the Narrative Lectionary. Themes of grief, grace, forgiveness, resourcefulness, compassion, empowerment, themes that cannot fail to speak into all our differing contexts. Knowing the context into which we are called to preach, do we have the courage to go there? Are we brave enough to choose hard, uncomfortable truths revealed in scripture to mess with the tidiness we would rather maintain in our sanctuaries? Will we allow these difficult texts to convict and change ourselves, our relationships and our work together – and be there to pick up the pieces?

Our Lectionary blog posts on NL and RCL are helpful.

But pitch in here, too. Share where you’re going with this week’s texts or whether you’re in the middle of a series or have a visiting preacher, perhaps you ARE the visiting preacher – how do you share with those you may not know so well? Do you have good ideas for other parts of the service?

Its late in the day/week but, thankfully,  the Holy Spirit still shows up even when we’ve left it late. Together, with God, we can do this, sharing God’s word for God’s people today. Thanks be to God!

Rev Liz Crumlish is a Presbyterian minister living on the west coast of Scotland. She is a member of the RevGalBlogPals Board and contributed to There’s a Woman in the Pulpit.

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12 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: From where you are

  1. I am the visiting preacher this week (and for five in a row at different churches, actually). I’m focused on the OT text of the Joseph story, with a working title of “Favor and Favoritism”, considering that the isms are what lead to conflict … in Joseph’s case parental favoritism, but in today’s world our favoritism has to do with race or gender or age or nation, and in human currency, favoritism requires there be those who are left out/loved less (if at all), and that creates an environment of antagonism. Contrasted with God’s favor, where God’s grace and love are poured out unconditionally, and ALL are precious in God’s sight, what would it look like if the church reflected God’s FAVOR vs. human favoritISM?

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    1. Juliegvillo, thanks for making that distinction between God’s favour and favouritism. A reminder that God’s metrics are so different from ours – extravagant to the degree that none is excluded. Be blessed in your visiting!

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  2. a busy week, retreat from Sunday afternoon to Wednesday lunchtime, a wonderful time with an amazing and affirming bunch of women in ministry; home in time for a Workshop at my church, followed by Presbytery [regional] meeting, then today [Saturday] an all day workshop on Understanding and Responding to Conflict. I am looking forward to a [hopefully] quiet afternoon tomorrow and a restful day off on Monday.
    i am preaching on Matthew 14, NL, and am calling this done
    Web of Compassion and Faithful Living
    blessings to you just starting Saturday,

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    1. Patty, I love that you connect so many of those themes – power, compassion, scarcity or generosity. Thanks for sharing. And, I hope you get to relax a bit in that busy schedule. Blessings

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  3. Well – I have a sermon. It is a bit if a ramble – maybe even a bit of a rant!
    I’m in RCL and going with the Genesis and Gospel readings.
    There is a continuing thread, a line repeated several times, forgiveness; reconciliation; love; compassion; mercy; generosity – all present in both the readings. Tying it together with the present uncertainty in the Church of Scotland… I may tweak it before I preach it tomorrow, but for now I am content.

    https://julie-acountrygirl.blogspot.com/2019/02/love-and-good-judgement-world-is-still.html

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    1. Thanks, Julie. Yes, there’s a lot of very hard work ahead, work we have neglected for so long. The good news is that it’s not too late to be part of God’s mission – and whatever shape God’s church might be. Thankfully, God’s got this!

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  4. School holidays and therefore all age service where I am tomorrow – continuing our occasional theme of “there’s a place for you in God’s family”. Brief for tomorrow is to focus on “helping each other to find our place” and the team was giving the story of the man being lowered through the roof at the start of Mark 2 (I really dislike being given both my text and my theme, but there you are.) The more I’ve worked on it, the more its speaking to me about making a space for everyone (because seriously, they should never have needed to go up on the roof, folk should just have made room) and on not defining/limiting people by what we think we need – because what really struck me was that Jesus didn’t in the first instance go about healing the man – he treated him like any other human being, in need of forgiveness… (I’m reading the healing as a visual aid, rather than the main point.)

    Planning to do a bunch of interaction with the kids – I’ve written a script but will ask “I wonder” sort of questions and see where we end up. This is a bit off piste for us, and very off-piste for me – ideally I’ll do without my script, but not sure if I’ll be brave enough so will probably print it off and have it lying on the lectern in case I need it. Will definitely be resisting the temptation to rant and aiming to keep it short(ish) and focused.

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  5. This was one of those weeks when I spent my day off planning a funeral and my sermon-writing day doing the funeral. After more than 50 funerals in five years, you’d think I would know how to manage my energy, but they still exhaust me.
    It’s also the week we have our monthly community breakfast, and we started a diaper giveaway as well.
    My church is a United Methodist congregation, so we are having a potluck after worship to discuss and pray for the General Conference happening in St. Louis this weekend. I am trying very hard to not make the RCL gospel passage be only about the division that threatens the denomination, but this is a key moment in church history for us, and it will not be an easy conversation for my dear congregation to have. I sometimes think that, if the church could just figure out how to live at peace with people who think differently from us, we could bottle it and sell it and never have to worry about making budget again!

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  6. I did not expect to struggle so much with this passage! I’ve been noodling on it all week, feeling pretty okay with everything, and then today– Boom. Growing up in a fundamentalist/evangelical home, I heard so many sermons on “love your enemies, pray for your abuser,” sermons that admonished quiet submission (in the case of abuse) or forced “evangelism” (in the name of loving your enemies = helping non-Christians meet Jesus). I had no idea all that was going to surface when I sat down to write this afternoon.

    So I’m picking through all that my heart needed to hear, especially about family violence, and looking for what gold there is for my parish for tomorrow morning.

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