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It’s that season when, out of our routines, we lose track of the days. But Sunday approaches relentlessly. So what are you preaching this Sunday in the midst of what, for many, is still very much a holiday and yet, for others…

Our Lectionaries offer us new beginnings in the gospel of Mark (NL) or the escape to Egypt and slaughter of the innocents on year C of the RCL.

Maybe you’re still singing Carols and pondering the Christmas readings. There are posts from earlier in the week on the Narrative Lectionary and on the Revised Common Lectionary that may be helpful. And here’s a reflection that may be useful:

We think of the Angels singing:”Peace on earth”
We imagine the shepherds hurrying to Bethlehem
We romanticise the notion of the stable 
complete with a little donkey
and other assorted animals keeping the baby warm.
In our mind’s eye is a blissful mother
and a bursting with pride father.
We conveniently overlook the fear
and the poverty
the political unrest
the brutality of occupying forces
and the desperation of folk in that time.
And we try to do the same today.
To make Christmas idyllic
a time of indulgence and goodwill.
A season to deny reality –
be it the harsh reality of today
or of that first Christmas world.
And even when we are confronted
by inescapable inhumanity:
The murder of children
The abuse of power 
The sleaze of politics
The race to consume
Still we hope and pray for a different world.
But the Advent of hope, love, peace and joy
of which we speak and sing and for which we pray
demands that we get real
that we open our eyes
that we are affected
and move to change a world
where weapons are more valued than health care
and where oil revenue is so tightly held
that none can be spared to provide clean water for all.
Where food mountains and arms dumps grow
while people starve and are moved from their lands.
Those who sought the child’s life
are still to the fore
and we have become accomplices.
Liz Crumlish December 2019
Let us know, in the comments, what you’re preaching this week – and what you’re finding helpful, along with ideas for children’s time, prayers and other elements of worship in this mixed up season.

Rev Liz Crumlish is a Presbyterian minister living on the west coast of Scotland. She is a member of the RevGalBlogPals Board, writes for Spill the Beans, blogs at Journalling and contributed to There’s a Woman in the Pulpit.

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10 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Getting real again

  1. I’m loosely doing the NL but always seem to be off a week or more! So wish they would start the gospel of the year in January. We are having a Christmas Carol sing and are going to read both the Epiphany and Slaughter stories from Matthew. I will do a short reflection on the slaughter of innocents and how it continues today, with examples from the US mostly but other examples of atrocities too. The evil at the US/Mexico border demands that we read the slaughter story, I believe. Too bad the reading comes, as it usually does, on a low (even lower) attendance Sunday. I love the reflection posted here.

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    1. Lynn, the slaughter story does demand to be preached today, doesn’t it, low attendance or not. Feel free to use Reflection if it’s helpful.
      Blessings on your worship.

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  2. We were music heavy for Christmas Eve so I told our musicians to keep it simple for them which simply be carols. I have a very short message on Isaiah 9: 2-7 and then a carol sing.

    Great reflection, Liz. Thanks for sharing it.

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  3. Working on a message tying together Joseph from Genesis with Joseph from Matthew, and the culture of fear that causes people to seek refuge today. Good news: God is with us through all of it, from the Hebrew midwives to the members at the sanctuary congregation where I’ll be preaching in the morning 🙂

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  4. It’s already Sunday here in Scotland, so I’ll leave those in different time zones to party on. Blessings on all your preaching and sharing the good news wherever you are in the world.

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