The Lighthouse Keeper

Greetings from Pastor Kerry, former pastor of Spring City UMC. This blog contains my sermon outlines and/or manuscripts from my pastorate among the people of Spring City PA, from 2006 to 2011. Pastor Dennis is now the lighthouse keeper. Come and worship on Sundays at 10:00 a.m.!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

"Depth of Imagination"

July 30, 2006
Ephesians series, 3/7
from Ephesians 3:14-21 and John 6:1-12

"Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever..." Ephesians 3:20-21

My sermon outline:

• Entertain for a moment the greatest thing that could happen for the people of Spring City and of SCUMC. Not “won the lottery” style but more “God grants the congregation 1 wish” ... Oddly enough when King Solomon was given the opportunity for God to grant 1 wish he asked for wisdom, the same thing that the author of Ephesians asks for us today in this reading.

• These things we imagine... I could stay on verse 20 all day: God, by his power at work in us, is able to accomplish far beyond what we can imagine.

• 126 years ago in Alabama, a daughter Helen was born to Kate and Arthur Keller. Deaf/blind at 19months due to scarlet fever. Yet in the years to follow, it was her father Captain Arthur Keller, who was the blind one. At 6 yrs, with a fierce temper and still virtually unable to communicate, the Kellers found Anne Sullivan. After spending several weeks with Annie, Helen had learned some discipline, was able to feed herself and brush her hair. That was “miracle enough” for Capn. Keller. He was blind to the possibility of greater things.

• What is “miracle enough” for you? Is what you thought of a few moments ago miracle enough? Are you willing to limit God’s possibilities? Could God a/c this sanctuary? Would that be a grand miracle, or a little miracle? If it’s imaginable by our standards, it barely scratches the surface of God’s imagination.

• HK: One day AS made a breakthrough with HK, and the concept of spelling was connected to object. 30 words that day. Within a few years no concept was beyond expression. Is that miracle enough?

• HK: in addition to learning Braille, HK learned English, French, German, Greek, and Latin. Is that miracle enough?

• She published an autobiography at age 23, one year before graduating magna cum laude from Radcliffe (now Harvard), being the first d/b to earn a college degree. Is that miracle enough for Captain Keller, once satisfied with Helen’s ability to feed herself?

• In her 88 years HK traveled to 39 countries, wrote 11 books, met 15 Presidents, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The d/b daughter of Captain Arthur H. Keller accomplished far more than many can ask or imagine.

• Far too many times, friends, we are like Captain Arthur H. Keller, who was blind to the possibility that his daughter could even learn to communicate. Far too many times we are like Jesus’ disciples, placing limits on what possibilities God can accomplish in our midst, crippled by circumstances or human tallies of resources. 5 loaves 2 fish, and Jesus fed 1000’s, with leftovers to boot. We think of our dreams for this church and this community but maybe we say to ourselves or others “That’ll never happen because of such-and-such.” Or “so-and-so’s relationship will never heal...” “It’d take 6 months’ wages to buy enough bread for these folks to each have a nibble.”

• These are the sorts of things that should never cross a Christian’s lips. HK wrote that:“Optimism is the harmony between man's spirit and of God pronouncing His works good.” and “We differ, blind and seeing, one from another, not in our senses,
but in the use we make of them, in the imagination and courage with which we seek wisdom beyond the senses.”

• There’s a pastor of a UMC in Ohio whose business cards simply say “Chief Dreamer.” I hope to be a perpetual dreamer here at SCUMC, believing not only that God fed thousands with a boy’s lunchbox, but that God can take our offerings, God can take our resources and abilities and do unimaginable things, not limited by what we deem to be possible or not, but instead fulfilled by God’s power in us.

• I hope to lead you to believe that God will expand our vision and deepen our imagination, that God who brought back Jesus Christ from the dead will work in us what is pleasing to him – that is, our belief, our love, and our service. Those wishes you may have thought of a few moments ago will follow.

God, by his power at work in us, is able to accomplish far beyond what we can imagine.

Glory be to him and to his Son Jesus Christ, forever and ever, amen.

- Pastor Kerry
This Sunday: hot & humid. 55 in worship.


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