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.!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

"What would God have us do?"

July 9, 2006
from Mark 6:6-13 and 2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10

“Neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything,
But only God, who makes things grow.” – 1 Corinthians 3:7

My sermon outline:

• Our scripture readings today give us some glimpses into biblical leadership. Kinda funny that even as we read that David is crowned King, we read that he was king for 40 years. (written afterwards). Pastor Howarth appointed 6 yrs, Pastor Amy 1, Pastor Kerry???

• David was 30, reigned 40 yrs (7.5 at Hebron, 33 at Jerusalem), built Jerusalem into the City of David, and was a great leader why? Because the Lord, the God of hosts was with him. First Sam 16:18 gives a similar introduction of David earlier:

“I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the harp. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him.” 1 Sam. 16:18

David was able to reign 40 years, was able to build Jerusalem not on his own merit but because the Lord was with him.

• In addition to the Lord being with him, David was a man after God’s heart. (1 Sam. 13:14). During the Civil War, President Lincoln said that he hoped that, rather than us saying “God is on our side,” we ought to be praying that it is we who are on God’s side...

• David built Jerusalem into the City of David... as I read this I started wondering “What would we build? What would we do?” Up attendance, up membership, grow the next generation as we hand the mantle of leadership over... Fill our Sunday School rooms with activity. It’s a tempting question to entertain, and one that I’ll get back to. There were two scripture readings today...

• In the second part of the gospel reading that Dick read today Jesus sends the 12 disciples out 2x2 with virtually nothing: no bread, no bag, no money; a staff and shoes but only one coat. But one thing he does give them, remember? Authority over unclean spirits. Jesus sends them out with basically the shirts on their backs and with his blessing, and armed with those, they preach repentance and they bring healing to people in body and in spirit. In 2 Corinthians 4 Paul says that we bear the bright light of the glory of God in unadorned clay pots so that others will know that it’s God’s power not our own. Jesus sends the 12 out with next-to-nothing so that A) others will know it’s God’s power not theirs, and so that B) they will rely fully on God and not on their possessions or status. And relying on God they preach and teach and anoint and heal.

• Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3 that though we may plant seeds and water them it is God who provides the growth.

• I said a bit earlier that it’s a tempting question to entertain, what would be build / do, but if that’s the question we ask we’ll go the way of Saul, David’s predecessor... We’d be going after our own hearts instead of God’s. We’d be like a disciple sent out by Jesus but instead of going with no bread, stashing a loaf inside an extra coat (which we also shouldn’t have).

• Jesus didn’t send the 12 out to build programming or to fill pews or Sunday School rooms but to confront evil, to bear witness to the power of God. Jesus knew the needs of the communities around him and sent his disciples out to address those needs: What would God have us do?

• Picked up The Mercury to look for Elizabeth Hunter’s obit (found it) and was intrigued by a story on the cover of the Business section, a story about an internet cafeteria that opened up 6 weeks ago in East Greenville (10 miles N of Schwenksville). Centered around a vision to create a space where people could hang out, have fun, relax, and feel good, “Heaven On Earth” is meeting some community needs, and in doing so, is bringing some vitality to the community.

"If your idea of heaven includes [wireless] Internet access, the latest in Internet gaming, [specialty desserts] or gourmet coffee drinks, then this place might have your just reward."

You may not understand or like the Internet or specialty coffees or desserts, but those are some ways that a business is thriving and bringing life to its community.

• As this church community moves into the future, I pray that you’ll join me in discerning not only the desires and needs of Spring City UMC, but the needs of Spring City itself.

• You know the story of the young boy who wanted his busy father’s attention... The father, desperate to focus the boy on something else, took a magazine picture of a person and tore it into pieces, and told his son to put it back in order. When the boy returned minutes later with the picture successfully reassembled the father said, “Son how did you put that in order so quickly?” The boy said “It was easy. There was a picture of the world on the other side, and when I put it in order, the person got put together at the same time.”

• As we address the needs of the community of Spring City, the body of Spring City UMC will itself be strengthened and grown. I pray we do so as persons after God’s own heart, fully relying on God’s power.

“Neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything,
But only God, who makes things grow.” – 1 Corinthians 3:7

-Pastor Kerry

This Sunday: moderately hot & humid. Attendance: 60.


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