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, August 13, 2006

"The Imitation of Christ"

August 13, 2006
Ephesians series, 5/7
from Ephesians 4:25 - 5:2 and John 6:41-51

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God... and live a life of love... – Ephesians 4:31 – 5:2

My sermon outline:

• Thomas a Kempis's 15th century The Imitation of Christ one of the most read books in past 500 yrs was behind the message title. Imitation not easy neither is it wishy-washy (explain) but worthwhile and necessary.

• Cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah. Who ceases first?

• What does it mean to imitate God? Study everything about, get to know inside and out... Do what he does, learn how he would do things.

• Imitate Jesus how?

Sacrifice. Jesus Sacrificed. My first sermon here touched on Philippians 2:5-11 and Jesus' self-sacrificial and voluntary pouring out of his lifeblood. As it says in Romans someone might die for a good person, but Christ died for us sinners. You make sacrifices for those you love. Jesus made ultimate sacrifice for those who rejected him. Attitude of sacrifice says "I give of myself for you".

Walk. Jesus Walked. Kind of kidding here, tho we wouldn't be worrying about gas prices and perhaps we’d maintain better health longer...

Eat. Jesus Ate. Two brothers were trying to figure out who would get the bigger piece of cake... "You can be Jesus this time." As you look through the gospels Jesus is often eating (with ppl you shouldn't eat with, no less) or feeding or talking about food. Jesus made holy even the mundane parts of living; we should do no less. As Jesus hung out with the disciples for 3 years surely they spent many meals together, fellowshipping, getting to know you, laughing, talking politics, experiencing each other. Think how much our lives revolve around eating.

Engage. Jesus engaged with the people in his setting. He got dirty with them. He touched the untouchables and broke the social conventions that said thou shalt not talk with this kind of person. He told stories that all could relate to, he addressed needs of hunger and wellness and spirituality, as well as addressed economic and justice issues in the political arena.

Pray. Jesus Prayed all the time. (Andrea and Justin. Pastors pray) Original audience probably familiar with Jesus' prayer habits cuz it was theirs too, but we're blessed that The Gospel of Luke tells us. 5:16 Jesus often withdrew to private places and prayed... 6:12 spent the night praying to God on the mountaintop... 22:39 As usual, he went to the Mount of Olives to pray... This was a man passionate about being intimately connected with God. Knew who he was and whose he was, knew his purpose, his direction, the source of his strength... Imagine telling God "Today I'm going to make some decisions without you..."

Seek. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing: Jesus sought me while a stranger / wandering from the fold of God / He, to rescue me from danger / interposed his precious blood. (Sacrifice). The prodigal son. The shepherd seeking the one. Luke 19:10 Jesus says to Zaccheus: "The Son of man came to seek and to save what was lost". If we would imitate God we would seek and save the lost.


• Imitate Jesus why?

• Biblical commands: (1 John 2:6, John 13:15)

• That we might have light (John 8:12 Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life." Same with bread & water.

• That we might have peace (from intro to Imitation: How often do we hear or say "If only I could have a little peace!"). Also John 14:27 Jesus said "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives...". Also Jesus rested, even in storms.

• Good for you/easier than alternative (Mt. 11:28-30)

• But I'm preaching to the choir

• Imitate Jesus because 1 Peter 3:15

• Imitate Jesus because Matthew 28:19

• Because as we seek to address community needs and revitalize this community and this church our witness is strengthened

• Because whoever imitates Jesus SWEEPS out of their life the list from Ephesians 4:31... Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

- Pastor Kerry
This Sunday: Quite comfortable weather. 69 in worship.


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