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, December 17, 2006

God Wants Spiritual Fruits, Not Religious Nuts

December 17, 2006
Third Sunday of Advent

from Zephaniah 3:14-20 and Luke 3:7-18

"Bear fruits worthy of repentance..." Luke 3:8

My sermon outline:

• "Sven & Ole" jokes:

Sven and Ole were playing cards at Sven's house when it started to rain. Well, Ole's roof leaked something terrible, and the water was just pouring onto the card table. "Sven!" cries Ole. "Why don't you fix your roof! It leaks something terrible!" "Well," says Sven, "It's too wet to fix it right now, and when the sun is shining, the roof doesn't leak!"

Sven and Ole were playing cards at Sven's house when Ole says, "Well, Sven, I got to be going. Lena wants me to help clean the house." "But Ole," says Sven, "I thought you just hired a house cleaner!" "I did, but we got to clean before the house cleaner comes over."

• Sometimes inconsistencies in life are funny. Sometimes not always so funny: I have high cholesterol... I pay a doctor and I pay for drugs to address my cholesterol. And I eat things that contain cholesterol.
I met a cardiologist once, who was overweight and smoked.

• Last week John the Baptist (JtB) appears in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of reptentance for the forgiveness of sins, urging folks to get right with God as a way of preparing for the coming of God’s kingdom

• “Bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Luke 3:8)

• “You call yourselves children of A,” says JtB ... “remember your family ties, care for one another, care for your neighbor, live justly, abusing neither position nor power. ‘bear fruits worthy of repentance’: you have been planted by God and he’s coming to check things out, see what kind of fruit you are producing. He has no need of fruit-trees that aren’t producing good stuff but are just wasting soil and water and energy...”

• What is fruit worthy of repentance? It reflects the state of a person’s heart, as Jesus points out (Luke 6:43-45): "No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks."

• Fruit worthy of repentance is hearing the word of God and doing it (Luke 11:28, most of book of James (faith w/o works is dead))

• Fruit worthy of repentance is someone who is convicted of sin and is moved to action, as the sinful woman in Luke 7, as Zacchaeus in Luke 19 (like the PA lawmakers and their midnight payraise)

• Fruit says “I love you Lord & want to live a life pleasing to you”

• Catholic sacrament of penance: 3 parts: contrition (sorrow/repentance, motivated by love not fear), confession (with absolution), satisfaction (penance, penitential act) bottom line: God wants our hearts over our deeds. Wants our deeds, yes, but wants our hearts foremostly

• story about a confirmation leader who gave me his cigarettes

• I knew a man whose life of sin had caught up to him and he repented and learned how to plant seeds of righteousness instead of seeds of destruction and together we watched as those seeds started to grow
Gandhi: "I like your Christ. Your Christians I do not like. They are so unlike your Christ." Let's live so that such a statement cannot be made.

• JtB’s goal is not mere consistency but that in our hearts and in our actions we would prepare for (clean up for the cleaners) and celebrate the coming of the Lord.

• John 15:8 This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

• Ephesians 5:8-14 For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light— for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.

- Pastor Kerry
This Sunday: 79 in worship. Also, there were 109ish for the Cantata this evening, which went swimmingly, PTL!


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