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, January 28, 2007

There's a Reason for Everything

January 28, 2007
Fourth Sunday After Epiphany

from Jeremiah 1:4-10 and 1 Corinthians 13:8-13

“The Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me, ‘Now I have put my words in your mouth...’” -- Jeremiah 1:9

“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face.
Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
1 Corinthians 13:12

My sermon outline:

• “There’s a Reason for Everything” (TARFE)

• TARFE is a common response of people of faith (POF) to a variety of circumstances, from the simple twisting of a back to the direst of events. What do you think? Car accident? Delayed flight? Job loss? A family member dies? TARFE. A POF, intending to offer comfort/assurance/ encouragement, to self or to others, says “It’s okay, God is in control, TARFE.”

• While I do believe that God is sovereign, I do not believe TARFE. The implication of such a statement is that everything that happens is planned by God.

• Think again about the following circumstances:
Our church organ destroyed by a leak? God directed the leak
Space Shuttle Challenger disaster (21 yrs ago today): God installed faulty o-ring.
Edie fell down her cellar steps: God caused her to lose her footing.
School shootings, war, weather...

• Do I believe that God has reasons and plans, and that some things that happen do happen for a reason? YES. However, as Paul writes, we see dimly now, as in a mirror. We see in part.

• story of me going to WL, spending four years there. AE spending one year here. Appointed in season to build and to plant, as the Lord said to Jeremiah. Jeremiah was given words by God, and was appointed to take godly action, to use his position to tell people about God who is refuge and rock and fortress, sovereign Lord and savior. "I'm sending you to do some things you may not understand and that will be resisted, but it is for the upbuilding of my kingdom and to draw people unto me," says the Lord to Jeremiah.

• God is able to work good in any situation, whether planned or not. See Joseph, who was sold by his brothers... and who, years later, explained to them "Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good..." (Genesis 50:20). Now while I do believe that God planned that situation, Joseph’s words of wisdom apply even when something wasn’t God’s plan. Also Romans 8:28: "All things work together for good..."

• As POF, it’s possible any event is
God’s will, and it’s possible it’s not. Whatever the case, as POF we believe that God can work a situation into good. Our response should be to pray for discernment and guidance (see Romans 12:2: be transformed, renew your minds, that you may discern God's will), and to speak and act as God’s people, that God’s kingdom might be built up through our actions and reactions, and that people might be drawn near to God.

- Pastor Kerry
This Sunday: 68 in worship.


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