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, February 11, 2007

Blessed are the poor

February 11, 2007
Sixth Sunday After Epiphany

from Jeremiah 17:5-10 and Luke 6:17-26

"I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve." – Jeremiah 17:10

My sermon outline:

• Bruce Griffith, UM missionary to Afghanistan (with wife Kathy) spoke to Bible Study on Tuesday. Story about flash-flood and Bible story, opening door for HS.

• Luke 6:46-49. Wanted to go to that passage instead of the earlier passage from Luke 6, the blessings and woes, because today’s reading isn’t nice. But sometimes comfort level is an indication that you should go there... Matthew’s is nice: it’s softer and it doesn’t have the woes.
Blessed are you who are poor
Blessed are you who are hungry
Blessed are you who weep
Blessed are you when people hate you

Blessed are the poor in spirit
Blessed are those who hunger & thirst after righteousness
Blessed are those who mourn
Blessed are you when people persecute you

• It’s one thing to hear the “blesseds,” and another thing to hear the “woes”

• Woe to you who are rich, who are full, who laugh now, when all speak well of you...

• Some trends and statistics (from
United States “Weighted Average” (for the world)
$39,452 per capita $8,142
30.6% obese 14.1%
84% happy 53.9%
Christians not really persecuted Many countries where Xnty is illegal and punishable

• More than any other gospel, Luke expounds the dangers of wealth, and its power to blind a person and consume a person. You think you possess your possessions but it may well be the other way around... your possessions possess you.

• Luke is not idealizing or glorifying poverty, but is pointing out God’s prejudicial commitment to the poor, because poverty is contrary to God’s design.

• So what should our reaction be to Jesus’ blessing of the poor and woe to the rich?

• Make a joke of it (the church will be happy to relieve you of your wealth)

• Follow the example of the rich young ruler who went away sad

• Follow the example of folk like Mother Theresa, JWesley (make all you can, give all you can)
JWesley who felt it would be a sin if he died with a positive bank account

• Remember that God, who is protector, defender, and redeemer of the poor, does indeed hold us accountable for our actions (Jer. 17:10) and that just as we may be the judges of angels, the poor may be the judges of the rich.

• Therefore let us examine our hearts & minds, motivations & actions, let us ask God for forgiveness & mercy, & let us keep ourselves near to the heart of God (UMHymnal#472)

- Pastor Kerry
This Sunday: 61 in worship. Cold.


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