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, June 03, 2007

What Now?

June 3, 2007
Trinity Sunday
Peace with Justice Sunday
Graduate Recognition Sunday
Communion Sunday

Isaiah 58:6-12 47828683

from Micah 6:6-8 and Isaiah 58:6-12

"Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?" – Isaiah 58:6

My sermon outline:

A recent graduate got a job through a temp agency, and excitedly reported for his first day of work. The manager greeted him with a warm handshake and a smile, gave him a broom and said, "Your first job will be to sweep the floor."

"But I'm a college graduate," the young man replied indignantly.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know that," said the manager. "Here, give me the broom - I'll show you how."

• What's the first question you ask a grad? What’s next? What are you going to do now?

Traditional answers might include going to college if they just graduated HS, or getting a job if they just finished college. Let’s say three basic categories: Take a break, Further education, Use the skills/training I’ve completed.

• Last week we celebrated Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was given to the church. We might ask the same question asked of graduates: what are you doing to do now? Take a break, Further your education, Use the skills/training you’ve completed?

Christianity is a verb, it describes action. It’s more than something you are, it’s something you do. It’s a way of life, and it includes all 3 of the above.

• Shared two scriptures today, both related to how God wants us to be in the world. Coulda shared Matthew 25 (Sheep & goats) or James as well (be ye doers as well as hearers). Isaiah 58: The fast God chooses is that we loose the chains of injustice, untie the cords of the yoke, set free the oppressed, feed the hungry, provide shelter for the poor, clothe the naked...

God wants us to act justly or do justice (not just be a nice person).

• Peace with Justice Sunday, one of six special offerings a year. From the 2004 Book of Discipline: ¶264.5 Pentecost celebrates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit’s calling for God’s shalom. Peace with Justice witnesses to God’s demand for a faithful, just, disarmed, and secure world.

Ways we can act justly, love mercy, do Isaiah 58:

Advocate for human rights
Buy fair trade products
Care for environment
Work to eradicate poverty
Feed the hungry
Mediate conflict
Provide health care
Seek affordable housing
Model nonviolence

• As we ask graduates What’s Next, What’s next for us? take offering, participate in the larger church, yes. Yet God didn’t say “I want you to pay for stuff”, he calls us to action. We’re here on the corner of Church and Broad, in Spring City. Our church and the very town of SC grew up together. We’ve thrived together and we’ve suffered together. What community need is there that we can address together? If we find ourselves doing the kind of things mentioned in Isaiah 58 or Matthew 25 or Micah 6 then

8Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. 9Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, 10if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. 11The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. 12Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.

- Pastor Kerry
This Sunday: 57 in worship. Communion today. The heat is here.


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