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, October 07, 2007

On A Scale of One to God

October 7, 2007
World Communion Sunday

from 2 Timothy 1:1-11 and Luke 17:5-10

My sermon outline:

• Strange sayings of Jesus today. Ask for faith, get reminded of inadequacy, followed by strange parable of working hard without rest or reward or even thanks. “To be honest, Jesus, I prefer the ‘come unto me ye who are heavy laden and I will give you rest’ kind of sayings.” Not the work all day then work some more and don’t get paid or thanked. That bugs us.

• We figure it’s like one of those legal scales. You put the worker’s outdoor labor in one pan. Put the household labor in the same pan. Fairness says that someone’s gotta put something in the other pan to even things out. Preferably payment. Thanks, at minimum. Not so in this parable.

• Consider the scale and parenting. How much to raise a child? ($200K) Put a dollar amount in the pan. Dollar amount includes cost of feeding, clothing, housing, childcare, educating, etc. More than a dollar amount, there’s the emotional cost, etc. all in the same pan.

What could a kid put in the other pan to pay the parent back? $200K? Nothing. Can’t buy it. Perhaps the best thing a kid can do is live to make the parent proud.

• That’s what Jesus’ strange story is saying. What can you put in your pan? “I’m a good person.” We’ll start there. Put your good deeds, acts of kindness and righteousness and mercy in the pan. Put in your voluntary service: you were on the school board and the borough council and every church committee imaginable. Let’s put your charity in there too: you serve at the soup kitchen, you went to New Orleans to clean up after Katrina, and you funded a school and a well in Ghana West Africa. Put your obedience to God in there. Your prayers, your devotions, your church attendance. Your tithes and offerings, your living out of Matthew 25 and Micah 6:8, your very heart. Let’s even put your suffering in there. Every time you’ve been wronged by someone else, every burden you’ve carried for God, every grief and ununderstandable pain. Pan’s pretty heavy.

What does God put in the other pan? Grace. God doesn’t owe us.

Our obedience never puts God in our debt.

God doesn’t have to be gracious and compassionate to us, but he does it anyway. Chooses to be gracious and merciful, chooses to be self-sacrificial for relationship. & so should we.

God doesn’t owe us. God saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began. (2 Tim 1:9-10)

• God doesn’t owe us. God feeds us.

• Hymn: In the Breaking of the Bread (Bart)

- Pastor Kerry
This Sunday: 76 in worship. Hot October. Communion Sunday.


Post a Comment

<< Home