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, March 09, 2008

ReConnecting 2: John Wesley

March 9, 2008
5th Sunday in Lent

ReConnecting Week 2: Coming Home: Rediscovering the Roots of the Wesleyan Movement
Matthew 25:31-46 and Ephesians 2:1-10

My sermon outline:

• The Parable of the Life-Saving Station (google it). Simple but powerful and painfully revealing.

• John Wesley came of age in a time when the Church was existing for itself, and few were to be found living Matthew 25, practicing scriptural holiness. What do you do? He started. “He pursued a rigidly methodical and abstemious life, studied the Scriptures, and performed his religious duties diligently, depriving himself so that he would have alms to give”. Gathered a few peers together to do the same. (rigidly methodical. yet I can keep to something rigidly methodical much better than flybynight. challenge may be to keep it alive). When JW saw how the life-saving station that was the church of England had become a Club he started to train as a lifeguard, doing the dirty work of the gospel. When the order of the Church was threatened by the number and kind of people responding to the gospel of salvation by faith that JW was preaching and he was blacklisted from the churches he began to speak to people whenever and wherever they would listen, even using his father’s tomb as a pulpit. People responded by thousands.

• The Parable of the LSS has been around for a long time. Interestingly, where perhaps a generation ago people wanted both to be in the LSClub and also do the work of the LSS, nowadays both club membership and lifesaving activity is dwindling. People are not only losing interest in the LSS, they’re actively turned off from it. Ask a non-churchgoer why they don’t go to church & what do they say? Hypocrites. Judges.

People who see the value and need for saving lives but who don’t connect that mission with the Church. They know not the power of Jesus Christ, they know not his grace, they don’t see the positive result of life in Christ.

• Trusting God – Demonstrating God’s Love… How and to whom?

• When he was a young adult JW put life of faith into practice, moved by passion to preach to those who know not the unsearchable riches of Christ (Ephesians 3:8). Jesus Christ came into the world to seek and save and heal. JW moved to overcome obstacles…

• Oddly enough JW was not doing something new, he was doing something old. Allow me to share with you a few paragraphs from his sermon “On Laying The Foundation Of The New Chapel”, preached on Monday, April 21, 1777 (JW was 74 years old).

• People hunger for community, to connect with God, to serve. These are things people are looking for & are not only vital to our survival, they’re what God wants us to do.

• Hymn 183 Jesu, Thy Boundless Love to Me, words by Paul Gerhardt, translated by John Wesley. The hymnal gives no tune for it, and honoring our getting in touch with the roots of Methodism, let us sing it to the tune of “Faith of our Fathers”

- Pastor Kerry
This Sunday: 59 in worship


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