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 16, 2008

ReConnecting 3: Prayer

March 16, 2008
Palm Sunday

ReConnecting Week 3: Going Deep: Rediscovering the Roots of Authentic Spirituality
Isaiah 50:4-9

My sermon outline:

& so we come to the final week of Lent, the last week of Jesus’ life, the pinnacle. Time for Jesus the king to do what he came for. Spent his life in preparation for this week. It is the moment of truth, the journey to the cross.

• The cross has been the inspiration for countless works of art, throughout the centuries. In 1858 Frances Havergal visited a museum and reflected on one such painting, and went home and wrote this verse:

I gave My life for thee,
My precious blood I shed,
That thou might’st ransomed be,
And quickened from the dead.
I gave, I gave my life for thee;
What hast thou given for Me?

• I find an answer in Isaac Watt’s hymn “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”:

Love so amazing, so divine
demands my soul, my life, my all.

• How are we to find the strength do give our all? How was Jesus able to give his all this famous week? Prayer is one major factor. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it is said. Start the day out right. And of course it’s not the only food you eat all day; you nourish your body several times during the day. Sometimes too much, lol.

As food nourishes the body, so prayer nourishes the soul. We would do well to have early and constant connection with God. Talk to the one who made you (Sheryl Crow)

• We watched in the ReConnecting DVD this morning about John Wesley’s prayer room, how he would begin each day with Word and prayer. I read of another Methodist minister, Edward Bounds, in the Midwest, late 1800s, who wrote about ten books on prayer. He would rise at 4am every day for 3 hours of prayer. He writes:
Those who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. Whoever fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, he will be in the last place the remainder of the day.

• Two times to pray: when you feel like it, and when you don’t.

• Philippians 2:5-11 tells us to have the mind of Jesus. Our reading from Isaiah today gives a glimpse of what Jesus was willing to go through for us. A reading through the gospels shows how often Jesus went off by himself to pray. First thing he did after Palm Sunday was to return the Temple to being a house of prayer. Last thing he did before he was arrested was to spend time in prayer.

• Rise early this week. Give an hour or half an hour or even 15 minutes to God in morning prayer, before you do anything else. Read a verse or a chapter. Reflect on the day’s ReConnecting lesson. Reflect on your day’s schedule. Pray for God to speak to you, and then listen. Take a few minutes during the day and stop what you’re doing to pray. And see if God doesn’t bless you.

• Hymn 301 Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross

- Pastor Kerry
This Sunday: 87 in worship


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