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, May 18, 2008

Making the Pledge

May 18, 2008
Trinity Sunday

Joshua 24:1-27 and 2 Corinthians 8:1-7

“Choose this day whom you will serve...” Joshua 24:15b

My sermon outline:

• The reading from Joshua. Specific national salvation history, emphasizing GOD’s actions, GOD’s works of salvation in very real ways, GOD bringing victory and prosperity, it’s all GOD.

• Jewish history with highs and lows, including the recent generation of acquiring & settling the Promised Land.

• Michael W. Smith sang “If they were to write about the story of my life / they would have to mention you in every page they’d write”. Joshua: there’s not a part of your/our history that doesn’t have God leading us, saving us.

• Following the history, Joshua the leader (btw “Joshua” = “The Lord saves” and is pretty much the same name as “Jesus”) says OK I’m dying. I’ve followed the Lord’s commands and led us this far, now it’s time for you leaders to take up the reins... you need to decide and declare whom you are going to serve.

& just as when I marry a couple I ask “will you take this person in sickness & in health, and forsaking all others keep yourself for them as long as you both shall live” Joshua asked the people, the leaders “Will you take this God, the God of your ancestors, the God who has brought you through thick and thin, time and time again, to be your only God, to love and to serve, from this day forward and forever more?”

If you’re thinking this sounds like covenant language you’re right it is.

• You gotta love the way Joshua negotiates with the leaders:

Josh: choose
Leaders: We choose God
Josh: You can’t choose God... he’s holy, he’ll hold you accountable.
Leaders: No really, we choose God!
Josh: In front of God and all these witnesses, you know...
Leaders: We know. We choose God!
Josh: Okay then. Let’s shake on it.

Then Joshua, The Lord Saves, the leader, makes a covenant between God and the people. They decide and declare how they’ll serve God. They make a commitment.

• FFWD to NT early church Paul to Corinthians  your gifts to the church are gifts to God and are a sharing in the ministry. As you are exemplary in your service to God in so many areas, be exemplary in this area too, giving generously and faithfully, sharing in ministry.

• & so I join with Joshua in challenging you to declare your commitment, with God as your witness. As much as God was a part of the history of Joshua and his people, God is a part of OUR history AND our present. God was there as our grandparents in the faith gathered at the Lyceum on Main Street, as the Union Meeting House was soon built on this location, as the need for a new building (the Old church) was built, as the congregation planted the Rford church and then built this building... God was with us as we and the town grew together. I join with Joshua in challenging you to declare & renew your commitment to our God, the God of our predecessors, with God as your witness.

& I join with Paul in encouraging your faithful giving & ministry.

• So let us sing our faith as we prepare to offer our commitments to God.

• Hymn 581 Lord, Whose Love Through Humble Service

- Pastor Kerry
This Sunday: xx in worship.


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