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, July 20, 2008

Why do bad things happen to good people?

July 20, 2008
Tenth Sunday in Pentecost

Matthew 13:24-30 and Romans 8:17-28

"Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,
but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest."
(Proverbs 14:4)

My sermon outline:

• Parable is a mere six verses, a mere 140 words, combined with Romans, answers the question of all questions, why do bad things happen to good people

• first, the bad stuff. God is not the source (an enemy comes in the night and sows weeds among the wheat). There is an enemy. The weeds look like wheat at the beginning. The bad permeates the good, and is distinguishable. we would do well to keep watch in the night. Romans 8: all creation is subject to the suffering.

• God allows it. (read verse 30) Why? A number of reasons.

• Why #1. Solution could wipe out the good with the bad. If you had a blood disease, you don’t solve the problem by draining the blood. Likewise you don’t treat an infection with bleach, for although the bleach will take care of the infection it’ll take care of the healthy tissue too.

• Why #2. Timing isn’t right. God plants and wants the harvest in its time, and some things take time. You can’t speed up a pregnancy. Sashi frequently asks about time, minutes… (When will my Mac and Cheese be ready?) But she doesn’t understand minutes either… When’s the harvest gonna be ready, God? God knows, but we don’t understand God’s minutes.

• Why #3. God may in fact be pleased with the process. Growth that comes through trial, or even the strength of witness when a person doesn’t come through the trial.

Prov 14:4 Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest.

You can have a clean barn where there are no oxen. No mess. And no production, either. Oxen in the barn means a messy barn, and gives a way to reap the harvest.

• Why #4. It’s temporary. Both Matthew and Romans affirm that there is suffering and badness now, and that it will come to an end, and that goodness will triumph. Matthew: there will be a harvest, God’s crop will come to fruition, and the weeds will be burned. Romans: Our suffering now doesn’t compare to the glory to come. Sashi’s questions can be frustrating, but like the pain of childbirth is forgotten (so I’ve heard) the love and joy far outweighs the frustration. God’s glory will be revealed in his people and in creation. Our bodies will be redeemed. In hope we are saved.

• And finally, God’s spirit is with us no matta what. Present and future. Romans 8:28

• Hymn 407 Close to Thee

- Pastor Kerry
This Sunday: 41 in attendance. There's a heat wave. Again.


Blogger Rev. Marguerite Earhart said...

Hi Pastor Kerry:

I tried sending you an email with a photo, but I'm not sure you received it or not - or if it ended up in your spam folder.

I wanted to show you a link of a video I said I would be creating. I'm looking forward to looking over your blog!

Many blessings of peace to you,
Assuredly in faith,

"Strange Things Happen Everyday"

10:30 PM  

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