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 27, 2008

Kingdom Statements

Kingdom Statements
July 27, 2008
Eleventh Sunday in Pentecost

Matthew 13:44-52 and Romans 8:28-39
"Nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."(Romans 8:38-39)
My sermon outline:
• Things kids say about heaven:

Tommy, 7: I know what heaven is, but I don’t want to go there. I want to go to NC.

Scott: Heaven is up in the sky, and you could look down at circuses for free if you want to, except you have to ask God for permission first.

David, 7: Heaven is kind of big and they sit around playing harps. I don’t know how to play a harp, but I suppose I should learn how to play that dumb thing pretty soon.

Eric, 8: It is a place where there is a lot of money lying around. You could just pick it up, play with it, and buy things. I think I am going to buy a basketball, and I am going to play basketball with my great-great-grandmother.

• For as much as we believe in heaven, it’s not talked about much. Much more energy is spent talking about specific sins (typically ones that apply to other people especially) and I’d guess more time is spent talking about stewardship and giving to the church than heaven.
And today’s no different – I’m going to talk about other peoples’ sins, and then ask you for money (jk)

• How would you describe the taste of a banana to someone who's never tasted one? Blind men describe elephant. (tail, tusk, leg). How describe heaven?

• Jesus of course, had been to Heaven, not only that he was an architect of it. If any human has ever had ability to speak with authority about H, it’s Jesus.

Jesus tells a few short parables about the Kingdom of Heaven. KOH not exactly the same thing as H, which may in fact be one of Jesus’ points. 8 parables in Mt 13, at least 7 have to do with KOH. In fact about 80 times in NT. H is like a location, KOH is more a state of being. Like “house” and “household.” I live in a house (provided by you, tyvm) and I am a member of a household, which includes M & S & cats and is more a state of being than a location. I behave a certain way because I enjoy membership in that household; by that household I am glad to order many aspects of my life.

H may be a location of sorts, but KOH is that state of being where your life is guided by principles laid out by God... where your household’s priorities are set by God... where society is aligned by God the almighty king, especially in light of his saving grace.

And since KOH is not just a location but a state of being, it is something that is both future (KOH is near) and present (KOH is here). It is coming, and it has in part already arrived.

• Jesus’ parables...
KOH is familiar (growing seed, baking bread, day to day stuff) and surprising (size, yield).
KOH is sought (merchant went out looking) and stumbled upon (plowman found)
KOH is more valuable than anything else... worthy of lining life up against
KOH involves justice (as last week, a separation of good and evil, a triumph of good)

• inasmuch as we live kingdom values, work for justice, live with compassion and humility, offer praises to God, love to neighbors, KOH is among us.

- Pastor Kerry
This Sunday: 53 in attendance.


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