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, April 19, 2009

PEACE plan 1/5

April 19, 2009
Second Sunday of Easter

Promote Reconciliation ***
1 John 1:1 – 2:2 and Matthew 18:15-20

“God reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation... so we are ambassadors for Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 5:18, 20

My sermon outline:

• Let’s get personal. Who’s been sinned against? Broken relationship of some sort, past or present. Who is content letting that broken relationship just “be”? Who is content waiting for the other person to move first? And (confession time) are there relationships in your life where you’re the one’s sinned against someone else? Has anyone cause to reconcile with you?

(see Matthew 5:23-24: ...if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.)

• Jesus is pretty clear in Matthew 18 on how to handle it when you’ve been sinned against by another member of the church... deal with it now (& in private) because it affects your worship. If there’s a wall between you & another, esp. another worshiper, says Jesus, then there’s a wall between thee and the Father, & thou shalt not allow such.

It requires a combination of humility and boldness, vulnerability. It requires love...

What it is NOT: judgment. Disagreement of opinion or understanding. Public airing of dirty laundry.

What it IS: edification of the body, expression of godly love.

• Broken relationship is a problem not just in our individual lives or our relatively small circles of influence... it’s a problem that exists in families and communities all around the world, inside and outside the church. Sows seeds of discontent and hopelessness and nurtures those seeds to grow into division. Can you imagine the results of unchecked offense? Can you imagine the results of more people who practiced reconciliation?

• Chances are you know who Rick Warren is. 30 years ago planted the Saddleback church outside LA. Swept the nation with the book The Purpose Driven Life 6 years ago or so, and the 40 Days of Purpose campaign that many churches participated in. During this Presidential election hosted a “Civil Forum on the Presidency”, in which he interviewed the candidates on matters of faith and moral issues. He also gave the invocation at President Obama’s inauguration.

In wake of PDL his wife developed a passion for doing something about the monumental problem of AIDS in Africa. Did you ever have a sudden realization that you were on the wrong road? RW had the sudden realization that his ministry and theology weren’t lining up with Jesus’ life and teachings, that Jesus was about ministering to the poor and sick and oppressed – he was FOR something – and that he (Rick) had little to do with the poor and sick and oppressed, that he (Rick) and the church were known for what they were AGAINST. Wake up call that the face of AIDS in the world is not homosexual white man (as it is in America) but poverty-stricken oppressed black woman.

RW’s revelation led him to seek other areas of life and theology where he might have it wrong, and in his search he identified what he calls five Global Giants, deep-seated problems that plague families cities and nations around the world.

Problem: Billions live in hopelessness. Spiritual emptiness.
Problem: Power corrupts, leaders are corrupt. Self-serving Leadership.
Problem: Half the world lives on less than $2 a day. Extreme Poverty.
Problem: Billions suffer from preventable and curable illness. Pandemic Diseases.
Problem: Half the world cannot read. Rampant Illiteracy.

Researched these problems, analyzed failed attempts at solutions and looked for a way to tie it all together.

• RW examined life & teaching of Jesus, and proposes what he believes are unique and effective ways of addressing these global giants.

Spiritual emptiness – Promote Reconciliation.
Corrupt leadership – Equip Servant Leaders.
Extreme Poverty – Assist the Poor.
Disease – Care for the Sick.
Illiteracy – Educate the Next Generation.

And you may notice that the solutions spell out “PEACE” ***

• Some of these are obvious. But RW believes that the church is uniquely positioned to address these issues: with between 1 and 2 billion members worldwide (larger than China or India), the Church is the biggest network in the world. The Church is in every country and can be in every community, moreso than libraries or hospitals. The Church is lay-driven, and has the greatest potential for volunteerism. The Church is intimately present... birth, education, counseling, marriage, death... it has local credibility. The Church is 2000 years old, & will be there. We are part of this network.

• The PEACE plan is ordinary people empowered by God making a difference wherever they are. The PEACE plan is closely linked with discipleship: the Church teaching its members to do what Jesus did – to have the priorities Jesus had, as we studied in March.

Promote Reconciliation: Jesus says Blessed are the peacemakers... Paul reminds us that as God reconciles the world to himself so we are to reconcile one with another.

• Four part plan:

Believe reconciliation is Necessary (1 John light & darkness, we know the dark).

Believe it’s Possible (again 1 John, in God there is no darkness, & humility if we say we have no sin the truth is not in us. 2 Peter 3:9 God does not want any to perish, but all to come to repentance.

Step out in faith. Give glory to God, repeat.
In order to promote reconciliation, in order to address the global giant of brokenness and spiritual emptiness, we must practice reconciliation, bear testimony to the joy of the fruits of reconciliation that we know because we are Easter people. If God raised one man Jesus Christ from the dead, God can work in his body of two billion members the defeat of brokenness and spiritual emptiness.

Can I get an Amen?

• Hymn 539 Where Charity and Love Prevail

- Pastor Kerry

This Sunday: 54 in worship.

*** The PEACE plan belongs to Rick Warren.
See for additional and inspirational information.


Post a Comment

<< Home