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 10, 2009


May 10 , 2009
Fifth Sunday of Easter

Mother’s Day

Assist the Poor
John 19:25-27 and 1 John 4:7-21

Jesus said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” And he said to [the disciple whom he loved], “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. – from John 19

My sermon outline:

• Christian comedian: God must be especially fond of Chinese people, he made so many. When God looks down from heaven, he sees mostly Chinese folks. And if they’re not Chinese, they’re Indian. Nearly half of world.

Yet all the Chinese and Indians don’t equal the number of people in the world who exist on less than $2 per day.

• To illustrate the division of wealth in the world, let’s look at dividing $1,000 among the 75 people in this room.

Let’s start with most of you. three fifths of you. 60%. That’s 45 people out of 75.
Each of you has $5. ($4.89 to be a little more exact)

The poorest fifth (that’s 15) have $1 each.

That means the richest 20% (15 out of 75) have $51 each.
But since we know that even that wealth is not evenly distributed,
12 of you have $25 each, and 3 of you have $155.

• Now. Problem is NOT that we in the US have taken from others, or that we prevent others from producing (well, maybe a little).

There IS a bit of a problem that we can’t just say “C’mon up” to the other 80%... it would take six planet earths to raise the other 5 billion people to the standard of living enjoyed in America.

• Now we know that we’re called to Assist the poor, but who are we in Chester County / Montgomery? How can we possibly make a difference? what exactly does it look like, to assist the poor?

• First of all, recall the tagline of the PEACE plan: Ordinary people empowered by God making a difference wherever they are

And recall the unique characteristics of the church that make the defeat of this global giant possible:
Church includes between 1 and 2 billion people, motivated by sacrificial love.
Church is in every country, & just about every city.
Intimately present in the nitty-gritties of life.
Church is lay driven.
Church is old & lasting.

• What can we do? LOTS. Again, we are Ordinary people empowered by God making a difference wherever we are.

• Give $. Raise $. But charity by itself will fail, for it lacks relationship and accountability.

• Go, teach, build, work, give medical aid.

• Politick. Write congressman. (0.16% of US budget is in aid to global poverty. Compared to 21% defense, 21% SS, 23% medicare/aid; something like 2% education)
Ask to forgive debts owed by burdened countries.

• Shop kind – this may not mean buying cheap, but buying local, or buying fair trade, or things like 10,000 Villages...

• Adopt a child. Be involved in UMCOR or Habitat or some poverty-addressing NPO

• ...making a difference wherever you are... includes you making a difference here in Spring City or Royersford, where there are hungry people, poor people, people with limited resources. Add to your grocery habit the purchase of a couple cans of soup or cereal, or a grocery gift card (I get requests for help every week). Volunteer with a local agency. Give rides to people who can’t get to dr or appt or whatever... use your resources for God’s glory.

• How many have birthday or Christmas celebration you don’t need? Sponsor a family instead. Treat others as family.

• Gospel lesson is sentimental on the surface, but economic at its heart: Jesus commissions John to care for mother, an economically oppressed widow.

• 1 John 4 (love one another) show our thanksgiving to God in how we treat others....

And remember how Jesus, who had ALL, surrendered ALL for our sake...

A prayer of Mother Teresa:
Make us worthy, Lord, to serve those throughout the world who live and die in poverty or hunger. Give them, through our hands, this day their daily bread;
and by our understanding love, give peace and joy. Amen.

• Hymn 451 Be Thou My Vision

- Pastor Kerry

This Sunday: 76 in worship.


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