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 24, 2009


May 24th, 2009
Seventh Sunday of Easter
Ascension Sunday
Aldersgate Day
Memorial Day Sunday

Care for the Sick
James 1:19-27 and Luke 10:25-37

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:
to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (James 1:27)

My sermon outline:

• Today is Aldersgate Day. On this day in 1738, John Wesley, feeling a failure from his 3-year trip to America, spiritually empty, went to a Bible Study at a society at Aldersgate Church. That evening, while someone was reading the intro to Luther’s notes on Romans, Wesley “felt his heart strangely warmed.” He believed Jesus died for his sins, and trusted him for salvation.

• Also on this day in 1931, 21-yo Agnese Bojaxhiu took religious vows in the process of becoming a full-fledged nun. Agnese chose as her saint name the patron saint of missions, St. Teresa de Lisieux. We know this 21-yo nun as the Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

I mention that for Mother Teresa’s lifelong focus of caring for the poor, the sick, and the dying.

• We’ve been touching on points from Rick Warren’s PEACE plan***, ordinary people... uniquely gifted to make difference globally and locally. Today we address the Global Giant of Disease, and, in honor of Aldersgate Day, I’ll be sharing from John Wesley’s sermon “On Visiting the Sick”***

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

*** John Wesley's sermons are readable online.
Sermon 98, On Visiting the Sick .

Intro: 1. The means of grace (ways in which God is uniquely present in our lives, i.e. the Sacraments) can be commands from God, too.
2. It’s NECESSARY to perform acts of mercy
3. Sadly, it’s little done.
4. Visiting the Sick:
...A. What’s it mean?
...B. How to visit the sick?
...C. Who should visit the sick?

A. What’s it mean to visit the sick?
1. Visit anyone who is unwell in any way.
2. Visit in person. The word Visit comes from the same root as the word Vision... To visit includes seeing with your eyes.
Visitation is beneficial for the sick, and for you as well (grace).
3. Especially the rich should do this, as they have the means & time.
4. Even the French do it! (PK aside: 18th century Brit/French rivalry like ancient Jewish/Samaritan relations)
5. Instruct, encourage, and assist folks (send folks out!) who are visiting.

B. How to visit the sick?
1. Prayerfully.
2. Inquire @ their physical comfort and their needs.
3. Help out if it’s applicable.
4. Reflect on God’s care & providence.
..If they know God not, lead them toward repentance.
5. Give them some recommended reading, & talk about it next time.
5.5 Don’t forget to pray with them.
6. Repeat.

C. Who should visit?
1. The earnest Christian.
2. Everybody.
3. The rich.
4. The poor.
5. The old.
6. The young.
7. Ladies (not just men).
9. Everybody who is able.

“any time is no time.” So set a time now.

• Methodism insists that personal salvation always implies Christian mission and service to the world. Scriptural holiness entails more than personal piety; love of God is always linked with love of neighbors and a passion for justice and renewal in the life of the world.

• Rick Warren’s PEACE plan takes a different tack than JW’s sermon on visiting the sick – he talks about being part of training and relief efforts to medically address the sickness, and yet the two plans work together.

• MEDICAL care may be limited to those gifted & trained, but ALL can respond to sickness with compassion, mercy, tenderness, and caring.

And to show compassion, you have to show up.

• We must be prepared to
- relieve embarrassment
- give hope
- help get the right medicines
- teach healthy habits
- ask God to heal.

Be doers of the word, and not just hearers.

• Hymn 375 There Is A Balm in Gilead

To read John Wesley’s sermon “On Visiting the Sick” go to this webpage:
Sermon 98, On Visiting the Sick

- Pastor Kerry

This Sunday: 54 in worship.


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