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 26, 2009

David and Bathsheba

July 26, 2009
Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

David Sinned
2 Samuel 11

...But the thing David had done displeased the Lord. – 2 Samuel 11:27

...Jesus slipped off and went back up the mountain to be by himself... John 6:15

My sermon outline:

• Going through story of David, one of Israel’s greatest heroes. Met Samuel, Israel asks for a king. Saul (tall, dark, handsome, rich) is selected by God.
Saul falls from grace (I did it my way... not waiting for God)
David (not tall, dark, or rich, but good looking and talented) is selected (unlikely candidate)
God is with David, gives victories. David acts with integrity and humility.
Saul dies, Judah crowns David, eventually the northern tribes of Israel accept David.
God is with David, gives victories. David retrieves ark, dances.

• Last week, after David has built himself a palace fit for a king, wants to build temple.
Nathan tells of God’s “no”... God has a better plan, God will build everlasting kingdom & church (& temple along the way, yeah) through house of David.
God will grant rest to Israel. & presence. & victory.

• You should read 2 Samuel 7:18-32, an inspiring prayer of David’s praise & worship.

• Today we skip over a few chapters... David defeats enemies in battle, dedicates spoils. Shows kindness to house of Saul. Shows kindness to enemy, but is denied. We hear of David’s officers.
& as we come to today’s reading it’s easy to think that David’s getting complacent, but be careful not to add too much to the text...

(Read 2 Samuel 11:1-15) And for David & family, life will never be the same.

• episode is a warning against giving into temptation, warning against lust.

Example of abuse of power, and danger of idleness & isolation.

Example of one sin leads to another. (stop signs: idleness, look, send, act)

You know that it is hard to admit temptation (weakness!) & easier to look the other way (or keep looking)

That temptation is not limited to sexual sin or to young. (consider 71yo Bernie Madoff, whose Ponzi investor scheme was begun in 1991 at age 53) (consider 88yo man who gunned down a security guard at the Holo museum last month)

• You know that we have great resources at our fingertips (prayer)

• and you know that God keeps promises, God forgives and God redeems

• prayer & connection & humility... confess

• We live in God’s world, but a world broken by our own doing. God offers us wholeness, yet we turn away, refusing God’s love because it comes through means we dislike. Let us confess our brokenness and seek to be open to God’s wholeness through whatever means it comes.

Holy God, we confess that we have sinned against you and against your whole creation...

In our brokenness God is ever near. In our time of need, God’s love surrounds us. We must simply be open to receive it. Sisters and brothers, God knows our brokenness and God is here to bring healing and wholeness. Receive the good news of God: Through Jesus Christ we are forgiven and by the Holy Spirit we are nurtured to wholeness.

• Hymn 397 I Need Thee Every Hour

- Pastor Kerry

This Sunday: 52 in worship.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

David Danced

July 12, 2009
Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

David Danced
2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12-19 and Ephesians 1:3-14

David and all the house of Israel were dancing before the Lord with all their might... – 2 Samuel 6:5

My sermon outline:

• Smattering of professional sports superstitions:

1. John Henderson, Jacksonville Jaguars. Has asst. coach slap him as hard as he can before each game.

2. Kevin Rhomberg, 1982-84 Cleveland Indians. Refused to turn right on the field. Had to touch a person back if he got touched.

3. Jason Terry, basketball player (Dallas Mavericks), wears team shorts the night before a game.

4. Moises Alou (NY Mets) instead of wearing a batting glove, uses urine to condition his hands...

5. Turk Wendell, MLB (did play for Phillies 8 yrs ago). “The eccentric reliever pitched for four teams between 1993 and 2004 and posted some solid seasons in that span. However, he’s most remembered for his vast collection of bizarre superstitions. Among Wendell’s more notable quirks was his requirement that he chew four pieces of black licorice while pitching. At the end of each inning, he’d spit them out, return to the dugout, and brush his teeth, but only after taking a flying leap over the baseline. Wendell, an avid hunter, also took the mound wearing a necklace adorned with trophies from animals he had harvested, including mountain lion claws and the teeth of wild pigs and buffalo. When compared to these superstitions, Wendell’s other little oddities (drawing three crosses in the dirt on the mound, always throwing the rosin bag down as hard as he could, and insisting figures in his contract end in 99 as a tribute to his jersey number) don’t seem so strange.”

6. there’s even a movie (haven’t seen it) about superstition in baseball (specifically the red sox), called The Joy of Sox

We knock on wood. Some don’t leave the house by a different door. Get nervous if a mirror is broken. Make odd deals to bargain with God...

“When you believe in things you don’t understand then you suffer, superstition ain’t the way.” (Thank you, Stevie Wonder)

Unfortunately it’s hard to define difference between superstition and religious belief. Easier when you’re closer to the source, as God’s people were to God in Moses’ day.

Ark of covenant. God’s presence among. When it was with them, they were victorious. When it was not, they were not.

Now for 20 years it’s been in hand of foreigners. God allows David the honor of bringing it back, which David does with Pomp and Circumstance.

• If David being anointed King was Israel’s Declaration of Independence, then bringing the Ark home was their Constitution, a few years later. Both are revered symbols of national heritage... David, the Ark. The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution

• David danced. Not influenced / held back by what others think. (like a sports fan. let’s just praise the Lord)

• Presence of the Lord (ark) is to be celebrated, and it is for the people.

May our relationship with God be celebratory. And may others be blessed by our relationship with God.

(Read Ephesians passage.)

• Let us confess what we believe: as found on page 80
• Hymn 126 Sing Praise to God

- Pastor Kerry

This Sunday: 62 in worship.
Second week of nine in Fellowship Hall

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Having a King

July 5, 2009
Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Having a King
Mark 6:1-13 and 2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10

And David became greater and greater, for the LORD, the God of hosts, was with him. – 2 Samuel 5:10

My sermon outline:

• When in the course of human events... (read from the Declaration of Independence... google it if you want the text!)

• Yesterday we celebrated the 233rd anniversary of the birth of the USA. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s parallels between Independence Day and today’s reading from 2 Samuel.

Couple things to bring out of the Declaration of Independence... Life, Liberty, and pursuit of happiness being natural rights of people, tyrannical dictatorship violates those rights and make it acceptable and necessary to seek justice. “Governments are instituted among people, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...”

Declaration of Independence establishes choice of government, appealing to Almighty God and to mankind to judge actions and intent.

In the Declaration of Independence the people said Listen up, world: we have a leader who abuses us and doesn’t listen to us, and we submit to you that he shall no longer have authority over us, but we will choose how we shall be governed. We will choose whom we shall submit to, who shall have authority over us.

• Now. Ancient Israel had different circumstances: they didn’t have a tyrannical dictator, they didn’t even have a king! Their “rule” was a theocracy, a rule of God, a tribal system of 12 tribes without any exact central leadership. As long as people submitted to God, things were fine, but they had that pesky habit of falling away from God. God would raise up leaders among them, known as judges, who would point out where they were missing the mark, and get them on the right track.

And this would go on and on and on.

And the people of Israel who had been set aside from other nations complained to God that they wanted a king, like other nations...

Saul made king. He blew it. ... ... David made king. By Judah (southern kingdom). 7 years later all of Israel makes covenant with David, acknowledging David to be God’s chosen shepherd and ruler, and they anointed him king over Israel.

• They acknowledged that though Saul had been king, the victories over enemies had been David’s. They acknowledged that the Lord had appointed David as shepherd and ruler, and that without David they have nowhere to turn. You be our shepherd, our caregiver and protector, our ruler, and we will be your people. We submit to you and ask you to be our king.

• What we have in common with ancient Israel: simultaneous resistance to God and acknowledgement of God’s presence in his anointed one, Jesus the Christ, the great and good shepherd of God’s people, the Lamb of God and the savior of the world.

• WE appeal to Jesus Christ, acknowledging God’s presence in him and our utter dependence on him, that without him we do not have hope of reconciliation or forgiveness.

• Jesus be our shepherd, our caregiver and protector, our ruler. We submit ourselves to thy love and power, to thy spirit and guidance. Be thou the ruler of our lives.

• Let us confess what we believe: as found on p. 889 (There is one God, and there is one mediator Christ Jesus, who came as a ransom for all, to whom we testify...)

- Pastor Kerry

This Sunday: 62 in worship.
First week of nine in Fellowship Hall
Communion Sunday