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, November 01, 2009

Death Destroyed

November 1, 2009
Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost
All-Saints’ Day

Death Destroyed
John 11:32-44 and Revelation 21:1-6

God... will swallow up death forever. ...
Let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation. – Isaiah 25:7, 9

• (recap of children’s sermon: A dying woman instructed her pastor to make sure she would have a fork in her hand in her casket. The pastor asked why, and the woman told how throughout life, at parties and church luncheons, after the meal, someone would announce “Save your forks, the best is yet to come!”)

(After this children’s sermon, forks were passed out, and we held the forks high in the air as the names of the dearly departed of the previous year were read aloud.)

My sermon outline:

• Ask the people: Would you want to know when you were going to die? The manner? How might such knowledge affect your life? Would you tell anyone?
(talk amongst yourselves for a few minutes) (share answers)

• Re-reading a book A Prayer For Owen Meany (John Irving, 1989)... In the book, an 11-year old boy has a vision of his own tombstone, complete with date of death. A few years later he dreams about the circumstances but lacks the exact details.

He doesn’t tell anybody (rather he doesn’t admit it to anyone but his best friend who pries it out). But he does gain a kind of peace about life – imagine how you might face danger if you were convinced your time wouldn’t come for another 5 years.

He also lives life fully, making the most of what he’s got.

• Thoreau (30 y.o., 1840s) lived in the famous cabin for 2 yrs.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life and see if I could not learn what they had to teach; and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

• Death offers us the opportunity to embrace life.

• AND thanks be to God who gives us victory over death through our LJC. The saying will come true: Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O Death, is thy victory? Where is thy sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, He gives us the victory through our LJC. – 1 Corinthians 15:54-57

• From today’s reading from Isaiah: the LORD will make for all peoples a feast (bring your fork)
And he will destroy the shroud that is cast over all peoples:
He will swallow up death forever.

• & so we live in the knowledge that we will live again, (& see loved ones again) & we break bread in a foretaste of glory to come.

• Hymn 710 Faith of Our Fathers

- Pastor Kerry

This Sunday: 81 in worship.


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