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, January 09, 2011

Incarnation and Inspiration

January 9, 2011
Baptism of the Lord / First Sunday after the Epiphany

Incarnation and Inspiration
Isaiah 42:1-9 and Matthew 3:13-17

When Jesus was baptized... A voice from heaven said,
“This is my Son whom I dearly love; I find happiness in him.” – Matthew 3:16, 17
Take a good look at my servant...
He’s the one I chose, and I couldn’t be more pleased with him.” – God, in Isaiah 42:1-2

My sermon outline:
• Remember homework? I used to wonder how well Jesus did in school. (his best).

When I took Chemistry in high school, I used to bet a quarter with a few friends (who were in the top ten of the class...) on who would get the lowest quiz grade. I usually won the bet.

Imagine my surprise when I went to college and chose to major in chemistry!

Then I got a job teaching chemistry lab. I was a good chemistry teacher because I remembered what it was like not to understand. I would study the night before so I understood what I was teaching. I even recorded my lectures a few times, to better connect with students, better understand the student point of view.

• In a way, this is what it means for Jesus to be Emmanuel, God with us.

• There was so much that Jesus didn’t have to do but he chose to do. This is the way it should be done, he said. This is what God wants. Jesus' life was an example of what God wants in humanity.

• The first step in discipleship (after birth) is baptism.

John the Baptist was astounded: I should be baptized by you, Jesus, I should be cleansed and purified and initiated by you.

John the Baptist had a limited understanding of baptism. Jesus literally immersed himself in humanity, received immersion by John the Baptist in order to fully connect with humankind. For Jesus, part of being fully human was receiving baptism. & in his baptism, John the Baptist's understaning of baptism expanded.

• for John the Baptist, baptism was a mark of repentance, a symbol of a changed life marked by immersion in water, cleansing.

• Jesus meets John the Baptist where he is, on his level...

And heaven opens, the Holy Spirit descends, and God says Atta Boy, Jesus.

• Through baptism, like Jesus...

- Heaven is opened. We have direct access to God. Nothing shall separate us.

- We receive the HS. The word for spirit is directly related to the word for breath, inspiration. What better way of living Emmanuel than receiving inspiration/breath from God. We are empowered to do the will of God, thy will be done.

- Identity is declared. You belong to me. I am yours and you are mine. You belong to God. You bring pleasure to God.

• The scripture reading ends there, in fact the chapter ends there, but the final thing is related to what we receive in baptism: after his baptism, Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit, goes. Goes into the wilderness. Prepares spiritually and mentally for ministry and mission.

How wonderful and how amazing is the incarnation and inspiration of Jesus, who chose to be like us so we could become like him.

• Hymn 267 O Love How Deep

- Pastor Kerry

This Sunday: 58 in worship.


Post a Comment

<< Home