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 16, 2011

Outside Looking In

January 16, 2011
Second Sunday after the Epiphany

Outside Looking In
1 Corinthians 1:1-9
…you aren’t missing any spiritual gift while you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. – 1 Corinthians 1:7

My sermon outline:
• I am something like the 74th pastor to serve SCUMC, to be called or appointed as pastor, over its 165 years. During many of those years, pastors were regularly moved every 2-3 years. There’ve been a few times where a pastor has served more than 10 years, and most of those longer appointments have taken place in the last 40 years.
74 pastors, and truly God knows how many members, over 165 years.

The church is not the pastor, it’s the people. There are some folks here who have been part of this church for 50 years or more! (perhaps a dozen in attendance today) That’s some longevity!

It’s an old church, and by that I mean that even with lifelong members, we don’t have any charter members, any founders. None of us were here when the Gospel was first celebrated in Spring City, none were here when congregation chartered, and I’m not sure that any were there when the sanctuary was built.

• Church of Corinth was not an old church. When Paul’s letters were first read to the church, there were probably charter members there, people who were there when the Gospel was first proclaimed in Corinth. The church of Corinth was made of rich and poor folks, probably mostly Gentiles, converts from local paganism. Paul had likely encountered the Corinthians for the first time a few years before as he traveled around the Mediterranean preaching the Gospel, establishing churches, taking up collections for the widows in Jerusalem, and sometimes going back. He had a variety of travel companions who joined him along the way, and he made good use of his status as an outsider.

Paul was an outsider. Not from here. & as outsider he could see some things that insiders maybe couldn’t see, and say some things that insiders couldn’t (or wouldn’t) say, but at the same time as an outsider he had to earn the right to be heard.

• The book of 1 Cor is Paul writing to the young church about some issues within the body.

• Claim authority. CALLED by God (not self or man) as APOSTLE (what’s it mean?) and added credibility of insider Sosthenes

• Writing to the church, the sanctified body, those called to be saints. How do you feel when you’re addressed as saints? Some good, some bad (conviction). And again, with emphasis on called, who has credit for putting this body together? God. Not individuals. And while Paul is claiming authority he’s not claiming superiority. He’s claiming unity.

• Claiming these things carefully (like when HS teacher says ladies & gentlemen)
Reminding folk in an edifying way, by grace of God you have been gifted to be the body of Christ together... and as the letter goes on, remember this. Remember my calling and yours. Remember who does the calling and who does the giving. And whatever happens, keep at the forefront your relationship with God who unites us.

• Hymn 452 My Faith Looks Up To Thee

- Pastor Kerry

This Sunday: 61 in worship.


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