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, March 27, 2011

The Circle of Lent 3/5: Repentance

March 27, 2011
Third Sunday of Lent

The Circle of Lent: Repentance
#3 of 5

Ephesians 4:17-32

Change the former way of life that was part of the person you once were, corrupted by deceitful desires. Instead renew the thinking in your mind by the Spirit... Ephesians 4:22-23

My sermon outline:
• (Recall two weeks ago, idea for sermon series as pictures came into mind illustrating various stages of relationship, including sin, confession, forgiveness, repentance, absolution.)

• First picture, two folks walking. In this picture possibly equals. Maybe married couple, maybe friends, maybe pastor and member.. two beings in relationship with each other, walking together in harmony. In unity. Same path.

• God wants your life to be in step with God and full and very good. Allow your life to be full and very good by seeking to be in step with God. Remember your purpose and seek to order your life.

• The new picture the people have stopped. The "righteous" one has stayed on the path, and has the opportunity to offer forgiveness, regardless of "sinner's" state. In this picture, the sinner has left the path but has also stopped, in a moment of confession. Both are actions at the beginning of the road to recovery of community.

• Last week (stopping) was before, and this week is the sinner literally turning around, choosing a new direction.

I’ve said before how the word “Repent” literally means “to turn around” and that notion comes from the Hebrew word teshuva. There’s another Hebrew word for repentance, nichan, which has more to do with the English roots of repent, and has to do with the sorrow that results from sin. While I’m at it, the Greek (New Testament) word is metanoia, which has to do with thinking differently after the fact... a change of mind accompanied by regret and change of conduct.

A two part action (before and after) of ceasing that which causes sorrow, and choosing a new direction.

• An hour ago, babyboyChase had not yet been baptized, and Scott and Pattie had not yet become members. (today's worship service included an infant baptism and the reception of two persons into church membership).

Both parties chose to take action, acknowledging This is the direction I wish to take, and These are the traveling companions I choose.
In bringing Chase for baptism, in making vows of membership, they’re saying I choose to put behind me the ways that cause sorrow. I choose to embrace the life of Jesus, to learn his ways, practice them, model them and teach them. This is the direction I choose.

Because Jesus lived perfectly and loved perfectly and I want to follow that.
Because in Jesus and through Jesus is the way to shalom, perfect peace & wholeness, harmony.

Jesus is like a magnet, pointing in the right direction. You can take a nail and put it next to a magnet and all its parts’ll point in the same direction – they’ll turn and orient themselves according to the magnet.

In baptism, in discipleship, we orient ourselves according to Christ.

• Throughout the old and new testaments God declares and desires and empowers people to change their hearts and lives, to choose for their path God’s path and to put the ways of the world behind them.

Without repentance there is no hope for reconciliation.
Without repentance there is death.
Without repentance there is no hope for achieving or living in harmony and unity.

• Let the wicked forsake their ways, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, for he will freely pardon. (Isa 55:7)

• So you ask yourself, what is your goal?
What direction do you want to go?
With whom do you want to walk?

I want to walk as a child of the light...
I confess that I do not always,
and I repent and I walk with Jesus.

• Hymn 206 I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light

- Pastor Kerry

This Sunday: 69 in worship.
New members received
Infant baptism


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