Sermons by Rev. Tom Harris
We all seek to match who we feel like on the inside with how we express ourselves on the outside. Transgender people were assigned a gender at birth that does not match who they are on the inside. As people of faith we are called to welcome, stand with, listen to, and fight for transgender people who are seeking to answer God’s calling to be who God created them to be on the inside and out. – Pastor Tom’s sermon…
Idolatry may sound like an old- fashioned word, but helping people avoid it is one the Bible’s core teachings. Pastor Tom offers an unflinching review of the ways we tend to exchange an unmediated relationship with the indefinable Creator God for relationships with people and things. After looking at how our personal lives and our religious lives tend toward idolatry, he then offers ways we can approach our religious practice that help us avoid the trap of idolatry. – Pastor…
The enslaved young woman in our story has her gift of seeing the future taken from her without her consent. Like so many people women in the Bible she is unnamed, silenced, and discarded. In the sermon today, Pastor Tom imagines how the story might have unfolded from her perspective and in her voice.
As we ready the story of the Apostle Paul’s radical change (conversion), we will reflect on how to best respond when we feel people we love need to change due to the harm they are doing to themselves or others. There is no simple answer and set of instructions, but it involves setting good boundaries, accepting them for exactly who they are, AND seeing them for who they are called to be.
In this short section from the story of Lazarus, Jesus comes down to earth. Breaking from his laser focus on his mission and his message, he falls apart. He break down. He weeps. In doing this, he learns what it means to be human, to be vulnerable, to be broken, and to grieve. He becomes human through his tears. We also can become truly human through ours.
What does Jesus mean when he says “I am the resurrection?” Much more than just an invitation to say a magical formula about Jesus that gets you into heaven. He is inviting us to hold the vision of heaven and bring into into our lives today. It is a resurrection power that can transform us.
We begin a 5 Sunday series inspired by the story of the Raising of Lazarus. What does Jesus mean when he says Lazarus’ illness is “for the glory of God”? In this sermon Pastor Tom explores both the complexity of grieving and God’s transformative power to create new life from death.
What does Wordle have to do with the Gospel? Why are Pharisees like Scrabble? John invites us to resist the temptation to decide what Christ can’t do by looking it up in the Bible. Instead Look up and see Christ loose in the world and imagine what Christ can do.
Beneath Jesus’ words that can feel threatening, we find a calling to nurture our relationship with God and each other in preparation for difficult times.
The woman at the well represents just about every outsider we can imagine. Jesus offers her Living Water that is the knowledge that her worth is not dependent on what she can do or who society says she should be. Her worth (and our worth) is only dependent on our relationship to God as God’s children. And every living being on earth is a child of God.
In our passage today John uses the symbols of larger stone water jars to invite us to reflect on the structures, rituals, and practices we use to help us find reliable connections to God. Even though we can never contain God, how would you express what you hope to contain when it some to the Spirit? What do you do in your life to give you regular access it?