Sermons by Rev. Tom Harris

Sermons by Rev. Tom Harris

Getting Off The Hamster Wheel of Worry

We all know that worrying is unproductive and unhealthy. We know we should worry less. Jesus makes that clear. Common wisdom makes that clear. But, how do we stop? Pastor Tom suggest three practices. The last being the one Jesus says we should do first, but even that one needs some unpacking.

Four Components of a Healthy Faith

The story of Jesus is the wilderness give us a caricature of faith. We are not meant to imitate Jesus’s 40 day fast, but Matthew uses the story to show us in stark relief the key components of a healthy faith. Oh and what about the devil?
Bible

Claim, Name, and Provide a Frame for Christ

The familiar Christmas story gives two examples of how people may relate to Christ. Mary knows Christ intimately within her body. Joseph must take a leap of faith to choose to be in relationship with Christ. When life or the world in general seems so filled with trouble, we may learn the most from Joseph as he takes the leap and claims Christ as his own, names Christ for himself, and provides a frame so that Christ can be shared…

For Just Such a Time as This

In Chapter 4, Queen Esther chooses to risk her life to save her people. In the process she calls on her people to be united in solidarity. We may not face the level of crisis she did, but we are always being called to take everything that has brought us to this day, and use those experiences to respond faithfully and courageously for just such a time as this.

Celebrating and Transforming Heritage

As we celebrate Heritage Sunday at Govans, Pastor Tom will reflect on how Isaiah envisions a day when we stand before the mountain of God as nations. Isaiah’s vision is not of individuals coming before God, but groups of people with the ethnic, cultural and even national diversity intact. Yet, Isaiah does not stop there and calls on those gathered nations to transform the harmful parts of their heritage into something new as they beat their swords into ploughshares.

Commitments vs. Callings

When King Solomon was offered anything from God, he asked for a discerning mind. We are called to discern how we are called by God to engage with the world. We are called to discern when we are called to move from hearing a calling to making a commitment.

Stewardships of Virtue and Goodness

We often think about being stewards of material things like money, stuff, or the earth. We also think about being stewards of our time and talent. But, can we also be stewards of goodness and virtue? Pastor Tom uses David’s prayer of repentance as a jumping off point to explore this question.

Doing Hard Things Together Through Faith

The Crossing of the Red Sea is an archetypal story of communal rebirth. It is a story of a people acting on faith together and being transformed as a result. We can draw strength from this story as we face challenges that we haven’t chosen. We can also be inspired to choose to do hard things together so that we are stronger as a community when larger challenges arrive.

100% Responsibility: What It Is and What It Is Not

In our story today, Joseph is faced with almost impossible choices. He has no good options. Yet, in each situation he makes the best choice he can. Each time he takes 100% responsibility for his decisions, never blaming the unfairness of the situation. What does it mean for us to take 100% responsibility for our choices? And just as important, what does it not mean?

Discerning When It Is Time for One Thing to End so Another Can Begin

The Book of Genesis takes a long time to tell us how Noah decided the flood had ended and it was time to leave the ark. We hear about a mountain, a raven, a dove, and a voice from God. In this sermon, we look at how each of these apply to different ways we discern when it is time for one part of our life to end so something new can begin.

Christian Responses to War

How should Christians respond to war? We will look at the teachings of Jesus related to nonviolent resistance. These teachings call us to do the hard work of studying and practicing nonviolence in our every day lives. If we aren’t doing this foundational work we will find it impossible to discern an ethical course when war is on our doorstep.