Sermons by Rev. Tom Harris
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?
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.
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.
How are we called to respond when the State uses violence against its own citizens? When Jesus was wrongly convicted, tortured, and executed by the State, does that inform our response? We will consider ways we as individuals can respond and ways we can advocate for meaningful change in US policing.
Pastor Tom continues his sermon series on important social issues. This Sunday he will be reviewing the biblical calling to welcome the stranger, how far we are from answering that call in the U.S. with our immigration policy, and steps we can take to turn things around.
Pastor Tom continues the series on hot button social issues with this sermon on reproductive rights. He talks about the sacredness of a person’s autonomy and our calling to stand for a woman’s automony over her body as equal to a man’s. Biblically he surveys ways we can be guided and inspired by scripture while unflinchingly criticizing the injustice woven into it. He ends with hope as the actions we take today more than simply a vision of what we wish for.
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.