Sermons on Spiritual Growth
Pastor Tom offers some basic teachings about financial giving including the use of proportional giving as a way to measure our growth as generous people. Many people don’t feel able to tithe today, but we can make that as a goal and ask God to help us become more generous.
We read of David’s second attempt to bring the Ark of the Covenant to his new capital in Jersusalem. Though there are several details that differ between the two attempts, we will look broadly at how his intention changed and the attention he paid to his body changed. How can paying attention to our intention and to our bodies in prayer make our daily prayer practice more meaningful?
The instruction to love God is central to both the Jewish and Christian faiths. So, how do we do it? How do we love a God who is invisible and completely beyond our comprehension? Pastor Tom reflects on this question by comparing how loving a person is the same as loving God and how it is different. In many ways, it is quite different and yet, if we practice our love for God we will improve the ways we love…
Min. Lea Gilmore explores what it really means to be “fearfully and wonderfully made”, as well as living encouraging us to live an authentic life.
Guest preacher, Chaplain Annie Owens sermon from August 20, 2023 about the importance of silence and listening.
The Bible can be dangerous when passages are read plainly and/or taken out of context. We’ve seen that happen for millennia to support war, the subjugation of women, antisemitism, and today’s anti-trans efforts at state and federal levels. Listen to a bit of David’s own journey away from such pious bigotry to a more responsible way of dealing with scripture. -Rev. David Willerup’s sermon from June 25, 2023.
Minister Lea Gilmore speaks on being courageously Christian (not Christian nationalist) no matter where you find yourself. Hint: we should strive to choose love.
What is sin? What does it mean to be “free from sin?” While God does indeed cover us with grace, it does not give us permission to embrace sin (however we define it). Yet, are we inherently sinful by nature? Oh, the confusion! Join us as Minister Lea Gilmore reflects upon this complex passage which scholars spend a lifetime trying to understand. – Sermon from May 21, 2023
Traditional interpretations of the Parable of the Wedding Banquet are anti-Semitic and inconsistent with the biblical text. Those who mistreat the king’s messengers are not “the Jews.” They are members of the religious establishment who conspire with political powers to enrich themselves and advance their own power at the expense of others. Then there is the matter of the guest with no robe. Who is that? It might just be us.
In Matthew’s beatitudes, Jesus proclaims that the hungry will be filled. But what will they be filled with? Is Jesus talking about a spiritual or metaphorical hunger? Matthew’s beatitudes are often read as a more spiritualized list of blessings, compared to their blessing counterparts in the Gospel of Luke, but a closer reading shows Jesus’ literal and practical meaning. The Kingdom of God is defined by actions of literal feeding, eating, and rejoicing. Thanks be to God!
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.
Are we saints? How can we be sure? Is that even the right question to ask? We explore what it might mean to be model Christians as we discuss the story of Peter’s denial of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke. – Pastor Billy’s sermon from November 6, 2022