Sunday Messages

Click on the title to watch Harry’s message.


2017

Identity

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Many today are counselling us to ‘know yourself’ and be ‘self-aware’. Jesus, I think, would agree – and knew himself better than anyone. Funny thing is that he adds this: “Whoever loses their self for me will find it.”  – Harry

Church Building

Sunday, August 27, 2017

People have been building churches for centuries. The real church is built only by Jesus and belongs only to Jesus – “I will build my church”. Also, he will continue to build it in the face of all opposition. Even ‘the gates of Hades’ will not prevail against it.  – Harry

Our Redeemer

Sunday, August 20, 2017 – guest speaker Morgan Bell

Remember Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat? This is the story of that guy and how God used his terrible circumstances to redeem the terrible circumstances of his family – literally saving them from starvation.  – Harry

Walking on Water

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Jesus wasn’t the only one to walk on the water. Peter did it too. He needed a little help. So do we.        – Harry

Sunday, August 6, 2017 – Haliburton churches hosted the 10th annual Sizzlin’ Summer Service in the Park, a contemporary worship music event at Head Lake Park.

Hidden Kingdom

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Quite a few of the parables of Jesus have to do with what he calls ‘the kingdom of God’. This is the place where God reigns and his will is done. Since it is invisible at this time Jesus uses stories to help us understand what it’s like. Here is a look at 6 of those stories.  – Harry

Jacob’s Ladder

Sunday, July 23, 2017

When Jacob had a dream in which he observed angels ascending and descending a ladder between heaven and earth he was tapped into what we might call the spiritual ‘dimension’. Here are some further thoughts about other such dimensions and the scientific evidence for them! (Maybe)  – Harry

Father, Forgive

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Message by Gwen Atkinson

When we pray “Father, forgive” we may be praying for forgiveness for ourselves or for others. Usually both are needed.  – Harry

Laying Down Burdens

Sunday, July 9, 2017

It may not be obvious, but we’ve all got burdens. Jesus invites everyone to come to him and find rest. He also invites us to ‘take his yoke’ upon our shoulders and learn from him. Here are some thoughts about both these invitations.  – Harry

Under Orders

Sunday, July 2, 2017

After Abraham and Sarah finally have a son in their old age, namely Isaac, God tells Abraham to take his son and sacrifice him. That’s a head scratcher, but Abraham obediently undertakes the order. In the end God provides a substitute sheep, but in the meantime…? What can we make of this?  – Harry

Freed Slaves

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Paul’s letter to the Romans is in many ways Christianity 101 – the basics. In chapter 6 he teaches us how we are to view ‘sin’ – as a slave master – and how we may find victory over it – through our having shared in the death of Jesus.  – Harry

The Ungodly

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Morgan Bell preached at our 3 services June 18th and spoke on Romans 5:1-8.  – Harry

Unfathomable

Sunday, June 11, 2017

How can God be three persons? I can’t explain it but I do believe it and will defend it. More important though – it does matter!  – Harry

The Holy Spirit Experience

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Just to help us understand something of the person and work of the Holy Spirit I’ve worked up a comparison to electricity. Of course they are also quite different, as electricity is a force of nature, and the Holy Spirit is God who created nature.  – Harry

Jesus’ Prayer

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The longest recorded prayer of Jesus is found in John 17. In that prayer his heart’s desire and request to the Father is “that they may be one”. He prays for the unity of all his followers.  – Harry

Emmaus Road

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The story of Emmaus Road is from the day of the resurrection of Jesus. Two guys are walking along and Jesus shows up and walks with them. They don’t know it’s him until he breaks the bread. How often have we walked along and not recognized Jesus with us?  – Harry

Appearances

Sunday, April 23, 2017

If you’re from Missouri you may need to be shown. Thomas, the disciple, wished to be shown that Jesus was alive again and he got his wish! This is what the many appearances of Jesus were all about. He showed himself to the disciples and ‘”gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.” (Acts 1:3)  – Harry

Sorrows Ended

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Jesus entered into the sorrows of the human race to the fullest extent. He suffered betrayal, injustice, abandonment, pain and death. When he rose from the dead all those sorrows were ended. This event spells the beginning of the end of such things for us too.  – Harry

Saviour Meek

Sunday, April 9, 2017

St. Vincent de Paul said: “Humility is nothing but truth, and pride is nothing but lying”. Makes sense. Jesus was and is pure truth and utterly humble.  – Harry

Jesus Wept

Sunday, April 2, 2017

This title is actually the shortest verse in the English Bible. It’s from the story of the death and raising of Lazarus, Jesus’ friend, found in John 11:32-45. We get a pretty clear picture here of the compassionate heart of our God.  – Harry

Jesus and the Institution

Sunday, March 26, 2017

In the gospel of John, chapter 9, we read about Jesus healing a man born blind from birth: This causes no end of alarm for the ‘institution’, that is, the Pharisees, and got me to thinking about Jesus’ relationship – and ours – to the institutions of our day.  – Harry

New Born

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Jesus uses a lot of colourful language to explain the spiritual life. He tells us that everyone needs to be ‘born anew’ (hence: New Born), that is, “born of the Spirit with life from above, into God’s family divine.” – Harry

Manipulations

Sunday, March 5, 2017

When Jesus was tempted it was at the hand of the master manipulator, Satan. His temptations were extreme. Ours are less so but they are along the same line.  – Harry

The Reveal

Sunday, February 26, 2017

This is about the day when Jesus took three disciples up a mountain and was altered in appearance so that he shone like a bright light. They call this the ‘transfiguration’. God was cluing in the disciples as to who this really was. Great clues were given to them, but what are our clues?  – Harry

The Triune God

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Haliburton UC message by Gwen Atkinson

Christians believe in a God of three persons, namely, the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Yet there is still only one God. Yes, this is a mystery and one Gwen Atkinson takes a crack at explaining here.  – Harry

Liability

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The sixth of the 10 Commandments is “You shall not kill”. Jesus teaches that God has something more in mind for us than simply not killing each other. The ‘fulfillment’ of this is not even being angry with each other. The goal is to live in love in community.  – Harry

Jesus and the Institution

Sunday, January 29, 2017

In the gospel of John, chapter 9, we read about Jesus healing a man born blind from birth: This causes no end of alarm for the ‘institution’, that is, the Pharisees, and got me to thinking about Jesus’ relationship – and ours – to the institutions of our day.  – Harry

The Handoff

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The law is built into the human psyche. Even if we don’t know the 10 commandments we strive to live up to impossible standards. The good news of Jesus (gospel) is a transfer (handoff) from the drudgery of standard keeping to the acceptance, joy, healing and presence of God.  – Harry

Reset

Sunday, January 1, 2017

The wonder of life in Christ is that we are continually ‘resetting’ – casting off the old and putting on the new. In fact, we get to forget what lies behind and reach out to what lies ahead. (Philippians 3:13).  – Harry

 

2016

Indicator Infant

Sunday, December 25 / Published on March 26, 2017

It’s not just THAT Jesus came, but HOW he came that is ‘a sign unto you’. It’s indicative of the way God works in human lives.  – Harry

Staying Awake

Sunday, November 27 / Published on March 20, 2017

History has a beginning, a middle and an end in the Christian worldview. Most of the books of the New Testament clearly teach that Jesus will return at the end and ‘put the world to rights’. We are in the middle right now, but this gives us great hope.  – Harry

Angel-Like

Sunday, November 13 / Published on March 20, 2017

Jesus was challenged by a religious group of his day who didn’t believe in the resurrection or angels or spirits. Jesus quotes back to them the scriptures that they did believe: “”I am the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.(guys who had died)” He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for to him all are alive.” See Luke 20:27-38.  – Harry

Saints Who are Us

Sunday, November 6 / Published on February 26, 2017

Some traditions consider only the ‘holiest’ of Christian believers to be saints, but Scripture actually defines all Christians as saints – although also sinners at the same time!  – Harry

Sunday, October 30 – We had a guest lay minister today.

Humble or Stumble

Sunday, October 23 / Published on February 20, 2017

According to Scripture, God brings down the proud but lifts up the humble. For most of us this is a lifelong challenge but it also partly explains what God is doing in our circumstances. He’s producing humility in human lives.  – Harry

Bothering God

Sunday, October 16 / Published on February 11, 2017

To bother or not to bother, that is the question. Can we truly bother God? Jesus’ parable about the ‘unjust judge’ suggests that genuine faith requires us to persistently seek God’s help.  – Harry

Bread of Life

Sunday, October 9 / Published on February 11, 2017

Jesus often would take bread, break it, give thanks for it and give it out. There’s a rhythm here which reflects our experience. We have been taken, broken, blessed and given out to the world.  – Harry

Truth

Sunday, October 2 / Published on February 4, 2017

According to this passage, 1 Timothy 2:1-7, God wants everyone to come to ‘knowledge of the truth’. This certainly indicates that knowing truth is not only possible, it’s essential to authentic human existence.  – Harry

Overjoyed

Sunday, September 25 / Published on January 7, 2017

What people don’t seem to realize is that the God of joy has literally saturated human life with his joy. It’s in the beauty and order of nature, the excessive amounts of food choices and the design of the human being – with our smiles, laughter and love of song and dance. God goes one step further and comes to dance with us.  – Harry

Sunday, September 18 – We welcomed the gospel group Freedom Bound, who ministered encouragement through music and personal testimonies.

Triumph Over Terror

Sunday, September 11 / Published on December 29, 2016

Are we truly all cowed and intimidated by terrorism? The worst they can do is kill the body, yet Jesus says “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, though they die, yet shall they live!”  – Harry

Mutuality, Marriage and Money

Sunday, September 4 / Published on December 13, 2016

‘Mutuality’ is defined as “The condition or state of reciprocity, or sharing”. One of the big themes of the Bible, and particularly the New Testament, is the ‘one another’ theme – as in ‘forgive one another’, ‘pray for one another’ and, especially, ‘love one another’. Here it is again in Hebrews 13:1.  – Harry

For Your Own Good

Sunday, August 28 / Published on March 20, 2017

God disciplines us because he loves us, scripture tells us. Really? That can be a tough pill to swallow, but it’s true. This explains, at least in part, why he allows so much difficulty and suffering in our lives.  – Harry

Sunday, August 21 – We had a guest minister today.

By Faith

Sunday, August 14 / Published on November 29, 2016

According to the Bible ‘faith’ is ‘the CONFIDENCE of things hoped for, the PROOF of things unseen’. (Hebrews 11:1) Notice that this is not the same as our contemporary use of the word, where it usually stands for someone’s religion or their trust in some institution (e.g. ‘she had a lot of faith in the CBC’).  – Harry

The Heart of the Matter

Sunday, August 7 / Published on October 14, 2016

The heart of the matter is It’s The Heart That Matters. The gospel of Jesus is aimed at our hearts. Jesus is he who ‘binds up the broken-hearted’.  – Harry

***Harry was on sabbatical from May 1 to July 31.***

Tracy Thomson

Sunday, May 22 / Published on September 24, 2016

Tracy spoke courageously and eloquently and from a Christian perspective on the effect and the ripple effect of the residential school ‘solution’.  – Harry

All Things New

Sunday, April 24 / Published on December 19, 2016

It’s not entirely clear what the age to come will be like, but we can be assured that it will be wonderful, based as it is on the resurrection of Jesus and his victory over death. Even now there are many glimpses of it, and we are actually engaged in implementing aspects of it – through such things as the pursuit of justice and beauty and spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.  – Harry

Miracles

Sunday, April 10 / Published on September 24, 2016

I think ‘miracles’ is a fun topic. Do they happen? Have you witnessed any? Probably.  – Harry

Hoax or History

Sunday, April 3 / Published on September 10, 2016

If the resurrection of Jesus didn’t happen it’s the biggest hoax in history. The whole of Christian faith is based on the belief that it did.  – Harry

Two Trees, Two Gardens

Easter Sunday, March 27 / Published on September 3, 2016

Scripture tells us of two notable trees: 1) the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and 2) the cross of Christ. The second is the answer for the problem that arose with the first. There are also two gardens: 1) Eden and 2) the garden location of Jesus’ resurrection. This talk considers the significance of these trees and gardens.  – Harry

The Sentence

Palm Sunday, March 20 / Published on December 3, 2016

Much is said about justice and injustice. The greatest injustice of all time was suffered by Jesus, who, having done nothing at all wrong in his whole life was sentenced to the barbaric horror of crucifixion.  – Harry

Extravagance

Sunday, March 13 / Published on August 14, 2016

There are a couple of kinds of extravagance at least. One is represented by Mary, the sister of Lazarus, when she poured super expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet.  – Harry

New Creature

Sunday, March 6 / Published on June 3, 2016

Why does ‘metamorphosis’ have to happen in the animal kingdom? It really doesn’t. Lots of creatures don’t metamorph (metamorphosize?) and they seem to get along just fine. Might God have built signs like these into the creation to teach us something of his marvelous ways?  – Harry

For Example

Sunday, February 28 / Published on April 29, 2016

According to Paul, we’re to consider ancient Israel in their 40 year journey across the desert. We Christians are like them in many ways, but he cautions us NOT to follow their example – NOT to worship a golden calf, NOT to grumble etc. Good advice!  – Harry

Sunday, February 21 – We had a guest minister today.

Temptactics

Sunday, February 14 / Published on March 5, 2016

Temptation is our constant battle in life. We are weak in withstanding it, but Jesus is not. His encounter with the Tempter himself reveals this. The secret tactic for resisting temptation is not being stronger or smarter, but knowing our weakness and inviting/discovering Jesus’ presence and power within us.  – Harry

Lifting the Veil

Sunday, February 7 / Published on March 5, 2016

A lot of us are somewhat in a fog with respect to things like the meaning of life, what’s true, faith in God and so forth. It’s like there’s a veil over our eyes. The Apostle Paul tells us that when we ‘turn to the Lord’ the veil is removed.  – Harry

The Love Standard

Sunday, January 31 / Published on March 5, 2016

We tend to think we’re gracious and caring sorts, and we probably are, but there’s always room for growth. A great measuring stick is the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians – the love chapter…           – Harry

Sunday, January 31 – The message was not recorded today.

Party Time!

Sunday, January 17 / Published on January 29, 2016

One thing many people seem to have heard about Jesus is that he turned water into wine. They may not know that this was at a wedding and it wasn’t a couple of bottles – more like 60 cases! A bit scandalous and not very ‘religious’, don’t you think? What’s it mean?  – Harry

Baptisms

Sunday, January 10 / Published on January 23, 2016

The passage about Jesus’ baptism (Baptism of our Lord Sunday) actually speaks about 3 kinds of baptism: water, Spirit and fire. This talk is an attempt to ‘immerse’ ourselves in a look at all three.          – Harry

Christmas Joy

Sunday, January 3 / Published on January 16, 2016

Joy is one of the trademarks of genuine faith in Jesus. It’s one of the reasons we can’t stop singing and making up new songs. The stories of Jesus increase our joy and this one, about Jesus at the age of 12, is no exception.  – Harry

2015

Sunday, December 27 –  The service was cancelled due to bad weather.

Sunday, December 20 – The choir presented “Lessons and Carols” with anthems, carols and readings directed by Melissa Stephens.

The Journey of Joy

Sunday, December 13 / Published on January 16, 2016

This is an attempt to define joy, or at least to describe it. Beyond that, how do we experience it? According to St. Paul it is a “fruit of the Spirit”.  – Harry

The Path of Peace

Sunday, December 6 / Published on January 8, 2016

“But with the woes of sin and strife the world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel strain have rolled 2000 years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not the love song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife, and hear the angels sing.”  – E.H. Sears, “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear”

Sunday, November 29 – We celebrated the first Sunday in Advent with a joint pastoral charge service at Ingoldsby UC.

Sunday, November 8, 15 & 22 – Guest minister or message not recorded.

Let Me See

Sunday, November 1 / Published on December 15, 2015

Long before somebody wrote “I Saw The Light” the Bible was using the blindness/sight metaphor to explain spiritual truths. So, for instance, ‘the blind leading the blind’, is actually a quote from Jesus.     – Harry

Sunday, October 25 – We had a guest minister today.

Sunday, October 18 – We had a guest minister today.

Provision

Sunday, October 11 / Published on December 7, 2015

Being grateful is ‘going with the grain’ of the universe. It works. But why is that, and does that not imply that there is someone to whom such gratitude ought to be directed?  – Harry

Family Matters

Sunday, October 4 / Published on November 27, 2015

The family is definitely under stress for a number of reasons: culture shifts, technology and media bombardment, for instance. Jesus speaks to this in the passage before us (Mark 10:2-16) by his words on the bond of marriage and his demonstrated love and respect for small children. – Harry

Consequences

Sunday, September 27 / Published on October 28, 2015

We’ve been allowed quite a bit of freedom to choose how we’ll live our lives. That’s the love of God. We haven’t much say about the consequences. One direction means disaster and the other direction means life. Choose well!  – Harry

The Great Ones

Sunday, September 20 / Published on October 9, 2015

What does it take to be great? Jesus tells us. He doesn’t appear to have anything against ambition – it’s ‘selfish ambition’ that causes so much grief. There are some suggestions given here for pursuing greatness.  – Harry

Suffering

Sunday, September 13 / Published on October 7, 2015

We try to avoid it, but all of us suffer in life. Some suffer much, some less; sometimes it’s physical, sometimes mental or emotional. If there is a good God in heaven, we are asked, why does he allow so much suffering? This is not the definitive answer to the question but I pray it will help.  – Harry

The Judge and the Widow

Sunday, September 6 / Published on September 23, 2015

I’m told that people of the Middle East like nothing better than a story about how the weak get one over on the strong. Probably most who are not rich or powerful like those. Jesus here tells such a story. A powerless, poor widow is up against a corrupt man with power. She overcomes by sheer persistence. This is about prayer.  – Harry

The Great Banquet

Sunday, August 30 / Published on September 20, 2015

This parable might be called the parable of the silly excuses. People who say they will come to the party renege (pronounced ‘re-negg’, really, I looked it up) at the last minute. They give ridiculous reasons for not coming. Check it out. They have pointedly insulted the host who is understandably angry and in their place invites a variety of ‘social outcasts’. Funny how there are still a lot of silly excuses expressed today for not accepting Jesus’ invitation to the forgiveness and friendship of the Father.  – Harry

Sunday, August 23 – We had a guest minister today.

The Rich Fool

Sunday, August 16 / Published on September 20, 2015

In this little story Jesus ‘covers the ground’ on how to look at wealth. An already rich guy has a bumper crop and thinks that it’s all for his own use. Wrong.  – Harry

The Good Samaritan

Sunday, August 9 / Published on September 11, 2015

The parable of the good Samaritan is about a lot more than helping people in dire need – though it is about that. Jesus is teaching us how to be neighbours. Beyond this, he is pointing out how ‘religion’, while it seems to present us with a way to be good, can often have the opposite effect.  – Harry

Sunday, August 2 – The Haliburton Ministerial churches held our joint Sizzlin’ Summer Service 8 at Head Lake Park. Be sure to join us next year!

Two Lost Sons, Part 2

Sunday, July 26 / Published on September 1, 2015

The second lost son appears good superficially. He stays at home and works on the farm. It turns out that he is quite lost on the inside. His attitude is horrid: he is sullen and superior and as estranged from the father as is the prodigal. Will he, in response to his father’s love, have a change of heart?  – Harry

Sunday, July 19 – We had a guest minister today.

Two Lost Sons, Part 1

Sunday, July 12 / Published on August 19, 2015

The first lost son is the ‘prodigal’, who could wish his father dead in order to receive his inheritance. Despite being publicly shamed by his son’s actions, the father shames himself in running to meet and restore the son when he decides to return home.  – Harry

The Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin

Sunday, July 5 / Published on August 14, 2015

Just in the last few days I’ve lost and found a tube of sunscreen and a cell phone. I had greater joy over recovering the phone. Jesus tells stories like this to give us an idea of how much God loves and values us, and what lengths he will go to in order to find and rescue us.  – Harry

The Friend at Midnight

Sunday, June 28 / Published on July 24, 2015

This is a wonderful little tale about Middle-Eastern hospitality and how it applies to prayer. It’s found in Luke 11:5-8, which is in the middle of Jesus’ four-part response to the request: “Lord, teach us to pray”. Jesus entertains his listeners while simultaneously impressing on them our Father’s ready heart to answer prayer.  – Harry

The Unjust Steward

Sunday, June 21 / Published on July 15, 2015

People sometimes throw up their hands in despair at this parable. They can’t make sense of it. I confess to having been somewhat that way myself before I read Ken Bailey’s book, Poet and Peasant. I think he does a great job of sorting it out. This is the first in a summer series on Jesus’ parables.  – Harry

Supreme Court

Sunday, June 14 / Published on July 11, 2015

We’re told that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). Ah yes, there will be a day of reckoning. In this talk I’m attempting to balance the reality of unconditional grace and forgiveness in Christ with the reality of consequences for what we’ve done or not done.         – Harry

Sunday, June 7 – Video of today’s message is unavailable due to technical difficulties.

Sunday, May 31 – We had a guest minister today.

Spirit of Power

Sunday, May 24 – Pentecost Sunday / Published on June 28, 2015

We probably don’t talk enough about the Holy Spirit and his work. Scripture has a lot to say about this for a reason: It helps us understand how to live the ‘Christian’ life. Can’t actually do that without the Holy Spirit and the power he supplies – resurrection power, it turns out.  – Harry

Height Advantage

Sunday, May 17 / Published on June 20, 2015

This is about the ‘ascension’ of Jesus. In other words, he went back ‘up’ or returned to his Father, after he had descended and done the work of rescue here among us. The apostles actually saw him rising and disappearing into a cloud. From his height advantage he rules over the world and intercedes for us all.  – Harry

The Antidote

Sunday, May 10 / Published on May 17, 2015

Bill Haast died in 2011 at the age of 100, but not before he saved 21 lives by injecting himself with snake venom, developing anti-venom in his own blood and transfusing this into the snake-bitten individuals. Sin is a deadly poison that kills. The antidote is pure love – the love of the cross.  – Harry

Sunday, May 3 Video of today’s message is unavailable due to technical difficulties.

No Other Name

Sunday, April 26 / Published on June 9, 2015

Earlier generations had perhaps a better understanding of the importance of a name than we do. Yet still we get that names can represent reputation, character and influence. In this presentation we talk about names and particularly the significance of Jesus’ name.  – Harry

Walking With

Sunday, April 19 / Published on April 25, 2015

God has walked with us, for the most part unrecognized, all of our lives. Walking is not such a hard thing for most of us and Jesus wonders if we’ll go for a walk with him.  – Harry

Sunday, April 12 – We had a guest speaker from Sleeping Children Around the World today.

Because He Lives

Easter Sunday, April 5 / Published on April 17, 2015

The strongest indicator that God has a plan to put the universe ‘to rights’ is Jesus’ resurrection. The risen Christ is the beginning of the new heavens and the new earth. Other indicators are within us. Our longings for peace, community and the end of suffering and death are given by God, I think, in order to encourage us to hope and prepare for a better world. Because He Lives we can face tomorrow.   – Harry

The Blood of the Lamb

Sunday, March 29 / Published on April 10, 2015

The cross is not pretty. It involved suffering, abuse, torture and injustice. Many turn away from this aspect of faith – yet it is central. At the cross God enters into the depths of the sorrows of human existence. This is what ultimately draws us to Jesus.   – Harry

Submission

Sunday, March 22 / Published on April 4, 2015

The story of Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane is rather surprising. He who is divine shows us just how fully human he really is. He doesn’t want to die. He asks for a way out. Nevertheless… – Harry

3:16

Sunday, March 15 / Published on March 20, 2015

‘3:16’ is kind of an insider code for the verse John 3:16 – the first verse some of us memorized in Sunday School. Here is the good news in a nutshell: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – Jesus of Nazareth, circa 30 A.D. (C.E.?) – Harry

Housecleaning

Sunday, March 8 / Published on March 18, 2015

We’re not talking about vacuuming and dusting here. When Jesus cleaned house he actually made more of a mess – tables turned over, coins rolling around, birds flying and sheep running. He was cleaning his Father’s house, the temple, of corrupt practices. – Harry

Rebuked

Sunday, March 1 / Published on March 12, 2015

Hard to imagine rebuking Jesus, but that’s exactly what Peter did – once, at any rate. He thought he was being helpful by offering hope that Jesus surely would not suffer the way he predicted that he would. Jesus rebukes him back: “Get behind me, Satan!” – Harry

Gone Wild

Sunday, February 22 / Published on March 5, 2015

Did you know that Jesus lived out in the wilderness for 40 days all by himself – and that he hung out with wild beasts? It’s all there in Mark 1:13. He’d gone wild. This is about that. – Harry

Transfiguratively Speaking

Sunday, February 15 / Published on February 28, 2015

Jesus’ ‘transfiguration’ is a turning point in his work on earth. Afterward he basically heads for Jerusalem and the cross. On the mountain some spectacular things happen – he shines, he talks with the dead and God speaks out loud to the disciples about him. Memorable! – Harry

Sunday, February 8 We had a guest lay minister today.

Authentic Authority

Sunday, February 1 / Published on February 20, 2015

Here we tackle the strange subject of ‘unclean spirits’. In Mark’s gospel there are six instances of Jesus casting such spirits out of possessed people. That indicates a major component of his work and purpose – “to destroy the work of the devil” (1 Jn. 3:8). – Harry

Gone Fishin’

Sunday, January 25 / Published on January 27, 2015

Here’s a photo of Andrew and Simon casting their nets in the Sea of Galilee. Just kidding! It’s actually 2 Burmese guys on the Ayeyarwady River. Funny how much of the world stays the same. These are some thoughts about being ‘fishers of men’ and what that looked like for Jesus’ first 4 disciples. – Harry

Allegiance

Sunday, January 18 / Published on February 14, 2015

Again and again Jesus turns the world upside down. Our expectation of rulers (kings, prime ministers, presidents and the like) is that they are proud, rich, cared for, powerful and politically motivated. Here comes a king (actually the King of kings) who is a humble, poor, caring, powerless(politically), honest servant. – Harry

Courageous Sages

Sunday, January 11 / Published on February 6, 2015

The sages are the well-known wise guys that visited Jesus in Bethlehem. They run into a bit of a hornets’ nest when they go and ask ‘King’ Herod, “Where is he who is born King of the Jews”. Lots to learn from this encounter when first was seen, “A light for revelation to the Gentiles”. – Harry

Changin’ Times, Part 2

Sunday, January 4 / Published on January 28, 2015

On this first Sunday of the year it’s good to anticipate what God has in store. I look at 2015 as an adventure about to unfold. Our part is to be more ‘incarnational’ – which I attempt to explain. – Harry

Changin’ Times

Sunday, December 28 / Published on January 22, 2015

This is Part 1 of some reflections on our society of shifting values and beliefs and what that means for the ongoing mission of Christ’s church. As in the time of Jesus’ birth, God is up to something new. Some adaptation is required and is taking place. – Harry

2014

Gloria in Excelsis Deo

Wednesday, December 24 – Christmas Eve Service / Published on January 19, 2015

God is very much misunderstood by the human race. We often think of him as distant or at least disinterested. Some see him as angry or manipulative. Jesus came to set the record straight – so ‘Gloria in excelcis Deo!’. (If you don’t know your Latin you’ll need to watch this video.) – Harry

Sunday, December 21 – Today the choir performed the cantata “There Is A Saviour” under the direction of Melissa Stephens.

Oil of Gladness

Sunday, December 14 / Published on January 6, 2015

All of us are, with varying degrees of success, engaged in ‘the pursuit of happiness’. Some of the things that get in the way: poverty, broken relationships, sickness, grief, etc. That’s where Jesus’ ‘rescue’ work comes in. An old prophecy which Jesus claims as being fulfilled in him reads, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.., to bestow..the oil of gladness instead of mourning.” (Isaiah 61:1-3) – Harry

Rest in Peace

Sunday, December 7 / Published on January 6, 2015

The second Sunday in Advent: the theme word is ‘peace’. The scripture readings for the day are all about John the Baptist and his message of repentance. How to put these things together? Here’s what I came up with: When we truly repent (change our thinking and attitude – or at least allow them to be changed) we have peace within and peace with God. That is the source of all peace. – Harry

We’re Expecting!

Sunday, November 30 / Published on December 16, 2014

People get pretty excited about a baby on the way – and so they should. Normally people get prepared in advance. In a similar way, Jesus has taught us to expect his return and to be prepared. His anticipated return and God’s promise to restore creation give us great hope. – Harry

Sunday, November 23 – We enjoyed a presentation on a congregant’s mission trip to Guatemala to provide clean drinking water sources.

Sunday, November 16 – We welcomed a guest lay minister to conduct our service today.

Tank-full People

Sunday, November 9 / Published on December 9, 2014

At first it may seem rather unfair or selfish that the wise bridesmaids would not share their oil with the foolish ones. As explained in the parable (Matthew 25:1-13), however, the wise realize that they may not have enough for themselves. In the spiritual realm we can’t forever ride on someone else’s ticket. We need to discover and experience for ourselves the love of God and the grace of Jesus. That’s a good thing.

Local Celebrities

Sunday, November 2 / Published on November 5, 2014

Celebrities abound these days. We’ve got hockey players, politicians, musicians, actors, princesses, popes and media personalities. They seem larger than life yet deep in our hearts we know they’re just like the rest of us. Jesus cautions us about putting people on pedestals – especially our spiritual leaders and teachers. We have one teacher, the Christ.

When All Else Fails

Sunday, October 26 / Published on November 26, 2014

According to the book and movie by the name “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy”, written by Douglas Adams, “The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything” is the number 42. (??) According to Jesus it’s “Love God and love your neighbour”. This is of course well-known, rather simple yet profound and by no means easy to follow through on. Let’s consider it a while.

Promised Hope

Sunday, October 19 / Published on October 30, 2014

We all need hope – something to look forward to that will help get us through the day. Commercials, politicians and medicine all appeal to our longing for hope. They all deliver to some small degree, but leave us less than satisfied. The good news of Jesus is good news of hope. Through him we are assured that creation will be restored, death destroyed and sorrow and crying and pain gone forever. In the meantime he will provide us with love, purpose and joy. That’s a lot of hope!

Thankful People

Sunday, October 12 / Published on October 30, 2014

There seems to be a reasonably large consensus that it’s healthy to be thankful. A smaller chunk of the population would agree that we need to thank God. Here are some musings about why we do.

Sunday, October 5 –– We welcomed a guest lay minister to conduct our service today.

It’s Not Fair!

Sunday, September 28 / Published on October 15, 2014

There are a lot of things in the world that aren’t fair or just. It’s of course important to point out and change and remedy those injustices where we can. There are things about the good news of Jesus which may well seem unfair. One, for instance, is the fact that God will accept and forgive anybody regardless of what they’ve done (or not done!). He offers the deathbed penitent the same grace he offers the lifelong church-goers – the ones who have borne “the burden and heat of the day.” How unfair – but Jesus has a whole parable about it – Matthew 20:1-16.

Sunday, September 21 — Our services were conducted by a guest lay minister today as Harry took some time to visit with family following the marriage of his daughter Sarah. 

Bound to Forgive

Sunday, September 14 / Published on October 6, 2014

Most of us have been wronged in one way or another and usually we can shake it off, ignore or forgive fairly easily. Not always. Jesus talks a lot about this issue, even including it in his prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” His parable from Matthew 18:21-35 expands on this difficult discipline, which is so critical to building and restoring friendships and community.

Bound Together

Sunday, August 7 / Published on September 27, 2014

I’ve tried to tread lightly on a heavy subject – church discipline. My sense is that Jesus’ teachings on the matter have been misunderstood and mis-applied to a horrendous degree over the centuries. Jesus’ intention was to bring restoration and healing to the fellowship of his followers. Too often his words have been used to establish or entrench positions and authority. I hope this is helpful.

Bound and Loosed

Sunday, August 31 / Published on September 10, 2014

In this little talk there are possible answers to these questions: 1. How can you know who Jesus is? 2. What is the ‘rock’ foundation of the church? 3. Who has the keys to the kingdom? 4. What does it mean to ‘bind’ and ‘loose’? See what you think.

Sunday, August 24 – We had a guest lay minister today.

Mercy on Us All

Sunday, August 17 / Published on August 29, 2014

Fortunately for us, our Maker is a God “whose property is always to have mercy”, in the words of a prayer in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. Jesus again and again demonstrates this in the gospels. A case in point is the story of the Canaanite woman who asks Jesus to have mercy on her demon-possessed daughter.

Back to Work

Sunday, August 10 / Published on August 26, 2014

This is kind of a comparative study of Peter from the New Testament and Elijah from the old and how God used their circumstances to form their character.

Sunday, August 3 – We joined the Haliburton Ministerial churches and the community for our annual summer contemporary music service “Sizzlin’ Summer Service Seven in the Park”.

Sowing a Fine Seed

Sunday, July 27 / Published on August 7, 2014

I cheated a bit here and re-worked a PowerPoint from a while ago. In my defence I made a lot of changes and don’t actually say many of the same things. This is based on the parable of the sower and is about spreading the good news and what happens when you do. As an added bonus there is a description of a multi-church endeavour which we are undertaking in Haliburton County to help people ‘Find The Hope’!

Sunday, July 20 – We had a guest lay minister today.

Wait Time

Sunday, July 13 / Published on July 30, 2014

People sometimes try to stump Christians with a question something like this: “How can you believe in a good God when there’s so much suffering in the world?” Fair enough, except the two realities are not necessarily or logically exclusive. I see lots of evidence for a good God as well as the dead certainty of lots of suffering. Clearly this God allows suffering for some purpose which we can partially understand. In fact there’s a whole lot in Scripture about this…..

Unburdened

Sunday, July 6 / Published on July 18, 2014

“Lay your burdens down..Lay your burdens down,” writes Robin Mark in the song Revival. He basically got that from Jesus, who invites ‘all who labour and are heavily burdened’ to come to him. The psalmist says “Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain you” (Ps. 55) I think this pretty much targets everyone’s needs, although everybody may not realize it.

%d bloggers like this: