To watch Harry’s message, click on the title.
Sunday, December 27 – The service was cancelled due to an ice storm.
Sunday, December 20 – The choir presented “Lessons and Carols” with anthems, carols and readings directed by Melissa Stephens.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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!
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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