Sermons by The Rev. Dr. Tom Blair (Page 13)

Sermons by The Rev. Dr. Tom Blair (Page 13)

Photo of dramatic clouds

Every Eye Shall See Him

Revelation 1:4b-8 Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be…
Heart with with light shining through cross cut-out

Putting Second First: The Heart of the Matter

This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Jeremiah 31:31-34 Here is a question you don’t hear every day… Where does your Peace come from? What is it that brings you comfort, assurance, that allows you to sleep at night, secure in…
Old etching of Second Presbyterian Church

Putting Second First: Living Treasures

For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does…
Painting: Vasiliy Polenov. Among the Teachers. 1896

Putting Second First: Education/Insight

As a graduate of a number of fairly, well, prestigious institutions of higher education, I’m pretty sensitive to this myself. I remember the first public sermon I ever preached, back in the church I was raised, I think it was in 1983. I still have a copy of it. I thought I had done pretty well, touched all the bases; had the sermon make some sense. All I remember from it, really, is that, in greeting folks at the door, a fairly grumpy guy said to me; “Y’know, I didn’t come here to be lectured to….” Ouch.

Putting Second First: Spiritual Nourishment

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our…

An Unexclusive Gospel

Mark 9:38-50 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because…

Sounds of Salvation

Think of all the ways you hear sounds of salvation in your life. What do they sound like? … from the drip, drip, drip of baptismal waters rolling off a babies’ forehead at the font; to — what? the squeal of a baby- their first laugh…. Maybe its the ‘thank you- bless you” that you hear from the fellow on the street corner who asks you for change/ always… and you give it to him. Or, maybe its the sound of a church organ, playing “A Mighty Fortress”- or, the piano- warming up for the doxology… or?? (name some…. Sounds in your life… that speak to you of salvation, a heavenly healing…)

God for us, in us, with us

Jesus’ foundational identity, reclaimed in prayer, moved him away from the crowds that sought him. He was better able to recharge his batteries, as it were, on his own. No, that’s not quite right. Jesus was better able– like all of us, to tap into God’s graciousness in solitude and serenity rather than in the midst of the maddening, demanding crowd. It is a gift that is necessary for all of us, and a gift that we too often dismiss, to our own detriment.
scales

Making Amends

There is an old Cherokee story about a grandfather who is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he says to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil –filled with anger, envy, greed, arrogance, self-pity, resentment, inferiority, false pride, superiority, ego. The other wolf is good – full of joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, faith. The same fight is going on- inside you – and inside every other person, too.” The grandson thinks about this for a minute and then asks his grandfather, “Well, which wolf will win?” The old Chief simply replies, “The one you feed.”