Sermons from and by Teer Hardy
Journey with the Prophets | Harmonized Tension - July 31, 2022
We often turn toward God’s love or God’s justice. This leads us to the thought that the God of the Hebrew Bible and the God of the New Testament are somehow different – the God of the Hebrew Bible is focused on justice and vengeance, while the God of the New Testament is concerned with love.
Ignoring this tension ignores that tension reveals even more to us about God than we imagine. We know that God does not seek justice at the expense of love, nor love at the expense of justice.
Jesus holds this tension in perfect harmony.
He invites himself to dinner at the home of tax collectors who cheats their neighbors, extending grace and an invitation to repentance.
He drew in the dirt to disperse a rock-wielding mob and then told a woman to go and sin no more.
As he took his last breaths on the cross, Jesus extended forgiveness to the man next to him and invited the man to be with him in paradise.
That is gospel Good News. That is the good news revealed from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21.
Journey with the Prophets | The Fruit Basket of Faith - July 17, 2022
Amos declared that the superficial religion of many – their Sunday morning best while not caring for the poor, going so far as to make a profit off the backs of the poor – was about to end. Resulting in their destruction. While it may not seem like it, the sending of Amos by God to the northern kingdom was an act of compassion and grace.
God was all out of patience, and the summer fruit represented Israel’s end, looking delicious and inviting on the surface but rotting from the inside out.
Their temple praise – their Sunday morning songs – would turn to wailing and sadness.
Reading like Amos eight makes us, or at least me, uncomfortable because we do not like to think of God being anything but patient, loving, and kind; full of grace, and slow to anger. A critique of me is that, as a preacher, I lean too much into the grace of God at the expense of holiness. I do not like the critique, but it is probably fair.
The problem Israel faced is similar to one we wrestle with daily – trampling on and taking advantage of the poor instead of with the people God sends to us; instead of being the people God has called us to be.
Journey with the Prophets | Complacency Syndrome - July 10, 2022
The prophets point out to the people of God where God is calling us to go when complacency takes root, and we miss the movement of God happening before our eyes. The prophet, then and now, has the task of bringing a word from God to the people. In the case of Amos, this word from God was to return to the will of God.
Amos is one of six minor prophets in the Hebrew Bible. “Minor” describes the length of Amos’ writings compared to the more loquacious “major” prophets. Still, it does not diminish the word he brings to the people of God.
The prophet's work disturbs those in power or places of comfort when those in power act in ways contrary to God’s will for all creation. Nowhere is this more evident than in the ministry of Christ. In the church, we believe Jesus to be more than a prophet. Christ is the Word of God Made Flesh, the Loquacious Word of God. We believe Jesus came to inaugurate God’s rule on earth, to set right the human propensity to set ourselves against God’s will, and to fulfill all of the requirements of the Law.
The rejection of Christ by the nations was foreshadowed when he was rejected by his hometown, nearly run off a cliff by a congregation made up of his extended family, for proclaiming God’s word.
But the Good News is that no matter how often we reject those called to deliver God’s word, no matter how often we reject the One who fulfilled God’s word, God does not stop sending the prophets. Christ does not abandon us.
Prophets sent to our nation during the civil rights movement of the last century were rejected, even killed. Still, today, people like William Barber and Liz Theoharris call our nation to God’s will.
Prophets are being sent to the church today advocating for the inclusion of people God has already called to ministry, whether we like that calling or not.
“I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycomore trees, and the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’”
God continues to call and equip the prophets today in the same way God calls and equips disciples – calling upon imperfect, untrained, unprepared people like Amos to go to new places and lead the people of God to God’s will. It sounds like an impossible task, and it would be if not for the grace of the One doing the calling and equipping.
Living the Spirit Life | Freedom Fruit - June 26, 2022
Paul’s letter was not written for you.
Paul’s letter, Paul’s letters, and all of the Holy Scriptures were written for the Church. The Body of Christ is assembled through the love of God our Creator, the faithfulness of Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul writes, “the fruit of the Spirit is.” Singular. Not the “fruits of the Spirit are.” Do you notice the difference? The Fruit of the Spirit is one gift, requiring one another, produced through the Holy Spirit and not individual Christians. Through Christ’s body. The Fruit of the Spirit – the Spirit-Filled Life – is to learn to be a disciple and live a life where we require others in our lives.
The Fruit of the Spirit describe the Body of Christ, made flesh in the world through the work of the Holy Spirit.
We need one another.
Life centered on the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.
Life made possible through Word and Sacrament.
Life free from religion for the sake of self-improvement instead freed to live a life only possible through the work of the Holy Spirit. Life centered on who you are – beloved and free – where who you are not is no longer interesting.
Life where I need you, and you need me. We need one another.
Life, new life, in Christ.
Living the Spirit Life | You Can't Handle the Truth, June 12, 2022
June 12, 2022
The Holy Spirit will guide us.
Jesus tells us the Holy Spirit will “take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is.” The Holy Spirit will not “draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen, indeed out of all that” Jesus “has done and said.”
Jesus tells his disciples that they, we, will not be left on our own to make sense of the work of God. We are not left to ourselves to decipher what a faith-filled life looks like or how to respond to the call Jesus has placed on each of our lives.
Living the Spirit Life | Pentecost After Babel, June 5, 2022
God takes the most fragmented parts of our modern “post-Babel” lives and makes them whole. This is part of God making all of creation whole. We bear witness to this when we gather around Christ’s table. This is our witness in our worship, mission, and teaching. The unification of the Church is the work of the Holy Spirit – bringing people who speak different languages or only listen to siloed voices together to speak the one language of the Holy Spirit, the one language of God. The language of Grace.
An inquisitive mind for hungry hearts
Teer Hardy is a vibrant young minister sharing his very active spiritual journey of discovery and service. With so many “mainstream” churches in turmoil over how much inclusivity is consistent with scripture, Teer’s messages remind us of how the Savior’s love and grace trumps man’s logic and interpretation. If you like the “Crackers and Grape Juice” blog (he’s a partner) you will want to subscribe to this one. Spiritual growth is, contrary to popular myth, is alive and in good hands