July 4, 2020

Holy Spirit – The Yoke of Jesus (Proper 14 2020)

(Available on John Gishler Youtube channel Sunday morning)

Jesus is teaching us that spiritual wisdom is very different from intellectual wisdom. Christians need to put on His “yoke”- the Holy Spirit, to guide them in overcoming the conflict between their bodily or worldly desires and their spiritual or heavenly desires. Abraham’s servant gives us an example of choosing to be guided by divine wisdom instead of his human wisdom in finding a wife for Isaac. This is in contrast to Paul who is so steeped in human wisdom he cannot understand the conflict in his soul.  

1. Spiritual wisdom is very different from human wisdom

June 27, 2020

Right Relationships For Spiritual Life (Proper 13a)

(Available on John Gishler Youtube June 28)

 Today’s Readings challenge us to develop right relationships in this life as we prepare for our resurrection life in Jesus Christ. Last week we were challenged to love God more than family. This week we are challenged to die emotionally and spiritually to anything that competes with our love of God and to love our neighbour as ourselves. This involves painful challenges to the development and healing of our spiritual lives.

 

1. Right relationship with God

June 20, 2020

He Knows My Name (Fathers Day)

(See on John Gishler Youtube Channel.4K9VWQ? June 21)

Fathers Day is a celebration and thanksgiving for Fathers – including both our earthly and heavenly fathers. In our post-Christendom time many men are confused about their identity. We are seeing the breakdown of the family as individualism, liberalism and feminism erode traditional Biblical family values. Like many people my own father was emotionally absent and critical. My life changed when I discovered that God was my Father and really heard Jesus’ answer to Philip – “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14.9) The song “He Knows My Name” by Tommy Walker always brings me to tears of healing. It reminds us we are valued, listened to and will never be abandoned by the powerful God who loves us.

1. Fathers give us a sense of value (Knows by name)

June 13, 2020

Forgiveness, Healing and Reconciliation (Proper 11 A)

(Available on Youtube June 14)
We are all like Sarah and tend to laugh at God when we are promised something that sounds impossible:
·      Having a child in old age
·      Raising from death
·      Forgiving our rebellion and sin to make us holy

But this is the business our God is in as he continues to reach out to us with the offer of forgiveness, healing and reconciliation into our eternal spiritual life with God. He knows we cannot work hard enough to overcome our natural rebellion and spiritual un-holiness. Sadly, many in the Church also laugh at God’s supernatural gifts and fail in their responsibility to bring in the full harvest of heaven. Paul challenges us to persevere in example of Father Abraham and have faith in God’s promises of forgiveness, healing and reconciliation. This is why Abraham was chosen by God as the father of our faith.

1. Un-forgiveness separates us from God, self and others

June 6, 2020

We Need The Fellowship of the Holy Spirit (Trinity

(Homily available on Youtube  May 7 https://youtu.be/LCJes_66FFQ)

Jesus disciples are like us in grief, confused and distraught at being separated from Him. The Good News is Jesus’ promise “I am with you always” (Mt.28.20) The Apostle Paul, in his prayer of departure from Corinth prays “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Cor.13.14) The “you” Paul refers to is the community of believers – and us. Christian churches are to be a community of believers led by and in fellowship with the Holy Spirit and with each other.

May 30, 2020

Holy Spirit Unites Us To God and Others (Pentecost)

(see John Gishler Youtube channel for the video service)

It is often a challenge for people living in a modern “science-based” culture to believe in and understand how things work in the supernatural dimension. This is why many people have trouble with the virgin birth, the Resurrection and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The readings for Pentecost describe that confusion – even for people who lived in a culture that believed in angels and the demonic. The point is we all need to personally experience the Holy Spirit before we can really understand and believe in the Holy Spirit. This is the great gift of Pentecost. An experience of the Holy Spirit was poured out on all people – as long prophesied. The readings help us understand:
·       Who the Holy Spirit is, and
·       The work of the Holy Spirit in developing our spiritual life by uniting us to God and other believers.

1. Who is the Holy Spirit?

May 23, 2020

"He Opened Their Minds" - Ascension

(see John Gishler Youtube channel for the video service)

We all have trouble understanding how things work in the supernatural dimension. We see this all through the Bible and in our own time:
·      Prophets are ridiculed, ignored, persecuted
·      Disciples do not understand what’s happening
·      Christian Church is divided and confused over doctrine

The Good News of Ascension is that Jesus / Holy Spirit will open our minds so we can understand the scriptures.

1. Jesus promised believers will be baptized by Holy Spirit