March 21, 2020

We Are All Born Spiritually Blind (Lent 4 2013)

Note: As a contribution to the current Covid-19 virus social distancing emergency my 2013 teaching was found through the blog search feature to the left, copied to Word, saved as a file and reposted to demonstrate the ease of finding relevant teaching material in this library. I will be experimenting with posting a video of our home Holy Communion service with a shorter version on Facebook and possibly here tomorrow around noon (if it works out). 

It did work out! Click on F at top right to go to Facebook  - 2 posts - Gospel Reading and Teaching - Eucharistic Prayer:


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Original 2013 Teaching: We Are All Born Spiritually Blind 
We can see physically, most of us, but we cannot see spiritually when we are born. ‘Seeing’ is a metaphor for understanding. In our case it means we do not understand how the unseen spiritual world operates. Our understanding of the unseen spiritual world is about the same as a blind persons’ understanding of the physical world. With experience the blind person will develop understanding of the physical world just as with experience we can develop understanding of the spiritual world:

·      At birth we know nothing. We are, as the Apostle Paul says “darkness” and “disobedient” (Ephesians 6.8, 12). 
·       The readings challenge us all to be open to being healed by Jesus, like the man born blind so we can see spiritually, come out of this darkness and be transformed into “children of light”. (Eph. 6.8).
 1. Spiritual blindness is worse than physical blindness

February 14, 2020

Reconciliation Is The Way To Spiritual Life (Epiphany 6a)

The three readings remind us that God has called us into a covenant relationship of love and obedience. This requires us to make a serious choice between life and prosperity and death and destruction. There is nothing in the middle. You cannot be a sort-of Christian in the middle and expect to share in the joy of a rich eternal spiritual life in Jesus Christ. The readings explain why this is so.

1. Moses reminds the Hebrews they must choose.

January 20, 2020

God Reveals His Plan Of Salvation In Jesus (Epiphany 2 Year A)

I had a humbling epiphany moment early Sunday as I was hurriedly typing the Preface for Epiphany into the laptop I use in celebrating the Eucharist - the Readings for the season of Epiphany reveal who Jesus is and God’s plan of salvation. I added a phrase in the car, revised it in my head and as I taught: 

  • ·     We are living in a culture that is unhappy, confused, lost and seeking meaning and new life. 
  • ·     Readings describe three Epiphany moments when Gods plan of salvation was revealed
  • ·     Isaiah prophecies’ in Babylon that God will raise up a servant who will give Israel new life 
  • ·     John realizes that Jesus is the “lamb of God who will take away the sin of the world” and give us new life. (1.29) 
  • ·     Paul describes the new life of  “grace given to you in Jesus Christ”. (1 Cor. 1.4) 

1. Isaiah learned how God would gave the Israelites new life 

January 4, 2020

Right Way Forward For Conservatives (political comment by Fr. John Gishler)

What conservatives should have learned from seizing defeat from the jaws of electoral victory in the 2019 election is that they had the wrong leader chosen through a defective selection process defending the wrong platform with the wrong marketing strategy. It was not just the leader’s fault so just putting a new face in place quickly is not the right way forward. The National Council has appointed a committee to oversee the selection process so let us hope they get it right this time. The basic flaw was too many candidates for proper scrutiny and a lack of clear criteria by which to judge candidates. Let me propose the following candidate ability and experience criteria, based on a wide review of media comment. In addition to already being a fluently bilingual established leader, candidates must have ability and experience in:

  • ·      Defining and defending modern conservatism
  • ·      Defining and defending a modern conservative social platform
  • ·      Defining and defending a modern conservative fiscal platform

1. Defining and Defending Modern Conservatism

December 20, 2019

Christ's Mass Is A Birthday Celebration (Christmas)


I was trying to figure out a way to explain our Christmas service to some very young children.  I realized that what we do in church to celebrate our Faith in Jesus is the same as what we do at a child’s birthday party. We invite their friends and family to gather for a meal and celebrate the child’s birth. Christ’s Mass – the first Mass or Holy Communion service of Christmas has all the same elements:
1.     We invite friends and family to gather
2.     We talk about the person
3.     We renew relationships, sing, pray have special food
4.     We go home with a special gift


1. We invite our friends and family to gather

December 17, 2019

Christmas Bible Study

Opening Prayer, Introduction

Christmas, Easter and Pentecost are the most important festivals in the Christian year of teachings. At Christmas we celebrate the miraculous birth of Jesus as the coming of God into the world. On Easter Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus as a sign of our own resurrection. On Pentecost we celebrate the Holy Spirit of Jesus being poured out on all believers.

Christmas is preceded by the four Sundays of Advent during which Christians prepare for the coming of Jesus. Our first reading from Isaiah is a prophecy – words given to Isaiah directly from God over 500 years before the birth of Jesus. The part we read is the good news in a book that is mostly a warning to the people of Israel to turn from their rebellious and sinful ways. They ignored this warning and were overrun by other nations including Babylon and many were taken into captivity for 40 years. This prophecy gave those in exile – and us, hope of a better future.

November 14, 2019

We Grow Spiritually As We Overcome Lies, Temptations and Persecution (Proper 33)


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 In the Gospel Reading (Luke 21.5-19) Jesus is asked about the End Times. He gives a warning about false teachers and persecution. The Good News is that the Holy Spirit will guide and strengthen believers so they can overcome both false teachers and persecution. This helps us grow spiritually.

1. Our lives on Earth are a time of spiritual testing and growth