November 20, 2020

Adapt Or Die - A Cry For Specific Practical Covid-19 Information (departure from the spiritual to the more practical issues of life)

 It’s a war children - seven times as many Americans have died from Covid-19 as in the Vietnam War. Like the US Marines who are taught to “Adapt or die” in dangerous combat missions. Like them we need some basic practical information on how far the minimum infectious dose can travel in airborne droplets and how long this dose remains infectious on clothing, wood and metal surfaces in order to adapt to our new environment. Lockdowns and isolation have always been temporary measures in order to give the scientists and politicians time to find a way to adapt. It is outrageous that after 10 months of on and off lockdowns, vague strategies and confusing restarts; our political and scientific leaders have not been able to give us the simple basic scientific information we need to adapt to living and working safely in the new Covid-19 era.

November 14, 2020

How To Be People of Light in a Dark Time (Proper 33A)

Last week was probably one of the darkest times in many people’s lives. We have been traumatized by 10 months of fear, isolation, confusion over the Pandemic and the outcome of the US Presidential election. The Readings challenge us to be people of the light in this darkness. We are to have a faith, love and hope that encourages those ensnared the darkness of fear, confusion and hopelessness. Paul teaches us to not be found sleeping when Jesus returns. We are to use the gifts our master Jesus gives us to grow in love, faith and hope by putting on the breastplate of faith and love and the helmet of hope and salvation.

1. What was the darkness that ensnared the "wicked servant"?

November 6, 2020

War Is a Visible Sign of the Invisible Spiritual Battle (All Souls / Remembrance Day)

 Today as we remember those who gave their lives in war for us, it is good to reflect on how such terrible wars could have happened. I grew up during the Cold War. When you live under the threat of world-wide nuclear extermination it focuses your attention. I have stood in the huge cemeteries of Europe where you can see over 17,000 crosses, each representing a young life cut short. The Good News is our hope that they inherited a more glorious eternal spiritual life of joy.


1. I tried for years to figure out “why things go wrong”

September 19, 2020

How Can I Believe? (Proper 29A)

How can I believe is the cry of our hearts as we seek the truth about God in a world full of chaos, evil and divided opinion. The short answer is YOU can’t on your own - but with God’s help you can. Like Moses and the Pharisees we need to experience Gods power and presence personally. Personal relationship and experience of the divine is the gift of faith. The readings help us understand:

·     What belongs to God?

·     How do we know we can trust God?

·     How do we get this gift of faith?

 

1. What belongs to God?

September 7, 2020

Reconciling Conflicts With Love

(Available on Youtube "John Gishler")

Jesus is teaching us how to reconcile conflicts with love. Matthew 18 describes this section (v. 15-22) as “Dealing with sin in the church”. Paul explains that all sin is a failure to love God, our neighbour or ourselves. Conflict and unforgiveness pollutes our soul (sin) and separates us from God and other people. Today we are focussing on the work of the church to proclaim, teach and model orthodox faith with love. Jesus repeats Mt. 16.19 re-affirming the role of the church as holding the keys to the Kingdom with the authority of binding and loosing sin guilt. This three-step process of confidential reconciliation is the opposite of what normally happens. It protects reputations, determines the truth and facilitates forgiveness:

  1. Person goes first to the person to seek reconciliation
  2. Only if this fails, they take witnesses and go again to reconcile
  3. Only if  both attempts fail do they take it to the church leadership, again in confidence, to avoid spreading the conflict beyond three or four people 

Step #1: “Go and point out their fault just between the two of you” 

September 5, 2020

How To Be a Christian (Pr. 22)

Jesus is preparing His disciples for His departure. He warns them of His death and  Resurrection. He warns them of the danger of listening to Satan or our fear and then gives them the basics of how to be a follower and gain eternal-spiritual life:

  • Deny themselves
  • Take up their cross
  • Follow Him


We begin our spiritual life in Jesus by reading the Bible, getting to know about Jesus, growing in love for Him and coming to Him for forgiveness. These are the three things we must “do” to “be rewarded according to what we have done”.(Mt. 16.27). The Romans Reading (12.9-21) gives us clear guidance on what this means:


  1. Deny Self

August 22, 2020

Love Binds and Looses (Proper 21a)

(Teaching available on John Gishler Youtube channel Aug. 22) 

Binding and loosing are words that many people may not be familiar with. Jesus reveals His identity as The Christ - the long expected successor to Moses, who will free His people not from political and military oppression, but from the much more dangerous spiritual deception and oppression of Satan. Jesus is talking about the love of His sacrificial death that broke the power of Satan. This enables forgiveness of sin and frees people from their bondage. Jesus love  binds us in a love relationship as the body of Christ. This binding and loosing is the essential work of the Church. The story of Moses birth illustrates how the fear of loosing the love of God strengthened the Egyptian midwives in disobeying Pharo’s order to kill male babies. 

The Romans reading (12.1-8) explains how the love of the members of the body of Christ grows and binds them to Jesus and each other as they exercise their spiritual gifts.


  1. The midwives of Egypt were bound by “fear” of God