August 1, 2020

A Conscience Ruled By the Holy Spirit (Proper 18a)

(Watch on Youtube channel "John Gishler" Aug. 2)

 

The Readings are a profound message to all church leaders and anyone who would like to develop a serious Christian life. Jacob was wrestling with his conscience and afraid for his life. It was like wrestling with God Himself – and God let him win! Jesus is in grief over the death of John and overcomes it by focusing on what those around Him need – not want. Paul is also in spiritual grief over the Hebrew people who do not believe him about Jesus. We learn that listening to the Holy Spirit is why it is that some people “get it” and many do not.

1. Jacob’s conscience is bothering him for good reason

July 25, 2020

Holy Spirit Opens Our Eyes

Personal experiences of the Holy Spirit seem to be essential to becoming a serious believer in Jesus Christ. This is consistent with the message of the whole Bible and what Paul teaches in Romans 8.9. In the Gospel Reading Jesus is using the parables of the Mustard Seed, Hidden Treasure, pearl of Great Price and Net to teach us how difficult it is and how important it is that we come to Him and ensure we are justified or made right with God through faith in Him. The Good News as Paul explains to us is that we can all have a spiritual life in Christ if we really seek Him and cry out for the help of the Holy Spirit.

1. Getting Into the Kingdom is not Easy

July 18, 2020

Spiritual Life In The weed Patch (Proper 16)

In the Parable of the Weeds Jesus is giving us a critical teaching on how to develop a spiritual life in the face of evil. Our natural tendency is to fight with the weeds. Jesus says:

·      Do not try to root out evil

·      Be led by the Holy Spirit

·      Endure suffering as an offering to God

 

1. Do not try to root out the evil

July 11, 2020

Regaining Our Birthright (Proper 15)

(Watch at https://youtu.be/Ww6PJwGmlkE)

Our hearts are restless. This is particularly acute in this time of pandemic, fear of death, social isolation and inactivity. Many of us are alone at home with too much time on our hands – or so we think. Now that we have run out of projects and distractions it may be time to do some serious reflection on our lives. One of the first questions we could ask is “Who are we?” Many people think of themselves as a teacher, lawyer, housewife, manager, librarian etc. But that is what we do – not who we are. The readings explain how easily we lose our birthright – our identity as beloved children of God; and how Jesus as the Word and the Holy Spirit help us regain our true identity and a life of joy.

 

1. How did we lose our birthright?

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)