September 10, 2022

Repentance is the Gateway to Reconciliation (Proper 24c)


    Jesus is teaching us the great lesson of repentance as the gateway we must all walk through from the spiritual prisons of pride and un-forgiveness to the joy of reconciliation. We have all at some time been lost sheep who got into trouble and needed to repent our foolishness and come home to Jesus. Jesus and His Church – all of us are in the reconciliation business. This is who we are and what we do – or at least are supposed to be doing.

 

1.    We Are All Lost Sheep

August 20, 2022

Love Is the First Spiritual Gift (Proper 21c)

 Love is the first spiritual gift we receive. This assures us that we have really established a right-relationship of love with God. Since love is a mystical or spiritual gift, men often have more trouble “getting it” than women who are usually more intuitive. Love is probably the most used and least understood word in English. Best understanding is Nicky Gumbel’s sharing of how he fell in love with Pippa – hint – they just knew. The Readings teach us:

·      Jeremiah’s Love of God enabled him to overcome his fear

·      Paul explains how overcoming our fear leads to joy

·      Jesus taught us that love frees us from the Law

 

1.    Jeremiah’s Love Overcame His Fear

August 18, 2022

Deliverance from Masonic Oaths and Curses (Zoom talk notes Aug. 18 2022 by Fr. John Gishler))

 1.    Introduction to Freemasonry

Freemasonry is an ancient pagan religion that can be traced back to the mysterious ancient associations of master builders in Egypt who built the pyramids centuries before Moses. They use mysterious words that they claim to be from “ancient Egyptian” – which modern language scholars say never existed. Freemasonry blinds, deceives and binds members to secrecy with powerful satanic oaths and curses as they progress through 33 degrees of spiritual cleansing and ‘enlightenment’. Masons believe in brotherly love and model this better than many Christians – but only to other masons and their families. As we will see in the comparison Table, they do not believe in salvation through Jesus but salvation through man-centred enlightenment and moral self-purification. Masons have a ‘corrected’ bible, consider themselves Christian and are drawn to the ritual of Anglican Churches. A Nineteenth-Century Anglican Commission conclude that Freemasonry is incompatible with Christianity. They are drawn to power and control and are often on Anglican vestries. Freemasonry is based on witchcraft that blinds and corrupts good men who then pass the sin-guilt from their oaths and curses down the family line.

 

2.    Table of Masonic and Christian Beliefs and Practices[1]

July 16, 2022

The Mystery of Life in Christ (Proper 16c)

 How can naturally unholy humans live in the holy and divine son of God who died 2,000 years ago? Christians believe Jesus created a new way of forgiveness and know how to be made holy. It is the idea of living in the Risen Jesus part that is a stumbling block for many:

·      Forgotten Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit and to be with His followers always. 

·      The connection is Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus and the continuing presence of Jesus in the world. 

·      When we are listening to Holy Spirit we are listening to Jesus and He is with us. 

·      Readings explain Life in Christ as a mystical relationship of focussing on and listening to the Holy Spirit of Jesus.

 

1.    Amos 8.1-12: A Famine of Hearing the Words of the Lord

June 26, 2022

The Trinity is Near You (Trinity Sunday)


 (Guest post from Rev. Tom Hubschmidt, at Holy Cross Anglican Church in Calgary)

In case you don’t know me, I’m Tom. I’m the intern (at Holy Cross Anglican Church, Calgary)  There’s this running joke across the Anglican Church—I’ve heard it here, I’ve heard it in Toronto, heard it in Hamilton—that when Trinity Sunday comes around, the Rector will always get the student minister to preach! I’ve been assured though. By three different Rectors. That they would never intentionally offload heavy task of the Trinity unto their minion! But I also must say, that for the past two Trinity Sundays, I have been a pastoral intern, and for the past two Trinity Sundays, I have preached! Nah, obviously Rev. Dr. Kyle Norman is more than up to the task. 

But there’s a reason the joke is made. Our belief in the Trinity can seem like an odd one. Certain sages or philosophers or scientists all over the globe see the doctrine of the Trinity as the Church’s self-destruct button. Depending on if you’re talking to, belief in the Trinity makes us either irrational or irreligious. I love it. The theologians I study all think the Trinity is the crowning glory of Christian belief, the most joyful of topics, and the closest, most intimate, precious experience of God. And I am so with them.

June 18, 2022

Children of God Are Victors Not Victims (Proper c-12)

  Like Elijah, many people in our feel discouraged, depressed and like victims under attack. They have an identity problem. The Good news of today’s Readings is that we are adopted children of God by faith. We are protected and have put on the authority of Jesus Christ to do God’s work in the world.

 

1.    Many People Like Elijah Have an Identity Crisis

Elijah believed he was a victim - the lie that all the prophets in Israel were being killed. He ran away. But you can’t run away from God. God is not angry. Like a loving father God gently asks him what he is doing. God corrects him and gives him a powerful, nation changing mission. God is still with him and has preserved a remnant of 7,000 faithful believers in Israel.

May 14, 2022

Church Is A Holy Spirit Led Community Of Love (Easter 5)

  

Jesus is teaching the disciples how to build a Holy Spirit Led Community of Love. It is the beginning of the Christian Church. The Gospel readings teach us that it’s defining characteristic is to be the love relationship within the community. Psalm 148 reminds us its main work is to give God glory and praise. The Acts reading reminds us it is to be Holy Spirit-Led community of Holy Spirit-baptised people. The Revelation Reading chosen sadly omits verses 7 and 8 which tell us who is excluded from the Community.

 

1.    A Community of Love