October 7, 2021

Jesus Gives Us Hope and Healing (Funeral of Sue Lennie, OSL Member and friend, tribute is below)


The Reading from Luke 4.18-21 was chosen because it is for an International Order of St. Luke the Healer service. Sue was a long-time OSL Member. Her life was filled with self-sacrificial love for others. She proclaimed the Good News of God’s grace, love, forgiveness and healing “with words only if necessary” as Francis of Assisi would say.

11.  Jesus came into a world like our own

People were traumatized by the Roman occupation and without hope from a religion that was ‘going political’ and losing its authenticity and relevance. Instead of divinely inspired prophets the Jewish religious leaders had become religious politicians. Just like in our own time.

August 21, 2021

How To Pray On the Full Armour of God (Proper 21b)

 Welcome to graduate school of spiritual warfare. This teaching on how and why we must - not may; pray on the Full Armour of God, may shock you. Jesus teaching in John 6 on feeding our spiritual life is so important we have been repeating much of it for the last 3 weeks. It includes something I had not noticed in 30 years of preaching - “no one may come to Me unless the Father has enabled him”:

  • Calvinists interpret tis as predestination
  • I interpret it as God sending the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth to  guide and protect us 
  • Paul urges us to put on the full spiritual armour of God so we can “take our stand against the the devil’s schemes”
  • Struggle is against the spiritual “Rulers” “authorities”,“powers and forces of evil” in the spiritual dimension
  • Example: Principality over Calgary blocking healing ministry


August 13, 2021

Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom (Proper 20b)

 This quote from Psalm 111.10 could be a summary of the whole Old Testament. Whenever the rulers and people submitted to the will of God things went well and whenever they failed to submit to the will of God things went very badly. Fear has more than one interpretation. Some churches have sadly used fear of eternal punishment to frighten and control people. A better interpretation is fear in the sense of fearing the loss of:

  • Our love relationship with God 
  • Covenant of forgiveness, Holy Spirit and eternal life. 
  • Holy Spirit giving us a life of wisdom 
  1. Holy Spirit Gives Us a Life of Wisdom

August 7, 2021

Whoever Feeds On This Bread Will Live Forever (Proper 19)

Many people in our time have lost their “belief in Jesus”. This puts clergy doing funerals in an awkward position. We try to be kind and pastoral and leave mourners with the comforting hope the deceased are in heaven. It would be unkind to share the Biblical teachings that only believers who feed on the body of Jesus and walk in love have eternal spiritual life. The Readings help us understand:

  • What is eternal life?
  • How the body of Jesus feeds our spiritual life?
  • How do we walk in a spiritual life of love?

  1. What is eternal spiritual life?

July 31, 2021

Holy Communion Unites Us In the Body of Christ (Proper 18)

 In the Readings, God can not completely forgive King David even when he repents and begs for mercy. Like many others King David had broken the Commandments about adultery and murder and “despised God”.  God came in person as Jesus, the divine-human, to create a new covenant of forgiveness. The Covenant of Jesus was that:

  • Jesus would give up His sinless divine-human life on the cross for the sins of the whole world
  • God would forgive the sins of those who believed in Jesus, repented and asked Jesus for forgiveness.
  • Jesus would also be the Judge of who could have the Holy Spirit and eternal spiritual life
  • Readings explain how we
    • “Come to believe in the one He has sent”
    • “Work for food that endures to eternal life”
    • Celebrate the Covenant of Jesus in Holy Communion

  1. How do we come to believe in Jesus?

July 24, 2021

Jesus Still Feeds Our Spiritual Life (Proper 17)

 The Readings remind us that we all depend on Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, to feed us spiritually as well as physically. Sadly many people stumble over the feeding miracle and miss the key spiritual message:

  • Miracle teaches us who Jesus is - the divine Messiah
  • Feeding of 5,000 is a foretaste of the bread and wine of Holy Communion
  • Holy Communion is the covenant meal that connects us and strengthens our love relationship with Jesus
  • Bread is the essential for physical life just as Jesus spiritual body and blood is essential for spiritual life
  • Reminds us and feeds our spiritual life by proclaiming the Good News of forgiveness and reconciliation

2. Forgiveness and Reconciliation opens our Spiritual Eyes

July 16, 2021

We Are In the Healing and Reconciliation Business (Proper 16)

 When I was the Business Librarian at the Richard Ivey School Of Business Administration I heard a wonderful story about defining “what business you are in” as a key to business focus and success. The Adams Adding Machine Co. was a small US company making pre-computer adding machines. The son took over and decided they needed a more ambitious name for the coming computer age. He chose International Business Machines - which is still one of the most sucessful computer companies in the world. The Readings this Sunday teach us we are in the business of healing and Reconciling people to God.

  1. The Church is to be Holy Spirit Led