December 17, 2021

Conceived By the Holy Spirit (Advent 4c)

 There was a song we used to sing during the charismatic revival of the 80s: “She Walks on the Mountain in the heat of the Day” that moved me deeply. I was right there, with Mary, filled with joy at the Holy child she was about to bring into the world. Like Elizabeth, I knew intuitively this was true. We say we believe Jesus was “conceived by the Holy Spirit” as the Apostles Creed. I wonder how many of us understand their importance. If we have trouble believing in the virgin birth and the divine fatherhood of Jesus; we might logically have trouble with the divinity of Jesus. If Jesus is not Divine we might question the sufficiency of His sacrificial death to pay for the sins of all people. The logical result is the popular modern non-divine, good man Jesus who doesn’t need to forgive our non-existent sins and was a great teacher. The Bible is very clear this modern teaching is heresy and completely inconsistent with the historical evidence:

 

1.   Mica had Prophesied the Birth 800 years Earlier (5.2-5)

December 2, 2021

Conversion Therapy Laws Limit Freedom of Choice, Speech and Religion

It is outrageous that in this time of pandemic fear, economic confusion and social media destruction; our Canadian Government instead focusses on “completing the work” of making it illegal for professionally trained counsellors, psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists and priests to help the eighty percent of children who drift into adopting a non-birth sexual identity and later change their minds as adults. The law is one-sided - It is not illegal to counsel them into changing from birth gender. This is speech and thought control pushed by the same LGBTQ activists who organized a massive demonstration outside the American Psychological Associations annual convention in 1973 and forced them to drop sexual dysphoria (gender confusion) from their professional manual of psychological disorders. These LGBTQ activists (rightly) demand free choice and speech rights - then turn around and use social media and government lobbying to limit the choices and free speech rights of others.

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


PRAYER OF SPIRITUAL PROTECTION

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?