June 19, 2013

Are You Guided By the Holy Spirit?

(Bible Teaching for Proper 13, 2013 by Rev. John Gishler)

1.     Paul is teaching us the difference between those who are guided by their selfish human nature and those who are guided by the Holy Spirit – applies to individuals and church congregations

Question is who or what do you really depend on for guidance in daily life?
·         Before we become a serious Christian we are naturally guided by a mixture of our fears, wants and ego – “the flesh” or “my way
·         Hebrew people were mainly guided by the Teachings of Moses
     Galatians 5.1, 13-25 teaches us a new way to grow in love, control our       fears and selfishness and be guided by the Holy Spirit in daily life

June 15, 2013

Fathers Protect the Inheritance With Self-sacrificial Love

In our time many men, like King Ahab in the 1 Kings 21.1-10 Reading, have abdicated their role and responsibilities as protectors of the family inheritance. My generation matured in the 60’s when women were struggling for equal treatment as employees. Since then there has been a lot of male authority bashing as the excesses of male physical and sexual abuse have been exposed. The Lectionary Bible Readings help us understand the role and responsibilities of Jewish and Christian men as fathers.
1. The “vineyard” is a metaphor for spiritual life
A vineyard is a complex living creation that requires constant nourishment and protection – just like a human life and particularly like human spiritual life.

June 7, 2013

Reflection on Turkey, Greece & Albania Trip

This question “How Have You Changed As a Result of This Trip?” was proposed for us on the last day of our 23 day trip through Turkey, Greece and Albania. Everyone on the bus was too exhausted to discuss this after over 6,000 km of bus - but today is a new day. We have had a good sleep and are on our way back to Calgary. My day started with the Holy Spirit reminding me to reflect on how I had changed regarding contending for the Faith, the Orthodox Church and the importance of living life to the full.

June 5, 2013

Jesus Brings Us Out of Death into Life

The Readings and Prayers assigned for today all deal with the good news of coming out of death into life. Our Anglican (BAS) Eucharistic Prayer # 3 condenses the Good News of what Jesus does into three steps to personal spiritual life. In him we come:
  • From error into truth (through teaching)
  • From sin into righteousness (through forgiveness)
  • From death into life (through salvation)

 1. The widow and her son faced death by starvation in a time of famine
1 Kings 17.8-16 tells us Elijah was directed by the Holy Spirit to visit and stay with a poor widow during a famine he had earlier prophesied. The verses preceding tell us God had fed him with ravens that carried food to him in the wilderness. Now he approaches a starving widow and asks for water and bread. She tells him she has only a small jar of flower and some oil – only enough for one last meal before she and her son starve to death.
  • Step 1: Elijah teaches her a prophecy that the jar and oil will not fail
  • Step 2: Widow believes the prophecy and is in right relationship
  • Step 3: Widow and son are restored to physical and potentially spiritual life