April 10, 2020

Spiritual Communion Gives Us Hope and Comfort

(Notes for Holy Communion service and teaching available on 

YouTube Channel "John Gishler" Sunday April 19 at https://youtu.be/D_RSeMljU8s ) 

The Christian Church has always taught that Holy Communion is "an outward visible sign of an inner spiritual grace" and that God answers the prayer of our hearts. Like many Anglican priests I am celebrating at home with my wife Lucille in Calgary and invite you to join with us and participate as fully as you can intentionally in your heart. Many will know the responses and everyone can say "Amen" to the prayers. There will be silences for you to participate in the Confession and Prayers of the People at home. We will be honoured to "stand in the gap" for you in receiving the bread and wine. Like Thomas we all need a personal experience of the Risen Jesus and Holy Spirit to really believe in Jesus and find comfort and hope in this challenging time.

1. Easter Gives Us the Hope of Eternal Spiritual life

Death is the root of our current fear. We have all been traumatized and confused. There seems no way to end the spread, no vaccine and little doctors can do. The good news of Easter is that there is something more – another more glorious and joyful life than we can imagine for those who believe in Jesus and have the hope of being raised “in Jesus”:
·      The resurrection of Jesus is “evidence based” and not mythical as many people believe –
o   Biblical accounts sound authentically confused and natural
o   Strong faith of believers / spread of Christianity to all parts of the world
o   Experience of Howard Storm (YouTube) and many others confirms that heaven is real
·      Resurrection confirms that Jesus was who He repeatedly said He was - the promised Saviour who would give up His divine / human life as a sacrifice for the sins of all people.
o   Divine - God (not Joseph) was His father
o   Appropriate – things are very legalistic in the spiritual dimension
o   Satan’s power of sin guilt over people was potentially broken
o   Confirmed New Covenant of Jesus - those who believed in Him could repent, confess their sins, ask for and receive forgiveness

2. Resurrection Enabled the Holy Spirit To Come In Power
Holy Spirit cannot live in a sin-polluted personal spirit. Just as Isaiah prophesied, the Holy Spirit has been poured out on all people. The Good news of Easter is that we can all become holy vessels for the Holy Spirit to live in during this difficult time:
·      Guides us as our conscience in right path
·      Comforts us when we are afraid
·      Can heal us when we are sick or disheartened

3. Self-isolation is a time for every family to be a home church that celebrates Easter and nourishes itself by:
·      Developing a daily time of Bible reading and prayer – for doctors, nurses and those you know who are sick
·      Using resources on how to lead worship services and Christian teachings on the internet: i.e. Bible Teachings For Spiritual Life
·      Watching weekly church services from local churches on YouTube –  i.e. Holy Cross Anglican 
·      Sharing learning and personal experiences of Jesus, spiritual healing and joy with those who do not know or have trouble believing the Good News of Easter by phone or social media

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