September 19, 2020

The Gift of Faith (Proper 29A)

Faith is a challenge for everyone. We are all divided in our loyalty between God and “Caesar”. The good news is that Jesus gives us a simple and profound teaching. Give what belongs to Caesar to Caesar and what belongs to God to God. This leads to the questions of:

  • What belongs to God?
  • How do we know we can trust God?
  • How do we get this gift of faith?


1. What belongs to God?

September 7, 2020

Reconciling Conflicts With Love

(Available on Youtube "John Gishler")

Jesus is teaching us how to reconcile conflicts with love. Matthew 18 describes this section (v. 15-22) as “Dealing with sin in the church”. Paul explains that all sin is a failure to love God, our neighbour or ourselves. Conflict and unforgiveness pollutes our soul (sin) and separates us from God and other people. Today we are focussing on the work of the church to proclaim, teach and model orthodox faith with love. Jesus repeats Mt. 16.19 re-affirming the role of the church as holding the keys to the Kingdom with the authority of binding and loosing sin guilt. This three-step process of confidential reconciliation is the opposite of what normally happens. It protects reputations, determines the truth and facilitates forgiveness:

  1. Person goes first to the person to seek reconciliation
  2. Only if this fails, they take witnesses and go again to reconcile
  3. Only if  both attempts fail do they take it to the church leadership, again in confidence, to avoid spreading the conflict beyond three or four people 

Step #1: “Go and point out their fault just between the two of you” 

September 5, 2020

How To Be a Christian (Pr. 22)

Jesus is preparing His disciples for His departure. He warns them of His death and  Resurrection. He warns them of the danger of listening to Satan or our fear and then gives them the basics of how to be a follower and gain eternal-spiritual life:

  • Deny themselves
  • Take up their cross
  • Follow Him


We begin our spiritual life in Jesus by reading the Bible, getting to know about Jesus, growing in love for Him and coming to Him for forgiveness. These are the three things we must “do” to “be rewarded according to what we have done”.(Mt. 16.27). The Romans Reading (12.9-21) gives us clear guidance on what this means:


  1. Deny Self