Far from a monologue...

We wrapped up our sermon series in Philippians this last Sunday with the last verses of the epistle.

Huw Williams | 22:15, Thursday, 17 November 2011

There was something deeply humbling about looking over our congregation and bringing verses which included the following:

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:12-13)

There in the congregation in front of me, sat a large number of people who are unemployed, a large proportion of whom have been so long-term. And (especially in Italy, where there is a deep economic crisis) with the news ringing in all of our ears of 'economic downturn', 'drastic austerity measures', and 'hard times ahead', preachers' platitudes are as inappropriate as they are unwelcome. And yet these words are here, inspired by the Holy Spirit and written by Paul, a man who was always marked by 'walking the talk'. And as we considered these words together I felt an immediacy to the challenge of the text as well as the challenge ahead of us all – do we believe this, or do we not? Because this may well be the real crucible in which many of us are tested in the coming months.

And for me as a preacher, to see these same people engaging with the message of the gospel, with the person behind that secret, Jesus Christ, the one through whom we can do all things, was a deeply humbling experience. Which is why I started by saying "WE wrapped up our sermon series", because I am learning that preaching is often far from a monologue.

Document Actions