SUNDAY SERMON: Say It Gently; Say It Loud!

Prayer of Paul: ‘I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ'(Philemon 6). Paul wrote this letter to Philemon from prison. He did not get discouraged, but in the solitude of the prison, he had shared his faith with Onesimus, a slave of Philemon, who had been sent to jail, because he stole from his master and then ran away. Paul had quietly led him to a saving knowledge of Christ within the confines of the prison. Onesimus had thus become, not only a brother to Paul, but to Philemon as well, by virtue of the common faith. In a double sense, for being led to Christ, Onesimus had also become a spiritual son of Paul. Paul, playing a conciliatory role, urged Philemon to take his slave back in a double way. First as a brother in Christ and secondly as a servant; no longer a slave. Paul made his plea, not using his apostolic powers or authority to command or instruct. Onesimus, released from prison, after serving his term, was then fully reconciled to his old master, in a new relationship. Paul, in this short letter, made reference to the continuing efforts of Philemon in the practical way he shared his faith. This is a commendation to all of us this 21st Century, in an increasingly secularized society. How do you and how should we share our faith today? Positive helpful visiting, not as a formality for the records;loving people; bearing people’s burdens, not as a means of gossiping, but making practical solutions to minimize sufferings, should be some considerable means. In addition, saying it loud is a necessary means of sharing our faith. We should tell others what the LORD has done for us! We sang and taught this song very much in the 80s and still do so today: ‘‘Come and let me tell you what the LORD has done for me …”. From an overflowing heart of gratitude, we make known to any one we come in contact with, the goodness of the LORD in our lives. What more are we to tell? Tell others how we cried to God in difficult times and how he answered by delivering us from troubles and helped in solving our problems. Tell others how God brought us out of darkness and deepest gloom, broke our chains, broke down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron! Physical, emotional, relational, financial, vocational, psychological and above all, spiritual problems were solved for us and are being solved through us, by the enabling grace of God. Tell others about this God of ours, who knows no failure and who solves all problems, willingly brought to him! Indeed as David said: ”Let the redeemed of the LORD say so”(Psalm 107:2). Brother, sister, say so always, anywhere, anytime, and to anyone who would listen. Say it gently and as you shall find opportunity, say it loud too! God bless you.

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