It was a real joy to be back preaching in St Peters last Sunday. It was thrilling to see the church packed, to join in the praise and to be able to share the greatest thing in the world – the Word of God. The following is my introduction to the morning sermon –
You will please forgive me for a personal word. I am absolutely thrilled to be standing here before you and bringing Gods word again. For those of you who are visitors I am the minister here but over the past few months have been in hospital four times. I am still recovering from surgery but the doctor gave me permission to preach again! This for me is a delight….why? Because every single one here has a tremendous need. We face confusion, darkness…
I have been able to read a lot over the past few months of illness. One astounding book is Ernst Becker’s ‘The Denial of Death’. This is a book about philosophy, psychology and humanity written by a man who was dying. It is not a Christian book and concentrates on the teaching of Freud, Jung and Kiergegaard. For me it has been astounding…The human animal is characterized by two fears – the fear of life and the fear of death.
Kierkegaard “ The whole order of things fills me with a sense of anguish, from the gnat to the mysteries of incarnation; all is entirely unintelligible to me, and particularly my own person. Great is my sorrow, without limits. None knows of it, except God in heaven, and he cannot have pity”.
But he can. And he does. This is not a form of escapism. This is the deepest psychology, the deepest counselling….the Word of God goes deep, dividing soul and spirit….There is a gentle pealing away, a prodding, an illumination…an explosion….if you have ears…hear what God the Lord will say…
You can hear the whole sermon here – The Unrighteousness that Proves God – What happens when Believers Sin. Romans 3:10-20
In the evening Andrew preached a stunning and challenging sermon on how we speak – looking at what Proverbs has to say. A few people spoke to me during this week saying that it was a real practical challenge and help to them. Highly recommended. As Andrew said – if our speech was transformed, our church would be transformed.
Finally – here is a Psalm which we will be singing today – as we look at Romans 3:10-20 –