I have a confession to make: I find preaching on Paul’s Letter to the Philippians really hard. It’s not that there no content to work with. Like all of Paul’s letters, this letter is overflowing with wisdom. And it’s not as if I have trouble understanding what Paul is trying to say, although, I do gain more insight his message every time I read it.
It’s just that Paul seems to be writing with a perpetual smile on his face. He seems abnormally happy. Which is particularly jarring given his circumstances. He’s sitting in jail knowing that, at any time, the cell door could open, and he’d be taken away to die an excruciating death.
But he sounds almost giddy in this letter. Which I find unsettling. I don’t know if I’d be in such a good mood where I in his position. I don’t know from where I’d summon the strength to get through the day, much less write a hope-filled letter to a struggling church that I just founded.
Of course, we can say that...(whole thing here)