Date: September 27, 2020
Bible Text: Philippians 2:1-13 | Rev. David A. Douthett
The first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism says:
Q. What is your only comfort in life and death?
A. That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil. He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, all things must work together for my salvation. Therefore, by his Holy Spirit he also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for him.
The sermon today considers the issue of our cultural grief and trauma over the last year (and more), and how, by not dealing with it in healthy ways, we are prone to the sort of cultural symptoms we are seeing - denial, anger, despair, and the proliferation of excess to mask our collective and individual pain. But as the catechism teaches and as we read in Philippians 2, we have comfort and consolation in Jesus Christ, who emptied himself of his godly position, humbled himself, and was obedient to God even to death on the cross. In Christ we can find healing for our souls that allows us the capacity to be tender toward others, as he was and is.