Paul in Chains: Philippians
Imagine that a delegation from your church or organization is allowed to visit Paul in his Roman prison. He emerges from his dungeon cell. He looks each member in the eyes and remembers them as dear friends and speaks to the gathering from his heart.
Listen to Paul as he finds reasons to rejoice while suffering under dire stress. As he finds confidence in the face of uncertainties. As he finds strength and comfort in the midst of opposition and abandonment.
My presentation of “Philippians” takes about thirty minutes and therefore fits easily into a regular worship service setting. It is a simpler presentation than “Ephesians” in that I do not use multiple props or do any staging. All I need is a good lapel microphone, and one or two volunteers in order to bring the Apostle's message to your people.
Again I use the New International Version, but I do modify it a bit. I address it to your congregation rather than “to all the saints at Philippi”. I have changed some of the transitional phrases to make them more natural to the way I speak in my every day conversation and to help the message flow. I leave out those passages of the letter that refer to other people Paul knew, namely Timothy, Epaphroditus, Euodia, Syntyche and the “loyal yokefellow”. Otherwise, it is all Paul’s heart and his thoughts.
This is an excellent experience for Lent or Holy Week given how Paul so desires to share in the fellowship of Christ's sufferings and somehow attain to the resurrection from the dead. Or any other time of year.
“Pastor Duffy brings to life the apostle as a passionate, afflicted, and genuine preacher and shepherd to the Philippians in this moving presentation, bringing a freshness and immediacy to a letter too often held at arm’s length. Far from a mere recital, Pastor Duffy draws the audience in. The apostle’s love for Jesus and those he ministers to shines ‘as stars in the universe as he holds out the word of life.’ Our congregation was impacted (and grateful) for this excellent presentation.”
Director of International Student Ministry
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA
"How I praise God for you ... You were excellent, admirable, and praiseworthy - as Paul, you poured yourself out as a drink offering & to be washed over with the Word this morning was a beautiful experience. ... We couldn't have asked for anything more. Amen? Amen!!!"
-- Jenn Finch
First Covenant Church, Youngstown, OH
“The presentation exceeded my expectations and was very effective. I love how you connect with people. I think you connect with your audience as friends.”
– Pastor Bob Thompson
Corinth Reformed Church UCC, Hickory, NC
“Please tell people what a wonderful and enriching experience we had and how our people are still talking about it one week later.”
– Pastor Semmeal Thomas
City Covenant Church, Detroit, MI