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Cnr of Park Rd and MacMahon St, Hurstville Sundays at 9:30 am and 6:30 pm

Coffee Machines

World famous Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdös was renowned for his wit: “A mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems,” he once quipped. The wag in me wants to make the same claim for parish theologians: ‘A minister is a machine for turning coffee into sermons.’ At least, that’s the fuel that constructs many of mine. Espressos and exegesis are close companions in my study.

But that’s not the whole truth, for there is a better and higher fuel for sermon construction. In his letter to the Colossians, and in a section where Paul speaks about the focus and purpose of his preaching, he reveals the secret to his power: “To this end I labour, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me.” No sipping on a flat white. No crunching on a coffee bean. No coursing of caffeine through his corpus callosum. Just the energy that comes from heaven, stirring his mind, and directing his hermeneutic and homiletic.

Thankfully this provision of heaven-send power is available to all preachers, but with this condition: “To this end I labour,” said the Apostle. In other words, power is given when labour is directed ‘to this end’. What end? In the previous verse Paul gives the answer: ‘We proclaim Him’. When Christ is the content and goal of our preaching, then power is assured. And therein lies the more desirable definition: ‘A minister is a servant for turning heavenly power into gospel proclamation.’

DM 7th August 2021

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