“Hold firmly to the message of life…” Philippians 2:16
The luscious hors d’oeuvres tray caught my eye. I was famished. The group I was mingling with didn’t seem to notice the server who scurried by us rather quickly. There were plenty of servers amidst the room and surely one would stop by us soon. My friends, knee deep in conversation, never looked up or caught the eye of the tuxedoed gentlemen who held the trays. They taunted me and my grumbling stomach. I held out hope that one would politely interrupt our discussion and land the tray within reach of my shaky hands. No such luck. I went home famished, wondering what all the little delicacies were which caught my attention throughout the night. I never found out. The party ended. A once in a life time gala event, and this Cinderella crawled into bed and could only dream of tasting tantalizing food.
The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church at Philippi and exhorted them to hold fast, or hold out, the word of life. The Philippians lived among a crooked and perverse generation. The spiritual landscape was dark in this region. Paul’s advice was to hold tightly to and live by truth. In addition, these believers were to hold out words of truth as well. Perhaps one hungry person salivated for words that would nourish their famished soul. The apostle desired for them to slow down long enough and reach out far enough so no one would leave their presence hungry for the Word. These Christians knew the life giving and sustaining message of salvation. For them to be too busy or hurried and miss holding forth truth to the needy would be a travesty.
The twenty-first century church is guilty of running around with the only message of hope. We allow busy-ness to keep us from scanning the scenery in search of hungry souls who need the very truth we have in our hands. Folks go home wanting, wondering what words will satisfy the deepest hunger of their souls. Those of us who hold in firm the Word of life have a great responsibility. We need to hold the Word out as well. We are the servers. May we be ever on the lookout for eyes searching for truth!