Let Your Light Shine Through – Print

Let Your Light Shine Through:
Collected Sermons – Creative Worship Volume 2

Philip Garside

These engaging sermons will stimulate your thinking,
warm your heart and support your spiritual journey.
The book includes links to free online resources.

Print publication details

Publishing:  April 2020
Language: English
Words: 112,120
B/W text, 304 pp, 6″ x 9″ 

NZ Print edition: 9781988572260
Amazon Print-on-Demand: 9798627973760
International Print edition: 9781988572307

NZ $35.00



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Book Description

Are you looking for fresh insights into Bible readings that will stimulate your thinking, warm your heart and support your spiritual journey?

These engaging sermons by New Zealand Methodist lay preacher,and progressive Christian, Philip Garside will get you going.

Philip says, “I’m fascinated with how the Bible readings for the Sunday arose: who wrote them, what political or religious situation they sprang from, and what did the writer intend as the message to readers and listeners in their day? I then add in related material from our lives today, from our world, and suggest ways we can interpret the Bible readings. What Good News do they contain for us here and now? I usually draw out a sermon’s spiritual or devotional lessons as part of a short recap at the end. Head stuff first, then hands, then heart.”

He follows the approach of “taking the Bible seriously, but not literally,” and writes sermons the way he speaks. This informal approach works well with congregations.

The 62 sermons in this book are arranged in the order they were preached over 12 years and follow the three-year cycle of readings in the Revised Common Lectionary. There are indexes of Scripture readings and of People / Themes, and a Bibliography of key books, recordings and other sources referred to in the sermons.

The book is supported by free online PowerPoints, images & photos, video clips, and audio recordings of many of the sermons. (See https://pgpl.co.nz/sermons/  The password for this page is provided at the end of the book.)

Philip also hopes that this book will encourage other lay people to learn to lead worship and to take up the rewarding challenge of preaching.

Praise for Let Your Light Shine Through

“Every Methodist preacher in Aotearoa-New Zealand should have this sermon collection by Philip Garside. And, if they are wise enough to purchase it, they can also put the link on their mobile or desktop device to access his online collection of additional resources.

Philip belongs to a small group of Methodists who have either printers ink on their fingers and palms, or it runs in their blood. Either way they have taken the time and care to collect their most important work and seen it into print. This latest book reminds me of one such character: the prolific and talented Deaconess Rita Snowden, OBE. She, who rode John Wesley – her motorbike – around New Zealand in the 1930s, wrote her first book in 1933. As Rev Donald Phillipps wrote, “For over four years she was the travelling representative of the Methodist Literature and Colporteur Society, taking books all over the country in her caravan.”  She wrote at least a book a year for the next 56 years achieving international recognition. Tall poppy syndrome ensured she had a wider audience overseas rather than in New Zealand.

Well, Mr Garside doesn’t ride John Wesley, but he takes his publications around Methodist Conferences and Synods, Schools of Theology and other church gatherings. He also puts them online; a resource Rita would have greatly appreciated. He has published numerous authors, religious and secular, and preached faithfully his own sermons, written his own hymns and music, and made various resources available over decades.

It is this latter collection that I want to encourage Methodist folk to buy. With a print copy in your hands you can dip into it, and discover a theological intelligence, a preacher’s vision and a pastoral heart.  Note, however, you will be hard-pressed to read it all at once. It’s not that kind of book. There are 62 sermons let alone the other material. As I review it, I am dipping in and out of it, wondering why we do not see this kind of offering more often?

Philip says of his own work, “You will find that these sermons take a teaching approach. I’m fascinated with how the Bible readings for the Sunday arose: who wrote them, what political or religious situation they sprang from, and what the writer intended as the message to readers and listeners in their day? I then add in related material from our lives today, from our world, and suggest ways we can interpret the Bible readings. What Good News do they contain for us here and now? I usually draw out a sermon’s spiritual or devotional lessons as part of a short recap at the end. Head stuff first, then heart, then hands.”

I move around these sermons, acknowledging they are lectionary based, yet all the while wondering ‘what is his concern with that which is beyond the biblical content?’ I am never disappointed. What am I learning about how contemporary churchgoers and lay preachers see the issues for our day and age? Philip provides answers. Obviously, I don’t agree with all of his solutions, and might quibble over some of the exegesis, yet he engages me. And that, and that alone, is the key to his success as a preacher.

So Philip joins a short list of the old-style Methodists who found within themselves, the flame, the fire, to preach and publish and be damned – and some of them were! …all power to PGPL and to Philip for this book which gets the evangel into the marketplace. I like it.”

Rev Dr David Bell, former principal of
Trinity Theological College, Auckland

“I am impressed. I see this as an excellent collection of role-model sermons. Each is well researched, well-structured and thoughtfully spiritual. You display an innovative range of creative presentations. Every reflection delivers a meaningful and meaty message for our times. Thank you for sharing it with me.”

Rosalie Sugrue, Author and Lay Preacher

Sample Sermon

Click here for a PDF copy of: Living With Real Hope

About the Author

Philip worked in banking for 19 years before moving into publishing and book selling. He was a co-owner of the Epworth Books shop for many years.

Philip’s father and maternal grandfather were Methodist ministers, so learning to lead worship and becoming a Methodist lay preacher were natural steps. He identifies as a progressive, liberal Christian.

He and his wife Heather share a passion for music, are members of Festival Singers of Wellington and lead the English language congregation’s Singing Group at their church. They live in Wellington, New Zealand and have three creative adult children.

Table of Contents

  • Kindle a flame
  • Introduction
  • The Good Shepherd
  • Short Reflection for Peace Sunday
  • Responding to God’s Call
  • Making Sense of the Cross
  • Yes, I Believe
  • The World’s Values and the Values of the Kingdom of God
  • Reclaiming Christmas
  • Touching the Sacred
  • Experiencing and Interpreting the Scripture
  • Breaking through to Love
  • The Lord’s Prayer
  • Telling the Good News
  • Whatever’s Written in Your Heart
  • The Water of Life
  • Living with Real Hope
  • Responding to the Wilderness
  • How should we spread the Good News?
  • Keeping Jesus Alive in Our Hearts
  • Love in Action
  • Controlled by Love
  • A New Hope
  • Journey in faith
  • Lent, Season of Love
  • Celebration – Struggle – Transformation
  • What must I do?
  • One in Christ
  • Exploring the Nativity Stories in Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospels
  • The Moment of Jesus’ Baptism
  • Celebration – Crisis – Cross – Change
  • Head, Heart and Hands
  • Jesus and the Dream of God
  • Layers of Meaning
  • Jesus, the human face of God
  • The Gift of Sight
  • The Tipping Point
  • Embracing New Ideas
  • Let Justice Roll Down Like a River
  • Expansion, Contraction
  • God Is With Us
  • Jesus changes his mind
  • Finding a Direction for Our Journey
  • One Cubed (13) – The Power of Three
  • Cultivate an Attitude of Hope
  • Who is my enemy?
  • Like a child
  • Wind of the Spirit
  • Good things come in threes
  • God’s Enduring Love
  • Take the long view, do what we can, it is enough
  • The Rule of Three
  • Worship Should Be Beautiful
  • The Solar Jesus
  • Thinking Through the Trinity
  • Come the hour, come the leader
  • Finding the Tipping Point
  • Growing in Faith
  • We Are Weaving…
  • What was Jesus’ plan?
  • Getting Out of Our Comfort Zones
  • Rejoice and Praise – Be confident – Be Prepared
  • Have mercy on us…
  • God is With Us
  • Bibliography
  • Scripture Index
  • People and Themes Index


Progressive Christianity; Contemporary preaching; sermon audio recordings; Lay preaching; Multimedia sermons; Engaging worship; preaching about love of god; New Zealand; Methodist;   bible methodist church; christian illustrations; deeper life sermons; encouraging sermon topics; good sermons to preach; lay preacher; lectionary sermons; methodist religion beliefs; preaching about love of god; reaching today illustrations; sermon archive; sermon audio recordings; topical preaching


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