One of the challenges of being a man is that when searching for things in cupboards, sheds, or on the kitchen bench, what we’re looking for can be right in front of us but still physically invisible. It’s known as the legendary “man-look”; a legitimate gender disability which we can’t possibly be blamed for.

The same can be said of aspects of our faith as followers of Christ. The sorts of things we confess in the Apostles’ Creed, for instance, are so audacious that they can easily feel disconnected from the practical hustle and bustle of our daily lives, and so fade into our background consciousness. And yet it is these astounding convictions about true reality, human identity and the destiny of the world, that breathe transforming life into the things we do everyday—the vocational contexts we travel in, whether in our families, jobs, studies, and other pursuits. Genesis 2, Psalm 8 and Isaiah 61, for instance, infuse everything we do with divine and eternal purpose, even those things that seem mundane or insignificant. God’s calling is often hidden in plain sight within the contexts and conversations of our daily lives.

This week as a church we’ve raised over $15,000 to ease the bleak daily experience of Syrian refugees. Seen in one way, it’s a mere drop in an ocean of need. But seen from the perspective of heaven, this is a spring of generosity poured into God’s redemptive mission in the world, bringing joy and hope to real people. So thank you St Paul’s!

One of our greatest challenges as Christians in a secular world is keeping our vision fixed upon the greater story that we’re part of. That is, the bold conviction that Christ is Lord over all creation and is bringing all things under his rule; that we already live in that future age made present. The incredible hope of the Christian message is that everything we do in God’s name, whether it’s overtly spiritual or not, is swept up into this future. Put another way, none of what we sow into this kingdom will be lost.

This vision gives huge significance to everything we do—our training and education, our acts of love and compassion, those all-nighters nursing sick children, advocating for the dispossessed, and our care for God’s creation. As Chris Clark from World Vision said last Sunday, the key is that we are not called to bear the burden of changing the world, but simply to join in with God’s mission to save and restore His world.

C.S. Lewis sums this all up in Mere Christianity: “A continual looking forward to the eternal world is not a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. … It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth “thrown in"; aim at earth and you will get neither.”

Rev Jonny Grant