In his letter to the Colossians, Paul describes the mind-blowing reality that we now see the unseen God in Jesus; the invisible has been made visible. This is good news! But it’s also the challenge of our faith. We’re called to progressively re-align our whole lives towards realities that remain invisible and somewhat intangible. The biblical claim is that Jesus has been enthroned as King over all things, including our world, and that everything in heaven and earth is coming under his peaceable rule, and one day will be fully in tune with it. And yet Jesus’ return will be like a thief in the night, so we shouldn’t be surprised when it comes as a surprise!

So how does the Kingdom Come? How does this invisible reality become visible? Jesus and all the biblical writers witness to the fact that the Kingdom will eventually find full expression in the structures and institutions of our world, but this Kingdom begins in us; in the battlefield of our hearts with all of their conflicting cravings and allegiances. The life of genuine faith is an invitation to attune our hearts and then our actions to Jesus, so that his Kingdom might take root in us.

One of the key places this happens is in our finances. Today we’re talking about money and, particularly, how we can participate in the church. I’m describing my own journey in this area, which has included a growing conviction that the church is Christ’s bride; his visible presence in the world and the place where the Kingdom begins to take on tangible form, both for our sake and for the city we’ve been planted within.

So, I want to thank those of you who already give generously to St Paul’s; her ministry is only possible because of what you give. And, if you're not yet involved in this way, I want to invite you to think, pray and act on how you can participate financially in St Paul’s. Getting involved in this way is an active and important symbol of your belonging to this community of faith. Theologian Tom Wright sums it up nicely: “Don’t let the parodies put you off. The habit of giving, of giving generously, is not an extra option for keen Christians, because our whole calling is to reflect God the creator, and the main thing we know about this true God is that his very nature is self-giving, generous love. The reason why “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7) is that that’s what God himself is like. Someone like that is a person after God’s own heart. Making a regular, formal and public practice of giving money is designed to generate the habit of heart which forms a key part of what is meant by agape love.”

Blessings, Rev Jonny Grant