Sunday, 17 May 2009

Dear Friends,

Last week we were reminded that Jesus spoke more about money matters than almost any other issue. He did this for at least three reasons: [1] Jesus knew that money has the power to relocate our hearts—from a trust in God “to where our treasure is”. So for Jesus to speak of money-matters was in fact another way of speaking about heart-matters. And deep inside we know that this is true because we know how our relationship with money really is a revelation of our heart. [2] Jesus knew the “god-like-ness” of money. That any and everything seems to cost money — it is omnipresent — and therefore we are inclined to see money as a solution to all our problems and provider of all our dreams—in other words, our salvation. [3] Jesus knew that the more money we have the more independent we may start to behave, forgetting our neighbour because we seemingly no longer need them. As John Wesley said: “Having riches inevitably leads to trusting riches, for when people are fixed on storing up wealth for the future, they neglect to love God and neighbour in the present.”

To counter these dangers Jesus invites us to be a generous people. This gives us a clue as to why we have an offertory every Sunday during worship: [1] We have a weekly offertory to repeatedly re-locate our wayward and wandering hearts back to God. [2] To place the popular god of our age at the feet and service of the Living God. [3] That it may be used to bring life—abundant life—in this wounded world. This means our Sunday offertory is not about “fundraising” for the Church. During the offertory today and indeed during every generous act—I invite you to feel your heart move! Peace, Alan

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