God wants to bestow dignity upon us.
We see this throughout the arching narrative of scripture. In creation, God calls us to share in His work of responsibly caring for creation. In the history of Israel, God raises up men and women to rescue his people.
Even the manner in which God saves us bestows dignity upon humanity. God became human in the person of Jesus, and through his death and resurrection, he won for us our salvation. And so the human race finds dignity in that it is by a human being that God achieves our salvation.
Creation, Israel, Jesus …. and now we reach our time, the age of the Church. But having rescued us, is God still eager to bestow dignity upon us? Of course the answer is yes, for our God is unchanging, ever-faithful and always for us.
One way in which he seeks to bestow dignity upon us is by offering us the opportunity to partner with him in his work as we await Jesus’ return. Scripture is clear that God does not need our money, for His ‘are the cattle on a thousand hills’ (Psalm 50), as is ‘all the silver and the gold’ (Haggai 2).
Yet though God does not need our bank balances, he longs to bestow dignity upon us by giving us the opportunity to partner with Him – to INVEST in his good and gracious plans for our community, our nation and our world.
We see this mirrored in our passage for this Sunday, where we read that the
Macedonians begged earnestly for the privilege of partnering in God’s work. Though poor, they knew of the dignity that came with financially investing in God’s kingdom.
So will you partner with God? Of course, there are other ways we can invest in God’s kingdom. We can invest our time by joining one of the many teams at Church or we can invest our energies by engaging with God’s work outside of the church walls.
One way in which I plan to invest my energy (quite literally!) in the coming months is by training for a marathon! I have never been a runner, but at the end of the summer I received an email from a Christian charity I have long supported. As part of their 25th Anniversary ROPE (who work with some of the most vulnerable people across the world) were looking for someone silly enough to run the London marathon for them. Prompted by God, I put on my trainers and put my name forward!
So if you see a tired looking curate running the streets try not laugh too much, instead see it as an investment of energy in God’s Kingdom!
Every blessing, Dave