Pastor’s Blog November 2019

It’s hard to believe that we are in November already. I guess our minds will be turning willingly or unwillingly towards Christmas. I have been reading a book about Paul’s Pastoral theology. The general thrust of the book is that a key role of a pastor is to help shape the culture of a church. Each chapter deals with an aspect of the kind of culture Paul wanted to see in his churches.  One of the chapters is about generosity.

This chapter reminded me how important it was to Paul that each church should express solidarity towards other churches, particularly the Jerusalem church, solidarity in the giving of a financial gift to aid them in their poverty. There are many references in Acts and in Paul’s letters to this gift.

In that context in 2 Corinthians 8:9, Paul writes:

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”

 Here Paul uses the Christmas story, that Jesus left heaven and came to earth, was rich became poor, to encourage the Corinthians to live generously. Generosity is central to the gospel, God is extravagant in his grace towards us. He loves us, seeks us and gives himself for us, in Christ, in order to forgive us, restore us and ultimately to give us fullness of life for eternity. If God is so generous so God’s church should be also.

In this next month we have two opportunities to express that generosity towards others. On both occasions we will be supporting Tear Fund a charity that works through local churches to bring aid to the poorest places in the world. We are part of Tear Fund’s big Quiz night on the 16th of November and hosting a Christmas concert on the 1st of December. I would really encourage you to support these events and invite others to come along. Generosity is one of the most beautiful virtues and shows something of the nature of God to the world.

Phil Dixon