HomeFr Kevin writes...

What's your temperature?

Dear Friends,

Have you, like I, had some anxious moments at the appearance of a cough over the past nineteen months, that we've reached for a lateral flow test and before that the thermometer? Taking our physical temperature has been a vital diagnostic tool, hasn't it? But when did you and I last take our spiritual temperature?

Our Stewardship Sunday falls on the 21st of this month and is an opportunity for us to do just that: to take an honest look at ourselves and assess our own response to God's overflowing love and generosity to us. How do I give back to God and to the work of His Kingdom? What does my giving say about me and my love for God?

Indeed, someone once said that our cheque books are a better thermometer of our spiritual temperature than our prayer books! Because this is first and foremost a spiritual issue rather than a monetary one.

We can give, of course, in many ways: of out time, energy, gifts and talents as well as money. I want to thank everyone who has given so generously in so many ways to the work of the Gospel at St Paul's over the past year. It seems almost a miracle to me that we have been able to sustain the work of St Paul's financially and in other ways during the pandemic. However, in order to do so, we have had to cut back on financial outgoings, especially the Parish Share which we cannot do indefinitely. On top of this, moving forward, our financial situation looks very uncertain. At the same time, maintaining some of our essential ministries and activities has become very difficult. If St Paul's is to survive, let alone thrive in the New Year and beyond then it will need a fresh miracle, one which begins within us, at the spiritual core of our beings, in our minds and hearts.

So the potential crisis facing St Paul's (and we are not alone) is not to be addressed as a financial problem so much as a spiritual opportunity. So please will you join me, first by praying. Praying for God's will and work to be done here, and his will to be don, so praying for the coming of the Kingdom of God in this place? Will you join me in praying that we may be so filled with a fresh appreciation of the overflowing love and generosity of God to us, that our hearts may be touch to give back to Him out of love for Him? Will you pray that we may respond to Him generously, prayerfully, thoughtfully, proportionally to our income and, most of all, not grudgingly but joyfully?

This is indeed a spiritual issue. In the final book of the Bible, Jesus warns the Laodicea church (in modern day Turkey), "I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth."

So, what might be your spiritual temperature and mine?

With love and prayers,

Fr Kevin.