The readings for today are those appointed for a Dedication Festival. I am
assuming these readings might be used for the opening of a worship centre.
Not quite the same as Thanksgiving Day or Temple Day as it was once called.
Yet the readings do speak about the promises of God being fulfilled, what is
church and our responsibility in the proclamation of the gospel. It reminds
us that we too have a role to play in leading others to Christ.
The great commission calls us to go and make disciples, to teach and baptise
them (Mt 28:19,20). This means that we too are to get involved in the
mission of God. There are many ways to do this as we use our spiritual
gifts, share our faith with non believers as well as providing for the
physical means of doing this ie our buildings and our leaders.
To do the work of God we need a focus. God provided this initially in the
ark of the covenant then in the building of the Temple. Later this was
centred on Christ and the establishment of churches. These provided the
focus of worship. God also provided leaders in the patriarchs, prophets,
kings and later in Christ, the apostles and holy men and women of history.
Part of our responsibility was to present tithes and offerings to support
leaders and to provide for the needs of up-keeping the worship. Paul says
that the worker (leader) deserves their pay (1 Cor 9).
Our Thanksgiving Service today is again a reminder of part of the
responsibility we have to provide the physical needs for the mission of the
church, specifically in making sure the rectory is suitable for our new
Rector, Tracy. The church is applying for a loan to complete the necessary
renovations to make sure Tracy is in a position where she can dedicate
herself fully to help us be responsible for our part in the mission of the
church. This is on top of the loan we have already for the last upgrade to
the rectory. Your generosity will lessen the amount of the loan so that we
have less to repay.