Many of you will have heard Sam Markey's Go and Grow update on Sunday, where he set out the incredible challenge facing us to raise about £2m by the end of October. This target has come about as a result of the exhaustive scrutiny of the project exposing a gap in our finances, that must be plugged if the scheme is to be seen to be viable. It seems like an impossible goal. However Sam also reminded us of a number of several other imposssibles that have happened through the course of the project. Faced with such crazy objectives, I know that this is one problem that I cannot solve. Perhaps a little late in the day, I have realised that I, as merely the vicar, am powerless to make this happen. I am not the messiah of Go and Grow.
So how do I, and indeed how do all of us, respond to this situation. We all need to play our part, to examine our hearts and our wallets and to ask God how he is challenging us personally to respond to the predicament that we find ourselves in. And then we simply put one foot in front of the other and walk the walk of faith, totally trusting God for whatever comes. This is not an abdication of our obligation to try everything we can to make it happen, but rather an acknowledgement that God is sovereign and we are mere pawns in his plans.
That said, now is not the time to lie back citing "que sera sera". Quite the opposite, as with many occasions during the course of this project's life, it feels like the final scene of Wallace and Gromit's "The Wrong Trousers" where Gromit, straddled on the first carriage, frantically lays the track in front of the careering toy train (watch the clip here). For us at St Bs right now this will include a frenetic fundraising push which will dominate our church life for the next couple of months. Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, we press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenwards in Christ Jesus (see: Philippians 3:13-14). Only we don't need to fret; we can relax, God is in control and we utterly trust him.