Saturday, July 4, 2009

Small Things


Who hath despised the day of small things? Zechariah 4:10

Today I post to my blog again in response to a small sermon I heard in a small church, in a small town this last Sunday. The pastor, Harold Gott, has faithfully served the Christian Church in Grangeville, Idaho, for many years. He spends time listening to God, then preaches the meat and potatoes of the Gospel to his parishioners. His messages are sprinkled with the salt of his down-home, apt illustrations and peppered with his own unique brand of humor. His people are heartened and encouraged and challenged to go out into their community and do good—to love people into God’s Kingdom.

Last Sunday his sermon was about Dorcas—a small town woman in a small country who did a small thing faithfully. She sewed clothing for the poor widows in Israel. She “was always doing good,” and two thousand years later people are still reading her story. Harold pointed out that only three of Jesus’ disciples are even mentioned in the book of Acts, yet the story of Dorcas receives 28 lines of text in the New Testament.

The terms “big” and “small” are meaningless in God’s realm. God isn’t bounded by space or time. What Dorcas did may seem small to us, but in God’s economy it’s not. No act done out of love and obedience to God is a small thing.

God takes one sermon in a small town in Idaho and uses it to bless individuals who will in turn go out to do their own small things in God’s Kingdom. One will take a pot of stew to a neighbour who is ill; one will speak a word of encouragement to a friend who worries over the waywardness of a son or daughter; one will take her grandchildren to Sunday School faithfully, week after week; one will pray for a small child in Uganda who lives in terror with a parent who is dying of aids. All these are small things that add up to a huge sum of goodness on God’s calculator.

Zechariah goes on to speak of God’s eyes, “which range throughout the earth.” God is watching the small things, the attempts of each of his children to make a small difference in the world, and in His history book they are all recorded. This blog post will probably only be read by three or four people, but each of those people will do their own small things that will make a difference in the Kingdom of God.

This post is my small thing. It is done with gratitude to the One who does not despise the day of small things—the One who takes small loaves and fishes and uses them to feed a multitude.