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Faith in Action: Be the Church
Small Acts Can Make a Big Difference, part 1
This week we are in week three of four in a series called Faith in Action: Be the Church. The first week we looked at “Love Takes a Detour,” two weeks ago we considered, “Seeing People through Christ’s Eyes,” and this week we will be looking at two of Jesus’ parable found in Luke 13 as we are reminded that “Small Acts Can Make a Big Difference.”
Let me start by giving us a Quiz.
1. Which country has the largest population?
2. What is the world’s tallest mountain?
3. What type of tree is the tallest?
4. Who is the world’s richest man?
So far, so good. Now let’s try the second half of the quiz.
1b. Which country has the smallest population?
2b. What is the world’s smallest mountain?
3b. What type of tree is the shortest?
4b. Who is the world’s poorest man?
Answers: 1. China: 1.36+ billion 2. Mt. Everest 3. Redwood – the tallest is 397.7 ft. 4. In 2015 it was, Bill Gates. 1b. Vatican City: 451, yes it is considered a country. 2b. Mt. Wycheproof in Wycheproof, Australia. 3b. Dwarf willow is 1 – 6 centimeters in height. 4b. Jerome Kerviel has a negative net worth of $6.3 billion.
How did you do? Better on the first half of the quiz, I bet. The point of the quiz is that we tend to recognize, respect and remember those things in life that are big, while we tend to give little thought to the small things.
In nearly every aspect of our lives we seem to believe “bigger is better.” Unfortunately, we even seem to believe that in spiritual matters. We often think that more people, more money, bigger ministries and buildings, more programs, and greater talent will result in greater effectiveness at God’s work. We also seem to think that God is doing more and can do more where there is something going on that looks grand and marvelous.
And we tend to think the opposite about smaller things. We act as though God is not working or could not work though smaller churches and ministries, lesser talent, and fewer programs. We think if it isn’t big, God must not be in it. Not only do we think this about churches and ministries, we also tend to think it about ourselves. We may feel like we aren’t big enough, rich enough, talented enough, or important enough for God to use us in any meaningful way.
But… IS bigger always better? No… not when it comes to spiritual things. Jesus wanted to get this point across to His followers. So He gave them two illustrations of how God works in His Kingdom.
Medication: A Merry Heart: KNITTING CHINESE
Many years ago my wife was to knitting what Peyton Manning is to football. She designed exotic patterns with ease.
There was an occasion when we had lunch in a real Chinese restaurant (only one person spoke partial English, all menus were in Chinese). When she saw the handwritten menu she was so impressed with the calligraphy she tucked it in her purse.
Some months later I saw the result – a stunning white sweater with the Chinese symbols hand-stitched down the front.
She received compliments galore until at one party when we met a distinguished Chinese physician who asked my wife where she got the symbols. He then wanted to know if she knew what they meant.
“I’m afraid to ask,” she said, “but tell me anyway.”
Even she had to laugh when he told her they read, “This is a cheap dish – but good.”
St Mark’s Community Church, Janesville
New Beginnings Church, New Ulm
Verse of the Week: 1 John 3:9 ESV
Today’s readings: Deuteronomy 3 – 4