May’s Pastoral Letter – Do Not Despise The Day of Small Things

Dear Parish Family

Twenty years after the return of the Jews into Judah after the Babylonian Exile, discouragement had set in. The great rejoicing at their homecoming – the hopes of establishing the temple and worship and reclaiming the promised land had all stalled. Instead only the foundation had been laid and the Jews faced strong opposition.

The book of Zechariah is a prophecy from God aimed at encouraging the Jews. Don’t worry, God tells Zechariah. My purposes will be accomplished. In chapter 4:10 the Lord warns Zechariah, “Who dares despise the day of small things…”

This is a warning for us today.

We all want the big things now, don’t we?

As a church we want to grow NOW. We want our own building NOW.

Yes, we understand that we have to start small, but we can’t wait for the day when we are bigger, better and in our own space.

But I believe the Lord is saying to us – Do not despise the day of small things.

We must learn to be faithful in what God has given us. We must be faithful and true in our smallness. For this is where the Lord has placed us at this time and here, we are to rejoice and give thanks.

Patience in the small things is vital for godly leadership and for a godly church. Moses was a shepherd for 40 years. For 40 years he wondered around the desert of Midian taking care of sheep and goats. Jesus was a carpenter for 20 years, quietly working in a small town in Judah. And yet for both, they were being prepared for the calling God had for them.
God is preparing us, both individually and as a church, and if we neglect this period of preparation it will mar our future ministry and effectiveness.

God is teaching us and preparing us. We may be impatient, but we must remember that God’s timetable is perfect and we must not rush ahead of God. It is OK to have visions, goals and dreams. It is in fact vital to have such things. But we must never have these to the extent of despising where we are now.

It is in the small things that God builds character. Paul reminds us in Romans 5:3-5 that we never get the crown without first bearing the cross.

That was Jesus’ point in Luke 16:10. He says, Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.

The Lord is teaching us to be trustworthy in the small things, for when we are trustworthy in the small things He WILL give us much. When we rejoice in being humble, he will lift us up.

• Luke 14:11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
 
• Luke 18:14 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
 
• James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

 
• 1Pet. 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

So, my friends, let us not despise the day of small things, but rejoice in where we are now. Let us give thanks to our God. Let us gather each week to praise his name – to worship, to commit ourselves to serving Him in the place He has put us. Let us prepare ourselves to be faithful each day, each week in what God has given us. And then we will be ready to be faithful in what God WILL give us in the future.

Bless you all

Andy

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