It’s Sunday morning. My church recently asked me to take over one of the support teams for the Sunday services: the Altar Guild. We make sure there’s bread, wine and juice for each service. We bake our own bread and have both a chalice and communion cups. We have around 800 to 1000 people between the two morning services, so it’s a few people to prep and clean as well as maintain the elements. It definitely uses my administrative gifts along with a little strategic thinking.
We have a priest visiting who is in town to drop his daughter off at Wheaton College. He’s part of a small mission in Portland, Maine. It’s in the very heart of the most unchurched area in the United States. I had a chance to chat because he was using our spare vestments to get ready for the service. I think he used the word small at least twice to describe their mission/church plant.
I then shared that we had not always been the size we are now. I wasn’t here for the growth to our current size, but I’ve heard the stories: we left the Episcopal Church because of their unfaithfulness to the faith once deposited. We wandered over the years. Some discord occurred, some infighting within leadership, another split. Then reconciliation, the building bridges between the faithful to God gifting us with the enormous former plastics factory for a building.
I hope I encouraged him with a quick reference to Gideon. “But the Lord said to Gideon: “The people are yet too many.”
Our growth is the Lord’s. Our current numerical strength is the Lord’s. Our faithfulness is the Lord’s. The healings that occur here are the Lord’s.
It’s. All. The. Lord’s.
Soli Deo Gloria
Gideon is a good reminder that God often uses the small, the weak, the disregarded to accomplish His great purposes. And how seldom He chooses to use the “great,” the “mighty,” the well regarded.
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Savior of the world as helpless babe!