This one was of the talks I gave at the 08 Spring Retreat for the Auburn Wesley Foundation
Jesus was all about the small things. My sermon notes (and the rest will have to come later)
- Jesus was about small. Small faith, small deeds, small people.
Jesus caught some flak for it, but he always encouraged small. The disciples looked at the temple and thought it was incredible. He reminded them that every stone would come down. Faith the size of a mustard seed was all Jesus wanted. Just a small amount of faith. Small deeds - how small is giving someone a cup of cold water in the name of the Lord? Really small, actually. Small people. Zacchaeus might have been a wee little man, but Jesus loved him when others couldn't.
Truly, Jesus is concerned about the small people in this world. The ones who don't have enough money to make their voices heard. Or the ones who are trampled under the big hot-shots of life. The losers, the fools, the rejected. They are small and Jesus loves them.
- Resist the temptation to think big.
We think bigger is better in our society, but Jesus never thought that way. There is something to be said for one-on-one time with best friends, or a small worship service, or a small church that can be close. Even when Jesus described the Kingdom of God as a mustard plant that sprouts up, he didn't call the Kingdom of God a Cedar of Lebanon (one of the jew's visual images for the the grandeur of the Jewish temple), he called the Kingdom of God a mustard bush, basically. Shane Claiborne has a lot to say about this kind of thing, in his book the Irresistible Revolution.
- Use the small things you have in small ways.
We say in the Christian church that your small talents are really made for big things in the Kingdom of God. Sure! But have you tried using them in small ways?
- Don't be afraid to take small steps.
My favorite excuse for not going to Church (and by extension, pursuing God) comes from random-country-bumpkin guy. He says, "Well Jack, I'd love to go to Church, but I'm just not good enough. And I don't want to be all dishonest like and go to church when I don't have my own life in order, ya know? Its the least I can do for God - to avoid church until I'm good enough for him."
In regard to that I say we can't be afraid to take small steps. Christians make a big deal some times about big life altering knock your face off moments, but life isn't made up of those. There are sometimes a ton of small steps and only when you look back do you see just how far you've walked.
Small is not a bad thing. But you wouldn't know it from looking at Christianity across America. I have this strange (but natural) inclination to distrust anything that is too big. Part of this *might* be a deep seated envy. But nah... I'm not going there right now. As I was saying - anything too big makes me suspicious. You could say things that are too cool also make me suspicious. For example (to name a few), Rob Bell and Noomas. The Purpose Driven Life, and my newest addition, Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne. Oh how I loved his first book...but now, like David Crowder, it seems he can do no wrong. The same can be said for Macs, BMW's, or Starbucks. Its just too popular...I feel like I've been had.
Small Christianity is where its at though. And I'm not saying big churches are bad - even big churches need small connections to continue. I'm just saying the small connections are where its at.