Little Things Aren't So Little
- Author: Steve Trewartha is pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in New Prague, Minn. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Updated: 07/31/2006
- Copyright: Steve Trewartha
In the congregation's newsletter, "The Visitor," Pastor Steve lifts up the value of the gifts of little things, which aren't so little after all.
Recently I've been reminded of all the "little things" that are done around here on a regular basis that are anything but little.
After worship, ushers systematically straightening hymnbooks and Bibles and pick up any extra papers so that the next group of worshippers will be welcomed to a clean, attractive worship space. Another group makes all the necessary preparation around the altar for holy communion. Another group comes in on a Friday afternoon and assembles well over 500 newsletters to be sent out to every family and friend of our congregation. Another crew of loving people respond immediately when there is a death in the congregation.
Thursday or Friday afternoons see the lawn being mowed and whipped into shape. Another group provides the lawn with the necessarily nutrients to make it look healthy and vibrant, and provide an inviting natural meeting area for youth groups or small groups that go out to pray on a Wednesday evening. Another family member comes in to increase their family's financial gift after they received a bonus at work and faithfully give a percentage to the church, especially knowing that others are being laid off or are without work.
Another person visits someone dying in the hospital, prays with the family and mows their lawn to help them through this difficult time. A music group gives their time to sing or play at the local health care center. Another list of kind souls regularly picks up a child who otherwise would not be able to attend church, LOGOS, Sonshine, confirmation or vacation Bible school.
Another young person comes into the office wanting to give a portion of their summer earnings for the work of God. That same day, a single parent comes in looking for his next meal, having lost his job three months ago.
Another mom gives her time faithfully to teach Sunday school, even though her kids are long ago raised and beyond Sunday school age. She experiences the true joy of unselfish giving recalling the almost forgotten words of Jesus, "It is better to give than to receive."
These are only a small snapshot of the ministries I see on a regular basis around here at Holy Trinity. Every one of these and many others are like a spoke in the wheel of ministry that this church carries on. We do it because Jesus calls us to the task. The many spokes that comprise Holy Trinity make for a strong healthy wheel, with Christ as our hub.
I believe opportunities for giving come to us on the way to someone else. If we pass the gift on to others, we blossom and grow; if we keep the gift or talent to ourselves, we wither and die. Giving is a way of living and a standard of grace that the world does not understand.
The Bible teaches that the generous generate generosity in others. When we bring our gift, large or small, and humbly surrender it all, God takes it and multiplies its blessing to many. Suppose the little boy who gave his loaves and fishes to Jesus had said instead, "This meal is mine and I'm not sharing it." He would not have witnessed the feeding of the 5,000, one of the greatest miracles of all time.
You and I will come across opportunities to be generous. If we fail to respond, we will miss out on the mighty ways God blesses through giving. The good news is that God has opened his doors of grace and generosity to us; let us not fail to open the door of our generosity to others.
A heartfelt thanks for all you do at Holy Trinity!