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“Small Opportunities in Great Tasks!” Luke 23: 50-56 Key verse(s): 55: “The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it.”

IF YOU HAD your choice, would you prefer that your hands and heart be on the end of great deeds or lesser ones? Great deeds are not only attention getters’; they are potentially more impacting in their scope. So it is not always a matter of recognition that must be considered. Great deeds affect more people and isn’t that the goal of every Christian? If we keep in mind that our ministries, yours and mine, are not about us but about the glory that God can reveal through us, would it not then make sense that each of us should aspire to great deeds and let the lesser one fall where they may?

Recently I had my classic car into the shop for major body work and repainting. The wear and tear of nearly four decades of driving had really taken their toll. The original paint finish, a beautiful willow green, had faded to a very indistinct grayish green color. In places the brown undercoating was showing through and it had become nearly impossible to tell just what color the car had been in the first place. Surface rust had spring up in abundance over the entire chassis skin. That combined with the revealing undercoat brought some to speculate that the car had originally been brown and that the greenish-gray paint was nothing more than a poor attempt to cover it. There were dings, dent and creases everywhere. Both rear fenders had been buckled due to accidents and there was a good size dent in one of the front fenders. Both bumpers were creased and dented and a number of pieces of chrome trim was missing. The car looked pretty sorry as I left in in the capable hands of the body shop. It would be many weeks before it would be finished.

Over the course of the next several weeks I had occasion to stop into the shop just to see how things were going. I was amazed the very first time that I stopped to see that all the dents, creases and dings had been eliminated. I walked along the sides of it brushing my hand along the now smooth and sleep exterior. But, the old paint remained as well as the surface rust. The car looked better but, unfinished as it was, it still looked kind of sad. The next time I stopped by I was told that the car had been stripped and readied for painting. Curious as to how she might look I asked to see it. The manager called up the young man who had been working on it and he guided me back to where they were working on it. There it sat, chrome taped up to prevent over-printing and completely devoid of color and finish. Frankly, it looked barren and stark as it sat there covered with a thick layer of dust and specks due to the power sanding that had been done. Improvement? Sure, the surface rust was gone and there were no more dents, creases and dings. They had put a lot of work into it; but it still seemed a long way from being finished.

Finally I got the phone call I was waiting for. My car was “finished and I could pick it up any time.” I rushed down to the shop and there she was; gleaming, painted and smooth. I could hardly believe it was the same car I had dropped off weeks earlier. As I paid my bill I asked to see the guys who had worked on her over the course of those weeks. It turned out there were several who had put a whole lot of effort into the project. I thanked each of them and then got into my car to drive back home. The first thing I noticed, however, was that there was no wax on the car and that the entire interior was coated with a thick layer of dust. There was also a missing chrome bezel over the back running light. The car was finished but not complete. There were yet a few details to be taken care of. Each not critically important but each would contribute to the overall appearance of the car. Several weeks later, new bezel in hand, interior cleaned, and a fresh coat of wax on the entire surface, the old car gleamed. It was the few final details that made all the difference.

Those Galilean women that followed Joseph to the Savior’s tomb had not been allowed to testify in Jesus’ behalf. They were not important enough to be pursued by the authorities as “followers” of the “Galilean prophet.” Neither Caiaphas nor Pontius Pilate even knew that they existed nor did they probably care. They were not preachers or baptizers but they did what they could. They were the “detailers,” the ones who took care of the little things that on the surface did not seem that important relevant to the whole picture. Yet their deeds were works of completion and finishing. On the one hand small, on the other great. You and I are often called to just such opportunities. When called to do the small things we need to recognize that even lesser opportunities serve to complete those of greater impact. In these instances we need to see that it is not what we feel we cannot do but what God has enabled us to do is important. Often in great tasks rest small opportunities. It is up to us to look for them for they are not always labeled.

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