Summary: A sermon about God using small things to achieve great goals!
By: Rev. Ken Sauer, Pastor of Grace UMC, Soddy Daisy, TN www.graceumcsd.org
The front page of a Texas newspaper a few years ago carried the picture of a young and beautiful African American mother born without arms and legs!
The State Department of Public Welfare had charged in court that she was incapable of taking care of her five-month-old daughter.
During the court hearing the mother surprised everyone by proving she was competent to take care of her baby.
There…before their eyes…she undressed and then dressed the baby again by using only her lips and tongue.
The judge was so impressed that he not only awarded custody of the baby to her, but said, “I have to commend you very much for your courage, spirit and ingenuity…
…you have proven that physical endowments are only a part of the spectrum of resources that human beings possess.”
Sadly, all to often, we humans only look at the “outward appearance” of others.
So much so, that life becomes about…
… “Am I too fat?”
… “Too thin?”
… “Too short?”
… “Too tall?”
… “Wearing my hair in the right style?”
… “Wearing the right clothes?”
… “Is my complexion good enough?”
… “Am I athletic enough?”
… “Popular enough?”
… “Do I have the right job?”
… “Do I come from the right neighborhood?”
… “Am I smart enough?”
… “Do I hang out with the right crowd?”
Sadly, so much of who we are depends on what others say about that, how they judge us.
Into the struggling, striving for approval…
…into our aching hearts…
…breaks the Word of God!!!
It doesn’t matter what you are wearing or how you part your hair; God doesn’t care about your skin or even your report card.
God looks upon your heart!!!
When God sent the prophet Samuel to the town of Bethlehem to the house of Jesse to anoint one of Jesse’s sons to be the next king of Israel, even the greatest prophet Samuel got it wrong!
Samuel thought surely it would be one of Jesse’s older sons.
For they were big, strong, manly men.
They fit the image of what we might expect of a “king.”
But God kept whispering to Samuel’s spirit, “No, this is not the one. This is not the one. This is not the one.”
Finally, Jesse had paraded all of his big, strong, manly sons before Samuel.
“Are all your sons here?” he asked their father, Jesse.
Jesse replied, “There remains the youngest, but behold he is keeping the sheep.”
In other words, he’s only a boy.
Just a kid.
Wet behind the ears.
A mere scraggly shepherd boy.
“Surely, that’s not what you have in mind for our next king?”
The Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature…for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
YOU—Grace United Methodist Church may feel small in stature.
There are not many of you, but your hearts are in love with God…
…and God has chosen you to do great things for God’s Church and for this community!!!
What an awesome privilege!
What an awesome responsibility!
What an awesome God!!!
A friend from seminary once told me a story about her call to the ordained ministry.
It came when she was feeling small.
She was just fifteen.
She felt tiny and minute, like a speck of dust in this whole huge scheme of things.
But God spoke to her, and in that instant, she knew…
…she knew that in the vast scheme of things, little, insignificant, fifteen-year-old Jackie was to play a significant part.
She knew that the Creator was calling her to be a pastor...
…when she was only a youth—a scraggly young girl.
Jackie told me that weeks after her call experience her parents invited their interim pastor over for dinner.
After dinner her mother said, “Jackie, why don’t you tell the pastor your good news?”
She says that he sat there, and then his red, rotund face broke out into hysterical laughter.
He pounded the wooden arms of the chair with his fists, as he commanded, “You can never be a minister! You’re a girl!”
The sad thing is, that when we look at others’ outward appearance, and make our judgments, and put them in a box, we are really putting God in a box.
When we limit ourselves or others, we really are limiting God!
We are in effect saying, “I don’t believe You are big enough, God, to work in this person’s life.”
We need to explode the boxes we have put ourselves in and God in!!!
Jesus was most definitely out of the box, out of control, out of bounds!