Then the Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred that lapped I will deliver you, and give the Midianites into your hand. Let all the others go to their homes.”
Dear Friends in Christ,
One of my favorite Bible stories is found in Judges 7. Gideon, a man that was afraid of his own shadow is called to lead the Israelites against the oppression of the Midianites. In the preparation for battle, 33,000 men show up. God tells Gideon again and again that there are too many people. Gideon keeps whittling down the number for his army until there were 300 men left. Then God tells Gideon that their weapons would be trumpets and jars. Now, the Midianites had a large mighty, army. How in the world were 300 men with nothing but some musical instruments and clay pots are going to beat this mighty army?
We learn that God was with the Israelites and God would hand them the victory. That’s what happened. The trumpets and the smashing of the jars in the middle of the night scared the Midianites and they ended up fighting themselves until the big army was no more. The story of Gideon’s puny army is a reminder that God can use the smallest things to do “a mighty work.”
First Christian of St. Paul is a small church, maybe even tiny. Our culture tends to put its faith in bigness and we suspect the small. It’s easy to look at our church and think of all the things we can’t do, especially when we have a big church a mile or two down the road. We don’t have enough people. We don’t have enough money. We don’t. We don’t. We don’t.
(Being a small church doesn’t mean people aren’t invited to join and be a part of our congregation.)
Of course, there are limits as to what a small church can do, but there are limits to what anyone can do. When we think that we can’t do something at church, think about something: why do you go to First Christian? You go here for a reason and you’ve stayed. If you are here for a reason, then there have to be others out there that might want to come to this church. So, instead of trying to wish we were bigger and better, work at making this church a place you want to be at because when we do that, we are welcoming others who might need a community like this.
What does being enough in God look like? Let’s look at it through our offerings. When we give our offerings on Sunday, we are giving our money to help do mission in our world. Your offerings have gone to support our worship ministry which helps us meet God in the Word preached, the songs sung, and in the weekly Lord’s Supper. They have gone to help our sisters and brothers through our Mission Partners like Feed My Starving Children and the Mahtomedi Area Foodshelf. They help us go beyond borders to support the ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The giving of what we receive has allowed this small church to take part in God’s mission in the world.
At the end of the day, we are enough. Gideon teaches us that we are enough because God is enough. God has a history of using little things to do great things. If God can use 300 soldiers to go against an army of thousands, what can God do with us? I truly believe God can and will use First Christian Church to be a witness in Mahtomedi, the Twin Cities, the United States, and to the ends of the earth.
In God, we are enough. Let’s just let God work through us as we give our offerings, take part in communion, and worship together. Let us have faith in a God that can take the little things and do great things.
Dennis Sanders, Pastor
Dear God, help us to remember that we are enough. Even when we are small, we can do mighty things in your name. Amen.