“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?” (NIV)
A very large church in our city started off in the lounge room of a single believer. Worldwide Christian movements have begun with a few people meeting over breakfast. Little things can become big things.
Our text today speaks of the building of the second temple in Jerusalem after the Israelites returned from exile. Can the glories of the first temple be restored? Will the work ever flourish? God warns his people not to be discouraged. All great work starts small. Every significant journey begins with a single step.
Small groups of Christians may envy the big and exuberant gatherings of other believers. A struggling local church can get discouraged by the more popular neighbouring churches. Those launching an initiative may wonder if it will ever get off the ground.
There is no essential virtue in bigness. God is not swayed by noise or numbers: he does not measure our worth by our size. This is not to say we become complacent: it is good to aim at growth because that growth means more can taste the goodness of Jesus.
But we are loved just as we are in the meantime. We seek to be genuine followers of Jesus whatever our size or apparent significance. If that means smallness, so be it. If that means largeness, so be it. God is no statistician.