“Does anyone dare despise this day of small beginnings?” (Zech 4:10, The Message)
Keeping things in context and seeing things in perspective are valuable qualities. How many arguments are blown out of all proportion by our over-sensitivity or our tendency to see things only from our own point of view? How many conflicts could be resolved if we were willing to listen to the other person’s point of view before jumping to conclusions?
On the one hand, the work at St Mark’s is a ‘day of small beginnings’. If we were to look at mega-churches in other parts of the world, the work we’re doing here pales into insignificance. On the other hand, for us as a group of people, we’re doing ‘great things’ because we’re stepping out in faith and understanding that God is bigger than our previous dreams or current experience.
The context (the set of facts or circumstances that surround a situation or event) and the perspective (how these facts or circumstances are viewed or interpreted) are all important, therefore, if we are to see things correctly. Without corrective lenses, my vision is blurred: I’m very short-sighted. In the same way, we need the lens of God’s Word to see things as He sees them. In this passage in Zechariah, the angel reminds Zechariah that it’s ‘not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit’ (Zech 4:6) and that the mighty mountain will become level ground before the work that Zerubbabel is doing.
The work going on at St Mark’s is not just about making a building functional or pretty so that it can look good. It’s about preparing a building to be used for God’s glory. Some may think that’s only a small beginning, but in God’s hands, even the small beginnings are not to be despised.