Posted in reflections

Missing small

Medium2I’m missing small.

I first noticed it at a doughnut shop at the Ronald Reagan airport in D.C. then here at a mini-mart in Oklahoma. In both places, if you want coffee, you have two choices, medium or large.

Now, I’m no expert in logic, but doesn’t the word “medium” by definition mean in the middle? So, how can you have medium-sized unless you also have large and small?

Jesus had a soft spot in his heart for small. His disciples wanted to chase away little children, but Jesus scolded: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14, NIV). That verse alone provides a pretty good argument for why the church baptizes people of all ages and sizes.

Sometimes small refers not to age but to the “vertically challenged.” Zaccheus climbed a sycamore tree to try to see Jesus, but the irony of the story is that the Lord ended up seeing him. When he did, he perceived not a reviled tax collector but a small man with big promise. When Zaccheus promised to make restitution for all he had stolen, Christ responded: “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham” (Luke 19:9, NIV).

The most famous example of small in Christ’s teaching is the humble mustard seed. Just a speck of grain, yet it grows into a large tree, big enough so that birds can lodge in its branches (Matthew 13:31-32). Jesus used this as a parable of the Kingdom of God. Something may seem insignificant, unimportant, yet God can use it to make major, positive changes. Bi-vocational pastors of churches with just a handful of members should take heart. You don’t have to be a big church to count. Little churches – whether they meet in a church building or a home – can have an impact all out-of-proportion to their size. What counts is that they are filled with love for God and others, yet always inviting new people into the life-changing circle.

When it comes to coffee, I can deal with only medium or large, but when it comes to the Kingdom, let’s not forget small. No one is insignificant to God, and no service rendered is unimportant in the Lord’s sight.


Greg is interested in many topics, including theology, philosophy, and science.

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