And now the LORD says—he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD and my God has been my strength—he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
A leading expert on stress, cardiologist Robert Eliot, gives the following prescription for dealing with stress: Rule No. 1 is—don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule No. 2 is—it’s all small stuff.
Looking back at your celebrations of Christmas and New Year’s, do you feel like so much of what you did was hurried and stress-filled, yet ultimately all small stuff? The gifts you gave and got, the gatherings you were part of, and the games you watched really were not that big of a deal. Still, you stressed over the giving, gatherings and games.
Perhaps you are even feeling remorseful regret over having not made more of a season filled with opportunities for witness and worship. If you have sinned through selfish indulgence; if you have sinned through wasted worship times or by worshipping games and players at the price of worshipping the God of glory, then behold, “I bring you tidings of great joy which will be for all the people.”
Entering our small lives is the Lord for whom salvation for his special people Israel was “too small a thing.” Entering our lives is the God of greatness and glory—the God of our salvation—Jesus servant of the Lord. Jesus is the designated Savior who is a light for the Gentiles which is 99.8% of the world’s population. Jesus is the one who brings salvation to the ends of the earth. He came to rescue the world from sin.
That means he brings salvation to the homes of those who gathered, gifted and watched games until they had their fill, but let Christmas and Christ pass by with little notice. It is a new year and it is not too late to shake things up and change. It is not too late to reflect upon the smallness of life here and the greatness of life hereafter.
The game-changer is Jesus. His plan and purpose is to bring salvation to the ends of the earth. His plan is to gather us to himself. Don’t settle for small when you can marvel at great!
Gracious God, we marvel at the task you laid upon your Son to rescue and save us all. By the Spirit, cause us to embrace and receive that salvation as our own. Amen.
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