Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s,
Asking the Lord what He wanted this bulletin article to be about, the sense I received was “encouragement.” Here is what I think that word means for us.
We are now one month into 2020. It is about this time of the year that we can be tempted to give up New Year’s resolutions or, after stumbling in those resolutions, simply think it isn’t worth getting back into the fight. Most everyone looks at a new year at its beginning and expects/wants it to be different from the last. That, after all, is what our resolutions are there to help us with.
The encouragement is: keep on going even if the results are still seemingly insignificant, if the year isn’t unfolding as you had hoped, if the battle seems to have been lost before it ever really began. Keep on going and get back up if needed.
Israel’s history is dotted with moments like that where they stumbled and fell, but through God’s correction and help, they were able to get back up. At one point in their history Jerusalem and the Temple, the very heart of their nation, were razed to the ground. Coming back many years later, they faced the monumental task of restoring and rebuilding the city and particularly the Temple. The Prophet Zechariah conveyed these words from God to a dispirited people and their leader Zerubbabel: “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundations of this house, and his hands will finish it. Thus you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. For whoever has scorned such a day of small things will rejoice to see the capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” (Zechariah 4:9-10).
What Zechariah prophesied did happen—even as impossible as it may have seemed to Zerubbabel himself that he would lay both the cornerstone at its beginning and the capstone at its completion.
Those words of encouragement jump out: Don’t scorn a day of small things, don’t despise small beginnings. In the life of grace, such small things grow into great ones. The mustard seed grows into a great tree. Our small efforts can bear fruit in ways and times we cannot imagine. As we know from God Himself, He can bring good even out of our stumblings.
So, for all of us as we enter the second month of 2020, may we be encouraged by God Himself to keep on going!