By design, God created us to marvel at the grandeur of his creation. Who among us has not gazed upon a mountain range, or looked up at a canopy of stars, or contemplated the vastness of the ocean, without feeling overwhelmed with awe and wonder at these beautiful mysteries of the universe? Something deep within our being craves that immensity of the created world that reveals to us our incredible smallness. For in this smallness we understand our right relation with creation and the Creator, the immensely unequal yet perfectly balanced bond between human and God. God has shown in his revealed Word his love for the small, the overlooked, the lowly. God fashioned the most glorious, majestic, infinite universe, and yet looks at us, cosmically insignificant as we are, and knows every hair on our heads (Matthew 10:30). Just as God sees our smallness and says it is very good, he also looks at even our smallest acts of love, compassion, and obedience, and is well pleased with his faithful servants.
Rebirth, by most standards, is a small ministry. For the past two months as I have been feeling my way around this young, growing ministry, by learning from the staff and getting to know the kids, I have gotten a pretty good picture of its ins and outs. Though small in scope, it is vast in the riches of love and obedience. My time of serving and observing has revealed an immense faithfulness in everything, even the smallest acts: in the tireless and seemingly endless routine of picking kids up and dropping them off for church and Bible study; in the weekly preparation of delicious, nourishing meals that only sometimes are met with outward satisfaction; in the extra hug or word of affirmation for the girl who just seems a little down at Bible study; in the birthday parties thrown for student and leader alike.
None of this is easy, and most of it is thankless in many ways, but the eternal weight and value of these acts are tangible. For in every single way I have seen the leaders pour themselves into Rebirth, I know that it is out of obedience to the divine command, as Barth would call it, or the outward piety required by God in Mo’s terms, all for the sake of the glory of Christ. In every word spoken, in every hour worked, in every trip made and meal cooked, I see that the point is always Christ, working and active as the Word of God made manifest to us. Every leader lives as a man and woman “to whom grace has come in Jesus,” making that known to these kids to whom they have dedicated their time and, in the case of Mo and his family, their lives (Barth, Church Dogmatics, 539). Whether their acts are big or small, I have seen them to be good, not by worldly standards that measure success in numbers and dollars, but by what God has said is good: “to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). May God bless the harvest that the leaders of this ministry have so faithfully sown for the kingdom. As it goes, all it takes is a tiny seed of mustard to grow into a mighty tree, providing rest and shade for all who need it (Matthew 13:31-32). Breathing life and refreshment into dry spaces through the imitation of Christ, planting seeds to be sown in due time, that is the ministry of Rebirth, small now though it may be. Bigger things are yet to come.