“But he (God) said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’”—2 Corinthians 12:9
Jesus, what ARE you thinking? Feeling, or thinking, that I am insignificant is a strange thing to be considering during Lent, but that is a word I was given to ponder. Some of the words the dictionary uses to define insignificant are: too small or unimportant to be worth consideration, of no account, worthless, meaningless, and irrelevant. These are heavy words and could really give a person a complex, I’m thinking, but overall, in the big picture, aren’t we all insignificant?
I love pictures taken by the Hubble telescope. I know the colors in these pictures are enhanced to show heat, but I think they are magnificent. These pictures show the vast heavens and, even then, there is still more. In the whole of this one universe, earth is a very tiny, almost non-dot. Even smaller is the place on that earth where we live; smaller still is a single person. Insignificant, right? Wrong!!
This week we commemorated the Annunciation of our Lord to the Virgin Mary. God always planned to live with humans and he planned to come and live on an insignificant planet, to an insignificant country, to a small village where he chose to be born in a barn, or a cave, as a helpless baby of an insignificant young woman who was not married. How low can you go? You would assume that God would come to be born of royalty, live with the rich and powerful where he would be noticed and could make a huge splash but, though we might choose so, he did not. Philippians 2:6-8 tells us that Jesus chose to empty himself of his God-ness and take on our humanity with all of its limitations—all of them, but he did not sin. He knows how we feel.
We are not insignificant, because God made us and knows who we are. Scripture tells us that he knew us before we were born. Our name is carved on the palm of his hand. He stores our tears in his bottle. He counts the hairs on our head, and he has come, not only to dwell with us but, to dwell in us. Why did he choose us—you and me? Because he loves us!! That’s it.
The powerful don’t often recognize Jesus and they might not know their need of him. Those of us who are weak and sinful know that we do. In the kingdom of God, the power and strength of Jesus is poured into our very weakness and insignificance. We are not worms groveling in the dirt in our sin and weakness of which we repent in sackcloth and ashes during Lent, begging God for another chance, as I used to believe. But we do acknowledge that we are sinners saved, constantly forgiven, and transformed by the grace of God, alone. The Bible shows us that Jesus seems to prefer to hang out with these insignificant people and that IS the Good News. If it weren’t Lent, we could shout, “Halleluiah!” But since it is, and if you would rather, you could say, “Thank you, Jesus.” I might do both.