One Small Act Can Change the World - 2014-04-13 | Jesus | Nature

“Small Acts Change the World” April 13, 2014

(Palm Sunday)
Matthew 21:1 11 Life is full of choices. Every day we make thousands of choices both large and small. Every day we take care of the business of life. We go to the grocery store, sto at the harmacy, and sto at a traffic light. Some of the decisions that we make are so small that we don!t even give them a second thought, and yet, sometimes even the smallest of choices can make a world of difference. "n # ril $%, $&$', (a tain Edward )ohn Smith chooses to ignore seven se arate warnings about ack ice and icebergs in the ro*ected ath of his shi , the +itanic. +hat one decision changes everything. "n ,ecember $, $&--, a seamstress at a local .ontgomery, #labama de artment store was riding the bus to work. #s the bus filled, she refused to give u her seat to another customer. /t seems like such a small thing, but with that one small choice, 0osa Parks changed the course of civil rights and #merican history. "n )une -th, $&1& a column of (hinese tanks descended on +iananmen S2uare to crush the ongoing student rotests by force. #s they did, one man, whose identity is still uncertain, ste ed from the sidelines and in front of the lead tank. 3y his resence, he com elled the driver of the tank to either sto or run him over. 3ecause of the resence of this one man, the entire column of tanks came to a halt and hotogra hs of that moment a eared on the front ages of news a ers around the world. With that one small act of defiance, one man ca tures the imagination of the world. +his week at 45$6 am Wednesday morning (# ril &, '7$%), a student with several knives entered 8ranklin 0egional 9igh School in .urrysville, Pennsylvania and began to attack other students and a school security guard. #mid the mayhem that ensued, :ate Scimio, a student who had himself been wounded, reached out and ulled the nearest fire alarm lever. 9is 2uick thinking is credited with saving several lives and in hel ing to evacuate the school. /n the course of our lives, we sometimes discover that even the most sim le and mundane choices have the ower to make a gigantic difference in our lives, in the lives of those we love, and in the lives of those in the world around us. +his is e;actly what we find in the story of )esus! trium hal entry that we traditionally read on Palm Sunday. /n this story we follow along as two of )esus! followers are asked to do something so remarkably sim le that we are stunned when discover how im ortant their contribution becomes. We *oin the story in Matthew 21:1 11<
1 2

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a don ey tied there, with her colt !y her" #ntie them and !ring them to me" $ %f anyone says anything to you, say that the &ord needs them, and he will send them right away"'

)his too place to fulfill what was spo en through the prophet*



“,ay to -aughter .ion, /,ee, your ing comes to you, gentle and riding on a don ey, and on a colt, the foal of a don ey"0'

)he disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them" 2 )hey !rought the don ey and the colt and placed their cloa s on them for Jesus to sit on" 3 A very large crowd spread their cloa s on the road, while others cut !ranches from the trees and spread them on the road" 4 )he crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “5osanna to the ,on of -avid6' “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the &ord6' “5osanna in the highest heaven6'

8hen Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and as ed, “8ho is this9' )he crowds answered, “)his is Jesus, the prophet from :a;areth in Galilee"'


#s )esus and the disci les get close to the city of )erusalem, )esus sends two of his friends ahead and tells them to go into town, find a donkey that he knows is there, untie it, and bring it back. 9ow much easier could that be= +he task that )esus gives to two of his followers sounds very much like one of us asking our children to sto at that harmacy and ick u a rescri tion. We!ve already honed ahead, we already know that it!s ready, all they have to do is show u , get it, and bring it back. +his is almost as sim le as icking u milk at the grocery store. #nd yet, as sim le as it is, the task that these followers erform is significant. #s sim le as it was, the disci les did as they were asked. #s sim le as it was, this small act enabled )esus to arrive in )erusalem *ust as the ro hets had redicted. #s sim le as it was, this act makes it ossible for the crowds to recogni>e that )esus was arriving the way that they knew the .essiah would arrive. #s trivial as it might have seemed, because they com leting this small task, )esus arrives in the city the way that the ?ings of /srael had arrived. 3ecause two followers did something so sim le that they robably didn!t give it a second thought, everyone in the city notices )esus and learns his name. "ne small, almost insignificant, choice transforms an ordinary arrival, into an historic event. (an you imagine the wonder that these two felt as they watched events unfold= (an you imagine how, years later, they went over it in their minds= 3ecause they chose to be available, because they chose to be obedient, even in the smallest of things< <one small act changes the world.


/ want you to imagine what that might look like today. / want you to imagine what that might look like in your life, right now. 3ecause @od is the architect of our lives, he already has the big things all lanned out. +he milk is already at the grocery. +he rescri tion is already at the harmacy. What @od asks of us is often something small. @o, get it, and come back. What @od asks of us isn!t to raise an entire herd of dairy cattle or to build a multiAnational harmaceutical conglomerate, but sim ly get a gallon of milk or ick u a rescri tion. @od asks us to be available, and to be obedient. # story, originally told by Loren Eiseley, tells of a man walking along a beach the night after an enormous storm. +he beach was littered with starfish which had been washed ashore and as he walked, the man came across a child who was icking u starfish, one at a time, and throwing them back into the sea. #fter watching the child for some time the man said, BWhy are you doing this= Look at this beachC Dou can!t save all these starfish. +here are thousands of them. Dou can!t begin to make a differenceCE 3ut after ausing to think about it for a moment, the child continued to throw starfish back into the ocean. Each time saying, B/ made a difference to that one< / made a difference to that one<E /t may be that, sometime in your life, @od will call you to do something big. 3ut whether or not that ever ha ens, / can guarantee that @od will call u on you to do something small. / urge you to be ready. ,o not hesitate because the thing that @od asks is small. /n the hands of @od, one small act can change the world. What @od wants, is for you to be available and obedient. What @od asks of you may be something sur risingly small. 3ut even something small can change the world for someone in need. Folunteer an hour of your time to visit someone who is lonely. 3uy an e;tra can of food for someone that is hungry. Smile. # kind word or a friendly face can change the course of an entire day. ,onate blood. (ry with a friend or offer a shoulder to cry on. Share )esus with a neighbor. +ake a casserole to a neighbor who has health roblems. "ffer to watch the children of a young family that can!t afford a baby sitter. +his may sound small, but others did this for us when our children were small and trust me, this was a generous and ama>ing gift. /nvite a single friend to dinner. ,id you know that for singles away from home, as well as many widows and widowers, family holidays like (hristmas and Easter are the hardest to get through= What!s one more chair at the table= 3uy a bo; of dia ers or a can of formula for a single arent. ,o you know how e; ensive that stuff can be= "ffer to wash an elderly neighbor!s car or shovel their walk in the winter. )esus asks us to be available and to be obedient. +his is your homework assignment5 +his week, commit to doing one small thing for someone else. #llow @od to show you someone who needs your hel . Write down what ha ened and re ort back ne;t week.


#fter that, / challenge you to do it once a month, or even once a week. :othing big. :othing elaborate. "ne. Small. +hing. /t doesn!t have to be a big thing to make a big difference. What @od asks of you may be something sur risingly small. 3ut in the hands of @od, one small act can change the world.


Dou have been reading a message resented at +rinity Gnited .ethodist (hurch on the date noted at the to of the first age. 0ev. )ohn Partridge is the astor at +rinity of Perry heights in .assillon, "hio. ,u lication of this message is a art of our .edia ministry, if you have received a blessing in this way, we would love to hear from you. Letters and donations in su ort of the .edia ministry or any of our other ro*ects may be sent to +rinity Gnited .ethodist (hurch, 64-4 Lincoln Way E., .assillon, "hio %%H%H. +hese messages are available to any interested ersons regardless of membershi . Dou may subscribe to these messages, in rint or electronic formats, by writing to the address noted, or by contacting us at subscribeItrinity /f you have 2uestions, you can ask them in our discussion forum on 8acebook (search for Pastor )ohn "nline). +hese messages can also be found online at htt 5JJwww.scribd.comJPastor )ohn Partridge. #ll Scri ture references are from the :ew /nternational Fersion unless otherwise noted.

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