September 18, 2020

Quiet, Powerful Kingdom Work

Matthew 5:13; Matthew 13:31-33

“You are the salt of the earth.”

—  Matthew 5:13

Salt and yeast have a number of things in common. Both come in tiny granules and are used for enhancing food. By the time the food is eaten, they have pretty much become invisible, but the contributions they make are very noticeable. Yeast works well to make dough rise when you are baking bread, and salt is both a seasoning and a preservative.

Here Jesus is teaching us about quiet, behind-the-scenes work in the kingdom of God that can make a big difference in people’s lives.

I met a nurse who worked in a large city hospital. She was a fairly shy person who didn’t say much but loved her work, and she served with dedication and discipline. She told me that as she came off her shift one night at 11 p.m., a colleague said, “I realized tonight that whenever I’m on the same shift as you, the work seems to go better. That surprised me because often I hardly even notice you are there.” To Jesus, though, that’s not surprising. When we live out our calling to be salt and yeast, we leave noticeable blessings behind.

A well-to-do friend asked me to quietly pass along a sum of his money to a struggling family in our church. They were greatly relieved and asked for the donor’s name so that they could say thanks. I urged them simply to thank God for the love and care they received.

Dying to the desire to be noticed can leave behind powerful, unforgettable blessings.

Thank you, Lord, for quiet, powerful kingdom work. May we serve you faithfully for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

About the author — Syd Hielema

Syd Hielema serves the Christian Reformed Church in North America as director of a ministry project called Connections II. He has also served with Faith Formation Ministries, as a professor of theology and youth ministry at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa, and as a chaplain and professor at Redeemer University in Ancaster, Ontario. Syd has been married to Evelyn for 43 years, and they enjoy bird watching near their home in Ancaster.

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