The Readings: Zechariah 4:1-14; Ephesians 4:17-32; Matthew 9:1-8
“Size matters.” That was one of the tag lines for the 1998 remake of Godzilla. Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun Times): “A big, ugly, ungainly device to give teenagers the impression they are seeing a movie.”
But examples like this don’t seem to stop us wondering whether what we do matters “in the larger scheme of things.” Our first reading wrestles with this: “For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice.” The reference is probably to the beginning of the rebuilding of the temple after the return from exile. In Ezra we read “But many of the priests and Levites and heads of families, old people who had seen the first house on its foundations, wept with a loud voice when they saw this house, though many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people’s weeping, for the people shouted so loudly that the sound was heard far away” (3:12-13). So the messenger’s word to Zechariah: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the LORD of hosts.”
The Christians in Ephesus, addressed in the second reading: numerically insignificant, does what they do matter? In their cut-throat urban world there’s plenty of reason for bitterness, wrath, anger, wrangling and slander. But they, like Zechariah’s hearers, are building a temple—their common life—in which the generosity and glory of the true God can be visible. So yes, what they do matters.
“Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the LORD of hosts.” Perhaps Zechariah can help us believe that what we do—irrespective of our size—matters.