Here I Come to Save the Day!*

[A couple weeks ago Adriana over at Classic Quest told me I should tell this story. It seemed appropriate to schedule it to follow yesterday’s post on heroes and rescuing people from danger.]

***

The Cliffhanger

When I was eleven or twelve, a friend and I were climbing a cliff at the beach in the town where I grew up. I reached the top first and looked down to see his progress. He was frozen in place, a little more than halfway up. He couldn’t move up or down, and despite me telling him where a good handhold was, he couldn’t let go of the grip he had on the rocks right in front of his face.

I lowered myself back over the cliff’s edge and made my way to his side. Once there I was able to show him right where he should put his hand next. I’d put my hand on a rock and then remove it, and he’d then put his hand there as I placed my arm around his waist to steady him against the rock wall. We repeated the process and soon he was at the top.

I have no idea why that happened to him. It wasn’t the first time we’d climbed the cliffs together, and he was usually a fairly brave kid. Braver then me, anyway.

I’ve gone back to those cliffs now that I’ve grown up. They’re not that big.

Doing Big Things

Everything we do for God in his kingdom is big, because everything we do in it is eternal. How can it be so big when we’re so small? As Paul said about his ministry:

Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done – by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. (Romans 15:17-19.)

And it’s not just in signs and wonders and leading people “to obey God” that we serve God. It can also be in simple acts, like providing hospitality.

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:2.)

Christ living through us applies to all aspects of our lives, at home, at work, in society.

For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. (1 Peter 2:15-17.)

Why are all these day-to-day things, the mundane stuff of life, so big? Because the Spirit of Christ – God himself – lives in us, and there’s nothing small about God.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. (Romans 8:9-11.)

I’ll say it again. The Spirit of Christ lives in you. How can you not do great things, when he is the one producing fruit in God’s kingdom through you? (John 15:1-8.)

Does it have to look like a big deal? Do you have to be seen as a big deal? No, because in God’s kingdom sometimes things look really small and sometimes people look just like lowly servants. (Mark 9:35.)

But it’s always all about Jesus, and that’s a big deal.

***

*10,000 interwebz as bonus points for whoever can name the source of the quote I used for the title for this post. A gajillion interwebz for anyone who can name it without using any search machine outside the confines of their own skull.

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24 Responses to Here I Come to Save the Day!*

  1. nmcdonal says:

    “Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I’ve found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness, and love.” – Gandalf the Grey

    • You beat me to it! I was going to quote that. Harumph… 😉

      Srsly, though… this is one of those things that I think Peter Jackson et al got right in their production of The Hobbit, capturing Tolkien’s theological bent of the small, little, insignificant things that change the world rather than the sweeping events of history.

    • Jeannie says:

      Wonderful quote — I didn’t remember that one! It lines up perfectly with another LOTR quote, spoken by Elrond: “Yet such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere.” In fact I have made this my life quote.

      • I don’t think Gandalf’s quote is actually in the book “The Hobbit”… I think it MIGHT be in some other Tolkien literature, though… but Elrond’s words are in Fellowship of the Ring.

    • Tim says:

      Wonderful quotes – small hands doing small everyday deeds. That’s how the Kingdom usually gets built.

  2. Adriana says:

    Mighty Mouse? I promise I didn’t search!

  3. Jeannie says:

    Thanks for sharing this experience, Tim. And thanks for yet another reminder about God’s upside-down kingdom where the first are last, the small are great, the high are low …..

    • Tim says:

      … and little-read bloggers have wonderful friends who come by to visit!

      • Jeannie says:

        I was going to say, “Come on, compared to my blog yours is hugely-read!” but then I remembered this quote I saw recently: “Comparison is the death of happiness.” So true! So, no comparing, just enjoying!

  4. Mary Anne says:

    You know, Tim, back in my silly (sillier) days, some of my friends and I used to sing the Mighty Mouse song—only we tried putting in the words “Jesus Christ” instead of Mighty Mouse. The results are interesting, to say the least . . .

    “Here he comes, it’s Jesus Christ—
    Like a bolt from the blue, with a heart that’s true!
    So don’t be afraid anymore . . .
    ‘Cause things won’t be like they’ve been before!”

    Older now, sadder in some ways, but I can still get some serious enjoyment from silliness!

    Did you know you can also sing the Doxology to the tune of “Hernando’s Hideaway”? OK, I’ll stop now . . . 😉

    • Amazing Grace also works with Gilligan’s Island… and the reverse. Read the following to the Gillagan’s theme song.

      Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me
      I once was lost but now I’m found was blind but now i see, was blind but now I see.

    • Tim says:

      MA, that sounds like a great way to render the Mighty Mouse theme!

      And yes, I’ve spent many happy hours singing Amazing Grace to that tune from The Pajama Game (one of my favorite movies!), as well as the Gilligan’s Island riff Robert mentioned. Youth ministry does that for you.

      • Mary Anne says:

        “Amazing Grace” can also be sung to . . . “The House of the Rising Sun.”
        *cough*
        And considering what THAT song is about, that’s why the grace has to be so amazing…

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