"O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods." (Psalm 96:1-4)
The Easter Season brings the following question to the front of our minds: “How will I now live for the Christ who died, rose and now lives for me?” This is not always an easy question to answer and sometimes it can be hard to tell if our lives are making a difference. It may feel like the problems of this world are too much to overcome: dis- ease, natural disasters, poverty, war, prejudice, addictions, broken families, and a whole host of other things. Our individual lives and collective ministries can sometimes seem small in the face of such incredible brokenness.
I suspect the ancient Israelites sometimes felt the same way. They lived in places where three continents connected and different cultures intersected. In fact, their own kingdom was just a tiny speck compared to the other powerful nations around them. How could their faith stand in the face of such impossible odds? Would they survive into the future? Could they make a difference?
The author of the above Psalm confronts all of this as he writes, “Declare [God’s] glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples.” Even though the ancient Israelites might have felt small compared to the powers around them, God was still overseeing the entire world. God is still huge. God is still the Lord of all. Although they were tiny, God made it clear that He is not.
The same could be said for our individual lives and the ministries that we facilitate to- day. Even if it feels like we are only making a small difference, we should remember that we worship a big God who does big things. Our work might touch the lives of peo- ple in ways that we will never see. When we care for our neighbors, perhaps God is using us to set up a line of dominos that will continue into the future. You are God’s hands in the world, and the effect of His love working through you expands outward.
Sometimes we might not see the big picture, but God certainly does. Do you make a difference? Absolutely! Because God is working through you – His redeemed and chosen child!
Pastor Drebes attended Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, beginning in 1997. He spent the summer of 1999 teaching English to Chinese middle school teachers in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. He served a four-month vicarage at St. John Lutheran Church, Plymouth, Wisconsin, followed by eight months at Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas. Pastor Drebes was ordained into the Office of the Holy Ministry at Zion Lutheran Church, Palmyra, Missouri on August 19, 2001, and installed as Associate Pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas on September 9, 2001. He served Bethany for 14 years. Pastor Drebes accepted a Divine Call to be Senior Pastor at Pacific Hills Lutheran Church in November, 2015.