‘Martin Luther was once approached by a man who enthusiastically announced that he’d recently become a Christian. Wanting desperately to serve the Lord, he asked Luther, “What should I do now?” As if to say, should he become a minister or perhaps a traveling evangelist. A monk, perhaps.
Luther asked him, “What is your work now?”
“I’m a shoe maker.”
Much to the cobbler’s surprise, Luther replied, “Then make a good shoe, and sell it at a fair price.”’ -Tullian Tchividjian
Isn’t it interesting how people want to do something big and extravagant for God? They put off the small things that they could be doing for the potential of the monument they plan in their mind. We reason, “I want to demonstrate my love for God in a grand gesture”. We put off the little things we can do in favor of the greater gesture.
But, sometimes life erodes that grand gesture you were planning. Other demands and obligations take away what you had been building.
So, when others give more money, or build some fantastic monument (of one type or another) to God, we look at our own meager offerings and feel a bit ashamed.
What is your grand design for God? Have you been hoping to put in some big offering in the plate? Maybe you are developing some other grand gesture.
Yet, God is often found in the small things … no, the smallest things that we do. Making a child’s lunch before school. Picking up a friend who has a doctor’s appointment. Calling someone. Sometimes, we are not even aware that these small things are the very things that God receives the most glory for.
When the Son of God became incarnate, He set aside His glory to do so. He didn’t come in great pomp and celebration. He came as a lowly baby born in a stable. God became man. Jesus talked to people, He touched people, He ate with people, He traveled with people, and He lived with people. What’s more to the point, Jesus is one of those people, He’s one of us.
Then, He descended further into the inglorious muck. He took your sin and mine on to Himself. “He who knew no sin became sin on our behalf”. Only to be crucified on a Roman cross and be buried in someone else’s tomb. He appeared lowly, weak and defeated. Even any human glory that He may have had was stripped from Him just as His clothes were. His shame was public.
There was no greater memorial ever built that could match Jesus’ body pierced, bleeding and hanging from the cross, though.
So, when Luther addresses the cobbler, he looks at it through Christ’s lowly work on the cross. Although the cobbler thought he could glorify God by serving in a higher, ‘holy’ occupation, Luther saw that the man could glorify God in His mundane occupation. There was no need for a life-altering career change. He could serve God by … making a good shoe and selling it at a fair price.