Throughout history God’s kingdom, that is the restoration of His rule on earth—particularly under the New Covenant—has sometimes surged forward, grown in revival, persevered in faithful labouring, plodded, seemingly retreated, but over-all has been advancing like that mustard seed growing into a tree (Mk 4:30–34).
But like a soldier caught in the thick of the life and missional battle to which we’ve been called, it can be difficult sensing the greater plan and knowing our place in it. What are we to do!
This week was St. David’s Day, the patron saint of Wales. Wales is a beautiful country dear to my family’s heart from our many explorations there (we enjoyed some Welsh cakes to celebrate). David was some sort of protégé of the great evangelist Patrick who ministered in Ireland leading to that islands conversion from Paganism. David sought to do the same in Wales.
A Welsh maxim says, “do the little things in life” (i.e. when you don’t know exactly what to do, begin by doing what needs to be done). This is from David who said, ‘Be joyful, keep the faith, and do the little things that you have heard and seen me do.’ (an echo of Paul in Phil 4:8–9). As a result of his little things much of Wales became Christian. The Lord uses us to do much when we are faithful in the little things He has commanded His Church to be about (e.g. worship, prayer, Bible study, holy living, evangelism, charity).
This sentiment was also shared by James Culross over a century ago. In writing a biography of John Ryland Jr., he said:
“unlike those most useless persons in Christian circles who are always waiting for great things to do, and who neglect the opportunities which lie to their hand, young Ryland always did the little which lay to his hand, and found that by doing the ‘next thing’ life became rich in opportunities of usefulness.”
This was certainly true of the early Church for while it enjoyed seasons of rapid advance (think the day of Pentecost) its first centuries have been characterized by the phrase, “a long obedience in the same direction.”
Regardless of what season we find ourselves in as Ontarian Christians today, the call to readiness (Titus) and to be faithful in little to be made faithful in much apply today (Lk 16:10).
What Ontario needs today are not super-Christian who are trying to do great things but ordinary Christians who will faithfully serve Christ in a steady advance—doing the little things today, tomorrow and the day after that in service to their Lord. That is how Christ’s kingdom will come, through a steady advance. Even so we pray, come Lord Jesus come.
*For more see listen to the Extraordinary Ordinary that is being encouraged as we approach our post-Covid world.
 James Culross, The Three Rylands (1897), 73.