I’m sitting on the back porch at Rocky Top coughing, sneezing and just feeling pretty awful but I can’t get a phrase out of my mind. I can’t get a picture out of my mind.
Karen Abercrombie (aka Miss Clara from the movie, War Room) used this phrase a few Sundays ago during an interview with preacher. Karen said, “Jesus is interested in raising up the remnant to change the world not numbers…numbers come and go and play the church game. The remnant is who God uses.”
The next Sunday, preacher had me come up on stage and hold up our precious quilt for the closing illustration in his sermon. This quilt is 37 years old. It was made for us by our first church, Hay Valley Baptist Church outside of Gatesville, Texas. They presented it to us as a wedding gift. Hay Valley Baptist Church had an average attendance of 17 in Sunday School when we began our ministry there. When they presented this quilt to us, this church was 48 families strong and had an average attendance of 60+ in Sunday School. These people were ranchers, farmers, and guards at the state prison down the road. Most of them possessed nothing more than land, modest homes, some cattle and trucks. They were remnants in their small community.
This quilt was made with remnants from clothing the women of this church had once made.
A remnant is a leftover piece of material that is usually discarded after something is made. It is usually set aside or thrown out because it is seen as invaluable.
Once these women pieced together all the remnants of fabric, they then embroidered their names on each square that makes up this quilt. In the very center of the quilt is an embroidered picture of that little church.
The quilt maybe made out of leftovers, what others may discard; however this quilt is treasured by our family.
I’m a remnant. I was never “Miss Popularity” in school. I was the heavy-set girl with glasses who made decent grades and came from a broken home. Tossed aside.
When I married preacher, I was a remnant. I didn’t know anything about being a “pastor’s wife”. I said the wrong things, wore the wrong things, and usually did the wrong thing. Not much use for an up and coming “preacher”.
Don’t we all feel that way at times? The enemy whispers in our ear: Useless, Leftover, Not good for anything!
Oh, but Jesus says to us, “You are my treasured possession!” (Deuteronomy 7:6) He has a plan for our lives! (Jeremiah 29:11)
He took me and laid me alongside others in the body of Christ. They poured into my life and I into theirs.
We are the remnant……The beautiful body of Christ sewn together, salvaged by our Savior for His kingdom purposes.
Standing up last Sunday on the platform holding that quilt, looking at a sea of faces, I was very aware that many of them feel useless, hopeless, and worthless at times. The beauty of the body of Christ is when we come together and knit our hearts together for His kingdom purposes, He will use us! The remnant isn’t about individual beauty, wealth or talent. The remnant is about the beauty of the individuals coming together as one.
Karen Abercrombie is correct. Jesus isn’t interested in just getting rear ends in a pew. He is interested in gathering remnants and knitting their hearts together to build His beautiful bride, the church. He loves the tattered, the torn, the worn, the inadequate, and the tossed aside. These are The Remnant!