[forthright] Two for a Penny

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthright@...>
Date: Sat, 09 Jul 2005 17:08:11 -0500
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross

COLUMN: Field Notes

Two for a Penny
by Michael Brooks

"Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And
not one of them falls to the ground apart from
your Father's will. But the very hairs of your
head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you
are of more value than many sparrows" (Matthew

On campaigns to coastal Guyana, I have often stood
outside the tent just at dusk and watched the
flights of Amazon green parrots flying overhead as
they passed from the fruit trees and crop fields
out to the islands in the mouth of the river to
roost. Seeing them fly overhead in large numbers
is a special experience I have treasured. They
choose uninhabited, forested islands for their
roosts partly to be safe from mainland predators,
but also to escape the many people who capture
them for the tropical bird market. Exotic birds
are prized pets and command a good price.

Other birds, however, are considered pests and
much effort is spent in chasing them away from
food sources or roosting sites where they are a
nuisance. Even to those who are not harmed by
them, common birds such as starlings, blackbirds
and yes, sparrows, are held in low esteem in much
of today's world. It might be hard to find buyers
even at "two for a penny."  

Jesus reminds us, however, that God finds even the
sparrow to be of value. When something even as
abundant and small as a sparrow falls to the
ground, God knows it, and he is involved in the
event. If that is true, how much more should we
believe that he cares what happens to humans, who
were created in his own image (Genesis 1:27), and
whom he receives as his own children (Romans

God loves us! That is perhaps the most fundamental
theological concept of Christianity. Every human,
no matter how young or old, rich or poor, ignorant
or wise, is the child of God, the offspring of the
omnipotent Creator. We live today in a world that
is overpopulated with more than six billion
people. In much of that world life is cheap.
Hundreds, even thousands, die daily, and only
those close to them really notice or seem to care.
How often have we wondered, "what difference do I
make?" Each of us is simply one among billions
with few if any special talents or experiences
that stand out. If we were gone, what difference
would it make?

Jesus' answer to that question is, "it would make
a great difference to God." He has a plan and a
purpose for each of us. He loves each of us. He
wants to put each of us into his service. We may
see little difference between our own talents and
those of others, but to him we are unique. Truly,
"We are of more value than sparrows."

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