Two for a Penny

“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 10:29-31).
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 8:16).
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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