Thought for the Month (June 2015)
Matthew 10: 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.
The implication of these words of Jesus are important for us as Christians for they remind us that all of life is in God's hands and what the world regards as cheap is often a very precious gift given to us to appreciate it for what it is, a gift, not a right.
I am often alarmed by the theory of evolution which is so often presented as fact in schools and TV programmes without thought. Evolution reduces human beings to the level of animals and when we treat people as animals, we should not be surprised when they act like animals.
More importantly, evolution denies God as Creator and Redeemer and, as such, undervalues people for who they are. Despite all the accomplishment of science (which I don't wish to undermine, even when evolutionary theory is adopted), human sin always raises its ugly head. Time and again, we hear of doctors and nurses who fail to offer care to patients, policemen and women who are found to be corrupt, politicians who are caught in scandals, and school teachers who fail to teach their pupils properly. All of which demonstrates that the nature of sin is alive and well, and always seeks to undervalue what we have and what we are given.
The yearning for bigger and better, the way we treat people as commodities to be mistreated and abused, has put our western world on a conveyor belt which continually produces a spirit of ungratefulness to what God has given. Hence the reason we live in a so-called "throwaway society."
Indeed, the Church – as we see it and know it – can also be a place for misappropriating the gifts God has given to us. We too can treat people as objects to be befriended or rejected, depending upon their personalities, race or theology, rather than as people who God loves.
Jesus calls us to be different, to be disciples of God's love and God's gifts. Yet Jesus's words are not about evolution or even misappropriating God's gifts. They are a word of hope to the church, or more specifically to the disciples who are sent out to share the Good News of God's love. For they are saying to the Christian heart, which faces despair at the way it feels mistreated and abused, "don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." God knows all you face as a person and all we face as a church community. He also recognises that, sometimes, we need a promise to keep us going, to lift our souls from the darkness of despair and restore a right perspective to our lives. Here, we find that only Jesus offers to us a true perspective to what we face. What a promise that God values us more than sparrows and that nothing goes unnoticed in our lives by the God who loves us. Thanks be to God for Jesus. Where would we be without him?!
May we each know the assurance of our worth to God.
Rev. Andy Coyne
(Interim Moderator, Tunbridge Wells Group of United Reformed Churches)
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