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Posts Tagged ‘1 Corinthians 6:20’


Isaiah 2More than Sparrows

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The futility of believing in silver and gold is a theme that has popped up over the past few weeks in the several study/reflection groups to which I belong.  When using a concordance, we can find many references to one or both of these precious metals; the attraction of valuable gems and ores is a universal lure to humans.  They sparkle.  They appear to be timeless and everlasting.  In today’s Noontime, Isaiah’s words take me to the Gospel reading for the day: Luke 12:1-7.  Jesus explains to us that we are worth more than many sparrows.

Last evening in Scripture study we came to the verse from 1 Corinthians 6:20 in which Paul reminds us that we were bought out of slavery for a great price.  We are reminded by this letter that our bodies are temples where the Holy Spirit dwells within, that we are branches growing on the great vine of Christ, that we are adored and beloved children of God

Why, we are asked, do we worry over much?  Why do we not turn to the one who loves us best to be consoled?  Why do we seek consolation in empty places?

Isaiah speaks of God in awesome and majestic Old Testament terms: a god who exacts justice and who loves jealously.  The New Testament translates this fearsome God into Jesus, one who obeys the will of the Father, who loves even those who murder him, who calls, awaits and abides with each of us.  The punishing God arrives in our midst as the forgiving God who values us more than many sparrows.

When we read this chapter of Isaiah we can see where pride takes us . . . away from the one who purchased our freedom at a great price.  We can see what our idols of silver and gold can do for us.  These gods stand silent when we are in pain.  These deities offer nothing but their continual demand that we become less human.  These false champions fear our own divinity and they are incapable of salvific transformation.  They do not rescue and they do not save.  And they would sell us for less than a sparrow if it suited their whim.

Isaiah reminds us that in this world there are lands filled with silver and gold, and there is no end to their treasures . . . yet all of this is as nothing before the gift of life God gives to us freely and with love.

We are worth more than we can imagine.  Let us value this gift just as our maker does . . . and let us remember that we are worth more than silver or gold . . . more than many sparrows.


A re-post from September 28, 2011.

Image from: http://thepurposeofspecies.org/2010/10/sparrows/

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

pearl-in-clam[1]Matthew 7:6

Pearls of Great Price

Do not give what is holy to dogs or cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Swine and dogs were words used by Jews to express contempt for Gentiles.  Commentary tells us that they may also be used by Christians to describe those obstinate, impenitent Christians.  In this portion of Matthew’s Gospel, the writer records the teachings of Jesus in which we are asked to pray for one another rather than judge one another.  A true disciple is one who is willing to go to his knees and pass through the narrow gate onto The Way which Jesus walks.  A true disciple is wary of false prophets, looks to build his life on a sturdy, strong foundation, and understands that he need not fight God’s fight.  A true disciple knows that if we want to tap into our divinity, we must first humble ourselves as Christ does.  A true Christian depends on God for all things . . . and witnesses this loyalty by praying for the swine and the dogs in his life.

This saying can be a harsh one.  This teaching can be difficult to take on and live out.  It calls for the courage to remain on our own with God rather than be in the company of a crowd.  It calls for perseverance in traveling a long road with many turnings that hide the future from our eyes.  But we are pearls of great price, worth more than any amount we might imagine.  And these pearls have been bought at great cost by Jesus’ redemptive suffering, death and resurrection.  These pearls will not be left alone to be snatched up by a thief.  These pearls are worn by God with great love.  They are tended with great care.

We are pearls of great price, as Paul reminds the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23), bought with sacrifice and love.  So rather than step casually into a life we have been given as gift, let us live each day with the care and devotion God gives to our creation.  Let us value the breath we have been given even as wet us pray for those who do not.  And rather than give what is holy to dogs or allow ourselves to be trampled by swine, let us celebrate with joy each new dawn that brings us the mystery and of God’s love.

Adapted from a reflection written on February 9, 2010.

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