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Posts Tagged ‘worth’


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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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Jeremiah 15:10-21

The-Goodness-of-God-Blog-BannerPurposes for Good

Surely I will set you free for purposes of good . . .

Before we leave the prophecy of Jeremiah, let us remember his help when we feel separate or alone, exiled or forgotten.

Before we forget the words of Jeremiah, let us remember his hope when we are discouraged or overwhelmed, empty or lost.

Before we move into the tomorrow God promises, let us remember our potential for worth, the joy of our work, and the purpose of God’s goodness.

Before we step into the gift God plants in us, let us remember that God wants nothing more than our love, nothing more than our fidelity . . . and nothing less than eternal, intimate union with us.

Adapted from a reflection first written on April 17, 2007.

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worthy%20of%20the%20gospel_0Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Philippians 1:27-28

Firm in the Spirit

Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents—which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.

We are too often preoccupied with how our conduct appears to others rather than how it speaks of our image of God.

We are too frequently anxious about our self-protection rather than with our witnessing to the gospel we know to be true.

We too seldom remember to stand firm in the spirit in a manner worthy of our call.

Our recent journey with Jeremiah reminds us that in most days of our lives we can do little about our circumstances . . . but that we can do much about living in a manner worthy.

Enter the word worthy into the blog search bar and explore the worthiness we encounter . . . and the worthiness we engender. Compare the different versions of these verses by using the scripture link above. Choose other editions of the Bible and reflect on the value of Worthy Conduct. 

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sparks risingThursday, October 2, 2014

Wisdom 3

Worthiness through Trials

Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself.

Worthiness is a quality that may be undervalued in our culture; we rely heavily on nurturing independence with high doses of self esteem.  As with all good things, too much of it becomes a bad thing, as my Dad used to say.  Self-knowledge and self-esteem are not that far from narcissism.  And self flagellation is not a healthy tool when we step back to look at ourselves.  Sadism and masochism are the flip side of a willingness to suffer for the sake of another.  And if we are sisters and brother in Christ, we look to God for direction rather than to our own egos.

The human existence is a constant tightrope-walking along the spectrum of desirable and undesirable qualities.

From our study of James this year: Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  (James 1:2-3)

The perfection God asks of us is not that we live a life without flaw, but that we persevere in doing God’s will, and in finding the good in the trials we undergo for the conversion and redemption of others.  The joy we know from participating in God’s economy is far greater and longer lasting than the fleeting happiness we experience as a result of a contentment we feel at the end of a good day.  Suffering for show or suffering for the sake of suffering is the flip side of the salvific suffering which Christ undergoes for the redemption of others.  And if we are sisters and brother in Christ, we are worthy through self-sacrifice of our own agendas for God’s better plan.

souls of the just

Wisdom 3:7

The human existence is a joyful one when we persevere through trials in faith, live through hope and bind with others in love.

Lives lived in Christ shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble, and the alternative is to live as the wicked who receive their punishment to match their thoughts, since they neglected justice and forsook the Lord. 

This is the wisdom offered us today: that we examine our motivations for perfection, and that we cease judging the worthiness of ourselves and others. Once we put aside our mountains of criteria and our hierarchy of worth, we begin to understand the perfection God asks . . . not that we be perfect in all we do, but that we remain steadfast in Christ’s love through our trials and in our constant search for truth.

Adapted from a reflection written on Saturday, May 29, 2010.

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