"You were bought at a price." 1 Corinthians 6:20
What are you worth? Really. Not so long ago in New York, a homeless man, a train maintenance worker, and a dog were killed on the subway tracks. Ninety people telephoned the Transit Authority about the dog. Ninety people! Three called about the worker. Nobody called about the homeless man. It might seem that the people were worth less than the dog.
What are you worth? In the late 1800s, a circuit rider spent the night with a family composed of a father, mother, and a 12-year-old boy. In the evening, the father told of how their son had been adopted: “The child was just a poor orphan when we first saw him. He was dirty and in rags. And his shoes—they were the worst of all. The uppers were ripped and the soles had holes. We gave him new clothes, but kept those shoes to remind him how bad off he was before us. Whenever the boy complains or misbehaves, I get those shoes out to help him remember how good we’ve been.” I don’t need to tell you the boy was hurt. His father had told both the minister and him just how much he was worth.
For most of us, at least as the world sees such things, we are probably not worth very much. When we breathe our last, our passing won’t be marked by half-masted flags, elaborate funeral corteges, and a multitude of speakers to sing our praises. It’s not likely that Time Magazine will run a cover story or that CNN will break in with a special news bulletin. Yes, there is quite a contrast between the way others perceive our value and the way God loves us. So that we might be saved, our Heavenly Father sent His holy Son on a mission of mercy. Born in Bethlehem, Jesus became one of us. Ignored by those He had come to save and rejected by many, He spent every day of His life for us.
But Jesus did more than live for us. He also suffered and died for us. Carrying all the sins we had committed, He was arrested, abused, condemned, and crucified. Jesus made this great sacrifice all because the Father wished to call us His children and adopt us into the family of faith. Impressed by how much the Lord loves us, the apostle John wrote: “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1). So what are you worth? Jesus shows you. The Father tells you. You are worth the life of God’s own Son.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on January 19, 2003
The Prayer:Dear Lord, I want to be a constant reminder to the world that I have been adopted as a child of God. Help me to not be like the man in the story who held things over the heads of his loved ones. In Jesus' Name. Amen.