Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:7
Some news stories just get a guy's attention. Last week when the BBC ran an article entitled, "Priest to hold nun beauty pageant," I was hooked.
It seems Father Antonio Rungi had proposed a beauty contest for sisters. Trying to elevate an unappreciated vocation, Rungi hoped to emphasize the sisters' more discreet charms as shown by their spirituality, social awareness, charity, and other qualities.
You may note that the verbs in the above paragraph were in the past tense. That is because the contest is in the past tense.
That's right; the contest that would have appeared on the Internet has been canceled. From his home in Italy, Father Rungi explained, "My superiors were not happy. The local bishop was not happy. . . ."
That's the kind of thing that can happen when you are ahead of your time.
Even though the contest is over, the devotion I wanted to write about Father Rungi's idea is still before you.
You see it occurs to me that Rungi has a point. There are many vocations that are under appreciated, even as there are many people who are under appreciated.
You may be, or, at least feel like you are, one of those unapplauded souls.
As I think back on my life, I remember church custodians who were expected to do the impossible. I remember ladies who folded and compiled Sunday's worship folders, teachers who received little more than a thank you card at Christmas, retired pastors who make countless sick and shut-in calls. Almost all were unappreciated.
How very sad. Now, according to Jesus, these folk, like the rest of us, are valued. They're valued more than many sparrows. And if the sparrow comparison doesn't comfort you, then consider this.
Jesus thought you valuable enough to enter this world and live His life so you would never die. He willingly sacrificed Himself so you might be freed from your sins and able to enter heaven.
If no one else in this world ever appreciates you, remember you are valuable to Jesus. Never forget that because of the Savior's wounds, someday, a new you will be able to stand before the heavenly throne.
Will you be beautiful? I suppose so. I do know you will be forgiven and loved.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for loving me and doing that which was necessary to win my forgiveness, I offer my thanks. Today, may I do what I can to show my appreciation for those who may think themselves unappreciated. In Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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