Monday, March 20, 2006

Sparrow!

In a book called "The Cloister and the Hearth," by Charles Reade, two men are shown back-packing their way across Europe during very dangerous times. One of them constantly tries to shore up his companion's courage by repeating the words, "Courage my friend, the devil is dead! Courage my friend, the devil is dead!" What would have been better said, however, is "Courage my friend, God is alive! Courage my friend, God is alive!"

Jesus told his disciples of God's immeasurable love for them just after he warned them that the world in which they would preach his Gospel was a hostile place. They would face persecution, and even death, but they were to have courage: "Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves.... beware of men for they will deliver you up to the councils... but fear not them who can kill the body." (Matt.10:16,28)

They were to be secure and courageous in the knowledge of God's intimate and all embracing care. And in order to insure that they understood the all-encompassing nature of Divine love, he told his disciples that even those creatures upon which men placed little value, were loved and watched over by God. "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" (Matthew 10:29)

As things go, sparrows were never worth much. As a youngster, a neighbor would hire me to shoot sparrows with my be be gun in order to rid them from his barn. He paid a penny a sparrow. In biblical times you could buy two for a penny and, according to the parallel passage in Luke's gospel, you could buy five for two pennies (buy four, get one free). But God cares enough about even the sparrows, that not one lights on the ground, even the free one - the one with seemingly no value at all - without divine notice.

God is inviting us, once again, to let our lives fall into place through faith in a loving God who is in control. Not a single sparrow falls to the ground without your Father's consent; so do not be afraid of anything. Someone has observed that a Gospel text such as this one explains little but changes everything. It does not explain the mystery of God and His great universe, but it does liberate us from fears which can freeze and paralyze the spirit. Daniel Boone, colonial America's most famous pioneer, once was asked if he ever became lost in his long excursions into the wilderness. "No, I never get lost," he replied, "but I was bewildered once for three days." Courage my friend, God is Alive! Accordingly, even though we may feel bewildered from time-to-time, in Christ, we are never lost!

Want to hear His Eye is on the Sparrow?

Click here for a sung version from prairie home radio.
Click here for a trumpet version.
Click here for a piano version.

1 comment:

Marieluise said...

First day of SPRING - what a lovely surprise - I listened to all three versions. I liked the trumpet version the best and cried when I heard the words of the sung version.
Thank you, Pastor Ron!