Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12: 6-7
Like all Lenten devotionals that I have been asked to write over the years, my first task is to head to Google and do a quick search to see what others have written on the topic. The first search results are always the various translations: NIV, KJV, ESV, NLT, and so on. It is interesting to see the different tones that each translation has. Taken together they paint a picture of the passage that I find makes it easier to understand. Then Google gives me all the different interpretations of the meaning of the passage, and they can cover a wide range of insight. Sometimes I shake my head and think “Wow man, they got this all wrong.” Other times they refer back to what seems like dozens of other verses, twisting and turning, ultimately building a narrative that seemingly goes in the complete opposite direction of the intent of the passage. But most of the time it’s the straightforward translation I expected. So, which one got it right?
All of them.
A sparrow is a fairly small and insignificant bird, something merchants would tack onto a sale to “sweeten the deal.” They are something like free peanuts at Five Guys; a nice little perk, but you’re just there for the hamburgers. We may feel like the peanuts some days, but in God’s eyes, we are worth more than a whole bag of peanuts.
We all have value.
“But even the hairs of your head are all counted.” Ok, that sounds odd. Why would that even matter? But that’s exactly the point. Knowing the total number of red blood cells in our left pinky may seem completely pointless to us, but God knows for a reason. We do not see the big picture, the plan that has been laid out for us, the connections between all of us and all of our interactions – it all matters.
Everything has value in God’s eyes.
So, all these different interpretations merely temper my own. God is with all of us, filling in all the spaces in our seemingly insignificant daily routine, working diligently to remind us that we are all deeply loved. When we remember that, we allow God to work through us (no matter how small the task), and with that loving work (no matter how small the impact) it may spread out into the world and give those around us a glimpse of that love and they will know that they too are valued – not one of them is forgotten.
Prayer: May we remember every day that God’s love for all the world has no limit, no matter how small we may feel. Amen.