I once had a valuable coin: a penny. It was valued at well over $100.00 (then)—no small amount for a youngster of eight or nine. But for me, it was only a penny capable of purchasing a piece of candy at the drug store.
I spent that coin on some junk!
It was only a penny, but later I learned how unique and valuable that little coin was—but it was gone.
So, it is with many people. They don’t realize the value and importance of something (or someone) until it is gone.
Many people receive the Good News of Jesus Christ with joy and thanksgiving. They are received into God’s family through holy Baptism, be instructed in the basics of the Christian faith, and so on. They may even receive Christ’s body and blood in the Lord’s Supper, attend worship, and join in the prayers and hymns, and sit through sermons and instruction. But they may not recognize the true value of what God offers them in this blessed arrangement. They may not perceive the cost to God or the risk they run themselves.
St. Paul said it well in our reading: “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’” (1 Co. 1:18-19)
The saving faith that we, by God’s grace, possess is too often like that child’s penny. It seems good only for a little. Its value seems negligible; but while “the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing;” to us who are being saved it is the power of God. It is therefore of greater value than the most expensive coin, brilliant gem stone or highly treasured possession!
Look to your worship. Consider you service to God and others. It is far too easy to replace genuine worship and service with lip service to God and grudging care for neighbors, friends and family.
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. Therefore, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord." (1 Co. 1: 27-31)
Dear friends, praise and thank God for what He offers you in Christ Jesus! It isn’t only a penny!
We pray: Thank you, Lord, for life and salvation in Jesus Christ our Savior! Amen.