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Spiritual Matters by Rev Chris Sparks

Of equal value!

 I was quite astounded. And that started me reflecting on the value of those everyday things that we take for granted.

Juggling with prices while shopping, is nothing particularly new. The bottom line is that few of us can afford not to consider value for money while traipsing the supermarket aisles engaged in the weekly shop. ‘No Name’ brands look quite attractive in the grocery aisles when the price sticker jumps out at us.

At the other end of the scale, there’s the big-ticket items. Here the waters are muddied by the credit industry which tempts us with flimsy sheets of closely typed paper to which we simply append our signature. In exchange, we become the proud possessors of a new car, or expensive white-goods, together with a burdensome commitment to part with huge wads of dollars on a regular basis for products that inevitably devalue and can deteriorate to the point of uselessness by the time we’ve finally paid for them! But all this is blithely accepted as collateral damage – the price we pay for wanting the best of everything. Now!
And don’t get me started on the exorbitant cost of housing!

Okay, so big-ticket items are essential if we’re to take our place as active players in a consumer-oriented world. And there’s a real difference between buying stuff we really need and other stuff that’s non-essential.
But back to my astonishment! I have a collection of model cars accumulated over the years. These have been given to me as gifts, or I’ve purchased them either because of some link to impressive full-size vehicles or, quite simply, because I like them! I’m not a serious collector and don’t buy models as an investment. I just enjoy looking at them.
The tiniest model I have can sit on the nail of my little finger – with room to spare. My father posted it to me from the UK, tucked inside a letter, many years ago. The largest is a “Case 7130” tractor – bigger than a 2-litre container of milk.

I’ve never considered the possibility that any of these models may increase significantly in value. My superannuation is not reliant upon cashing in this modest collection in order to eke out a living in my old age.
But if I had a “Hot Wheels” Volkswagen Kombi van about the size of (but not the shape of) a small egg, in dark red, with 2 tiny surfboards tucked inside; and if it was one of a small batch of prototypes produced by the “Hot Wheels” company many years ago, I’m now told that someone would be prepared to pay up to $150,000 to own it! Astounding! Amazing! Crazy!

Conversely, there’s nothing crazy or unbalanced in the fact that God values us all equally. We are the ones who tend to place value on others according to ancestry, education, social standing and even wealth. But God sees us through the eyes of Christ – for Christ lived, died and was resurrected in order that we should all have the same opportunity to become good citizens in the Kingdom of Heaven. There’s no distortion of value in that Kingdom. There’s no special privilege afforded some and not others. No! We’re all judged on our willingness to embrace God’s will and purpose, living joyfully and obediently for him. The record of Jesus’ life and ministry underlines this point big-time: We are all equally valuable to God!

by Rev Chris Sparks