Wednesday 29th June 2022
Written by Deans Buchanan

A Sparrow’s Tuppence Worth
Matthew 10:29-31
(Psalm 84:3-4)

I am insignificant, often ignored and overlooked. Never in the Best-Dressed list (dowdy, not dapper);  treated as a nuisance.

My ancestors tell how Chairman Mao ordered our extermination (to protect harvest); three days of mayhem, millions slaughtered.  Result? Insect population soared; locust plagues followed; edict rescinded!  Mind you, ordinary Chinese clamoured for the sparrow as their National Bird because their lives are unknown and unsung, like most of the Chinese people.[1]

Then the USA Sparrow War! Imported to rid New York of insects, people turned against us when we consumed seeds. Ignorant people! We only eat insects for short periods, when feeding our young. Though nearly wiped out, we survived, sparrows being a hardy lot - spotted high on Everest, flitting around Polar Bears and resident down deep coalmines. Found everywhere: the ubiquitous chirp outdoes the Ubiquitous Chip!

Perhaps people tire of our noisy repetitive chirp, chirp, chirp – an out-of-tune community choir.  But we love being near humans and grateful for World Sparrow Day’s slogan: I Love Sparrows.

I know God loves us; we even nest at his altar.[2]  Though Jesus asked: are not two sparrows sold for a penny? - but re-evaluated us saying:  not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. Then he reassured his disciples: don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.[3]

I flew into an Art Gallery and viewed  Madonna of the Sparrow,[4] Jesus sitting on her knee, both gazing at a sparrow. I was consumed by a frenzy of chirping at the joy he took in one single sparrow.

Are people worth more than many sparrows?  I don’t mind being a sparrow; God gives me the care I need. We are not all birds of a feather. I just need human beings to be responsible in caring for all creatures. Jesus is right. You are worth more than many sparrows (he died for you, insignificant sinners!)

I love hearing your song of sparrows and human beings:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.[5]

[1] Unsure if a National Bird has been finalised, though the Red-Crowned Crane was one option.
[2] Psalm 84
[3] Matthew 10:29-31, in context of danger in undertaking the work of the gospel.
[4] Madonna Del Passero, by Guercino, 1680-20. As was the custom, the sparrow is tied by a string to Mary’s finger. Not sure if our Lord would have approved
Scottish Charity No. SCO07105

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Newton Mearns Baptist Church · 2 Greenfarm Road · Newton Mearns · GLASGOW, G77 6FA · United Kingdom