Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How much are you worth?

Key stage 3/4

How much are you worth?

In 1980, a couple from New Jersy tried to exchange their baby son for a second-hand car worth $8800. The car dealer was tempted because he had lost his son in a fire. He said, 'My first impression was to swap the car for the kid. I knew moments later that it would be wrong - not so much wrong for me or the expense of it, but what would this baby do when he's not a baby anymore? How could this boy cope with life knowing he was traded for a car?' (Quoted by Timothy Radcliffe, Why go to Church?, Continuum p127)

Ask children if they had a price tag, how much do they think they might be worth? 
What about a teacher? What about the headteacher?

We used to put prices on people (to sell them as slaves)
We put prices on footballers to sell them to other clubs

We think that a person is more valuable the better they are. 

Actually you cannot put a price on a person. Each person is unique. 

Psalm 49:7-8 

7 No one can redeem the life of another
       or give to God a sufficient ransom—
8 the ransom for a life is costly,
       no payment is ever enough—

But if you could put a price on someone...
Let's look at it another way round.

Imagine this:
A judge wishes to catch a  criminal. He offers 100 for the criminal. You could say that the criminal is worth 100
But imagine the criminal is much worse. The judge offers a reward of 10000 for the criminal. You could say the criminal is worth 10000
Now imagine the criminal is a terrorist who kills many innocent people. The judges offers a reward of 100000 for the criminal. You could say the criminal is worth 100000

But what if the judge says that he will give everything that he has for this person? What if he says that he will give his life for this person? What does that tell us about the value of the person?

Well I hope that you are not going to be a criminal, and get in trouble with the law
I certainly hope that you are not going to become a terrorist

But the bible tells us that Jesus Christ, the one who God made judge and lord of this world, gave his life for us, for you. And he could do that because he is the Son of God.

And that tells us two things.

1. It tells us that - however bad you are and however much you have messed up, and as you grow older we begin to realise that we are far worse than we thought we were - he chose to die for you. Not to capture you and punish you, but to change you and give you life - to make you the person he meant you to be. 

2. It means that - however insignificant and small you think that you are, or other people say that you are, however well you have done in SATS or however badly - you are far far more precious and valuable to God than you can possibly imagine. He died for you. Because he loves you. 

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